Learning Perseverance

Brigadier General Jennings reflects on the lesson of perseverance and its impact on his academic achievements at NC State.

Interview on 2015-03-27


00:00:00.000 Another thing I learned while here at State, that I wanted to mention, is perseverance and not giving up.
00:00:09.960 As I mentioned, when I left in 1975 everybody said, "You'll never come back. You'll never finish. You'll never give up."
00:00:18.172 But I think State teaches you, because it's not easy and it's not given to you, that you have to be persistent,
00:00:26.544 because if you're looking for it to be easy like at some other schools, as the chancellor would say, "other liberal arts schools," that's not going to be your experience at NC State, especially as an engineering major.
00:00:40.475 Todd Kosmerick: Yeah, these are hard programs to get through and if you get through some of them you can almost get through anything.
00:00:50.399 And you can make them more difficult, as I mentioned. I know there have been guys come here, and I met them, that were brilliant.
00:00:59.779 I had one of my frat brothers who got his PhD in nuclear engineering, we would look at sometimes problems
00:01:08.649 we had done and sometimes these problems would take you seven or eight pages writing to solve them; this guy might do it in one and a half, two pages.
00:01:20.305 We would come up with the same answer in most cases that were right, and I'd look at his stuff and say, "I have no idea how you got that.
00:01:30.173 Don't really want to know." He would try to explain it to me sometimes and I said, "Orlando, that's just way above my head."
00:01:40.482 But I kind of said that to show that you can make it here, you can make it at NC State, and there's not one cookie cutter way.
00:01:52.486 But I do think that, again, if you go out and work with people and share then you'll be a lot better served.