Filed in From the Staff by on January 22, 2018

If you’re not already aware, there are tons of career resources in Handshake with all sorts of tips, tools, and articles. Recently, I read an article from Vault about grit and why employers look for it that I wanted to share some advice from. 

Image result for sandpaper grit

Grit isn’t just something held by sandpaper, John Wayne and NFL fullbacks. Wikipedia (I know, you shouldn’t trust Wikipedia, but I like the way this is worded) describes grit as a “non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective.” Grit encompasses perseverance, resilience, and a drive to succeed. It could involve hours spent practicing a new skill, tackling a demanding course load, or having the spirit to get back up after being knocked down time and time again. While hard to measure tangibly, according to the Vault article, grit is a strong indicator of success (and thus why employers look for it).

So how can you work on your grittiness? The Vault article mentions this article, which gives 5 research-backed ways to increase grit. Here are those methods, with some ways you could get involved on campus!

  • Pursue what interests you

Of course, it’s easier to find motivation if you’re following a path you’re passionate about. You can take the MyPlan assessments and schedule an appointment with the CDC through your Handshake account to help figure out where you interests lie and how to pick a major that matches.

  • Practice, practice, practice

Being a WPI student already takes countless hours of homework, studying, and time in the lab to stay on top of classes. Take challenging courses, and be sure to utilize office hours and tutoring sessions if you need help!

  • Find purpose

The MyPlan assessments can also be used to help figure out your mission or career path you’d like to follow. Schedule an appointment through Handshake to discuss your results with a CDC staff member.

  • Have hope

Hope can be hard to come by, especially during finals week. However, there’s all kinds of support on campus, from the SDCC and the student support network, to therapy dogs or goats brought on campus to help de-stress.

  • Join a gritty group 

While we don’t have a “Grit Club,” there are all kinds of groups across campus filled with passionate students united by a given interest or cause. If you don’t already belong to one, look for organizations with goals and values that you’d like to be a part of.


As always, feel free to email the Peer Advisors at with all of your job search questions!

About the Author ()

I'm a sophomore double majoring in Robotics Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from Plymouth, MA. As a Peer Advisor for the Career Development Center, I'm excited to use my experiences to help others throughout the major selection/career search processes. On campus I'm also involved in Engineers Without Borders, Crimson Key, and Running Club. Outside of school, I enjoy playing guitar, hiking, and following baseball.

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  1. J. Develin says: