Beyond the Success Paradigm

  • "Beyond the Success Paradigm" in the Science Center
  • keith quotation
  • Ling Ling quote
  • cynthia quote

Beyond the Success Paradigm features portraits of Harvard College alumni, taken by the Harvard College Photography Club, and the alumni’s stories about experiences that have influenced their sense of self, their expectations, and their definitions of success and failure. This project was displayed across the Harvard Campus March through May of 2015. The exhibit is currently displayed at the Bureau of Study Counsel.

How the Project Started

Tsotso Ablorh

This project was inspired by my experiences as a college student, as an alum, and as an administrator in higher education. Experiences as a Harvard College student were often overwhelming; the abundance of resources and opportunities that bombard students, extremely high internal and external expectations, the difficulty of figuring out which way to go or what strategy to use, and the infrequency of shared insights from other students.

As an alum, I have seen previous classmates mature through a myriad of difficulties and triumphs, how our views have changed, what we wish we had known as students, and how some common experiences in college, though valuable, are also genuinely uncomfortable. As an administrator, I know how eager my colleagues are to help students navigate a tumultuous and challenging time in their lives.

And so I took this opportunity to gather some of the collective knowledge about situations, characteristics, and thoughts about oneself that rarely get talked about-- to get at something beyond the smooth exterior that students often present. I hope you will benefit from these stories as much as I did from interviewing the individuals featured here.

What do you think will make you feel fulfilled?


The Harvard Photography Club

Photos for this project were taken by students from the Harvard Photography Club, which provides photographers on campus with the resources and artistic community they require to develop and grow their photographic skills.  This community gives students inspiration and instruction through interaction with fellow photographers and promotes the presence of the visual arts on the Harvard campus through photo exhibits.
Irma photo        Melanie photo
Alice photo        Harriet photo