Nicole Knott

Success is achieving a goal you have been diligently working toward. Success can be large like buying your first house or small like meeting a significant deadline at work. The major milestones can only be achieved when you are willing to take risks; when you stretch yourself beyond what you may perceive as your current capabilities. Success is a journey and you will experience diverse emotions, ranging from fear to pride. There are times where you come up against obstacles and you are tempted to quit. These experiences mean you're on the right path. If you feel too comfortable, you're not challenged enough. 

Since I graduated, I have spent most my professional career taking risks while working on projects in Philadelphia, PA, Newark, NJ and Lisbon, Portugal as a consultant. In each phase of a project, my role and responsibilities change. After performing well and building relationships, the client is more prone to allow me to work in new areas because I demonstrated I will deliver. I proactively work in areas I'm unfamiliar with because I want to be challenged and stretched. When I get stuck, I reach out to my mentors from across my global network for guidance and support. I cannot imagine a job where I did the same thing every day or if I had all the answers. 

On my weekly flights, I network with many senior-level executives and ask them this very question: what is success? I have learned that there is no 'ultimate success.' Even CEOs share with me their goals for the growth of their company or to build a foundation. Networking, by the way, is the most important skill I walked away with from Gonzaga. I am glad I practiced during various Career Center and GAMP-sponsored events. 

In the end, no matter what we achieve there is always more we can do, should do or want to do. We must stretch ourselves in new ways to become more than who we are today. The goals change, the challenges become more complex, but there is always more room to grow, regardless of age or current professional and personal successes. 

Nicole Knott
Accenture, Analyst - Seattle, WA
Class of 2007 - BA Mathematics and Political Science; Minor Analytical Finance