Characteristics of a Successful Student: Part 1

This is part one of a three part series on the characteristics of a successful student. In this portion, we will focus on a developing a plan to achieve an objective.


Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines success as

1.)  getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame

2.) the correct or desired result of an attempt



The take-away from each definition is that an action produced a result. So, in order to create an action we must first decide what it is that we would like to achieve. Once we have achieved our goal, we have then succeeded! As a student, we must decide what is we want to achieve. State your objectives, create goals and develop a plan.


And example of an effective formula is PR guru, Claire Celsi’s, “GOST” plan: “Goals, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics.” Each element is essential to the success of the plan. Following this template also makes it easy to measure the goals once the plan has been executed, because the objectives are already set.



A goal is simply what you’d like to accomplish. Here’s an example of a goal for a plan to market a new pickle company:

“Make ‘XYZ Pickles’ the preferred gourmet spicy pickle at specialty stores in the United States.”

This goal is barely attainable, and that’s the point. The goal really doesn’t ever change. It will be the same whether the pickles are in last place, or first place.



These should be measurable. I know it’s scary, but they most likely contain numbers. Here’ an objective for our Pickle Company: “Sell 20% more spicy pickles than last year.” It’s simple and measurable – Sales this year are 100,000. We want sales to be 120,000.

Another good way to know an objective? Each objective should start with an verb.

“Increase;” “Deliver;” “Sell;” “Obtain;” “Find;” “Decrease;” “Speed up;” “Implement.”

Start an objective with one of these words, and then use numbers to make it measurable.



Strategies are WHY you are doing something. Here’s a strategy for the Pickle Company.

“Collaborate with food bloggers and editors to provide information about XYZ Spicy Pickles and how they can complement any picnic menu. The food bloggers and editors will lend third-party credibility and endorsement to the pickles.”

Then, the strategy needs to be carried out. Then, and only then…do we get tactical.



Tactics are the things you’ll do to accomplish the goal, meet the objective, and fulfill the strategy.

Here are the tactics for XYZ Spicy Pickle’s strategy:

• Make lists of food bloggers and media who cover food

• Contact media and bloggers with a compelling pitch and value proposition

• Send a free product sample and recipe cards

• Compile results of campaign and report to client


There are several characteristics of a successful student. A successful student is one who is willing to learn, grow, develop a plan, achieve goals, fall down and,most importantly, get back up and try again!


Written by Novastar English tutor, Traci B.


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