​Fail Better: Mark Smith​​

Mark Smith, JD, director of the Washington University in St. Louis Career Center, associate vice chancellor for students and failed Congressional candidate, is a loser.

“I failed on the campaign,” Smith said. “You either win or you lose, and that’s what you call someone who doesn’t win in a campaign — a loser.”

But Smith rebounded, earning a big promotion and having another child. He says running for Congress gave him invaluable insight into the electoral process and, more importantly, himself.

“I don’t think I would have been happy in Congress,” Smith said. “I like doing things. I like moving things forward and that’s not how Congress is working these days.”

Smith’s story is the first in a new video series called “Fail Better,” which showcases Washington University faculty, staff and students who have failed big, sometimes in very public, humiliating ways. And yet, their so-called failure has brought surprising rewards. Read more about the series here.