Philly: Vanessa Chan on ‘Why Failure is Like Farting’ Philly: Vanessa Chan on ‘Why Failure is Like Farting’

At Philly, Roberto Torres provided a recap of the address delivered at Penn Engineering’s undergraduate commencement ceremony. Vanessa Chan, Professor of Practice, Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, provided a colorful metaphor for an experience the newly-minted graduates are sure to experience as they progress through their careers.

Investor, professor and entrepreneur Vanessa Chan wanted to leave the University of Pennsylvania’s Class of 2018 with a pungent reminder that they’re bound to encounter failure no matter where they go.

“Failing is like farting,” Chan said in her commencement address last Monday. “Like when my Ph.D. defense was delayed because I missed a deadline. Pothole. Or when my factory messed up my order for QVC. Crevice. Or when I was forced out of a client situation that felt impossible to recover from. Deep abyss.”

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