Imposter syndrome is a feeling many successful people have of self-doubt and incompetence. It can be a barrier to high-achieving work performance, career promotion, and it can contribute to burnout. Often people with imposter syndrome will have irrational fear that they will be discovered by colleagues as an “imposter,” though objectively they are seen by others as accomplished.
“If imposter syndrome had a spokesperson, it was me,” says Rashad Isaac, a 2021 WGU graduate of the B.S. in business administration, marketing degree program.
Graduating high school near the bottom of his class, Rashad says he was a smart kid who didn’t have guidance and who didn’t understand the importance of education.
After trying various jobs, he moved to New York City, where he discovered a passion for bringing stories to life as a video producer. At Refinery29 and, later, VICE, he made a great salary and was working with celebrities and brands he had admired his entire life. But he always felt inadequate.
He says, “All my coworkers had bachelor’s or master’s degrees or went to school for film. I never felt like I truly belonged in the rooms that I was in.”
By earning his degree at WGU, he overcame his feelings of self-doubt. As a fully online university, WGU allowed him the flexibility to work full-time and study. He accelerated his degree program and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 18 months.
“I still can’t believe it.”
Now, he says the imposter syndrome is gone. He knows who he is and what he wants to do. He is the owner of Summerhill Digital agency, which is focused on making content equal to the culture. He explains, “We’re perpetually shown a narrow lens of experiences. As a storyteller and producer, I have the ability to change that.
“My mission now is to share a myriad of stories from my community and others, to give a truer reflection of who we are.”
Of the experience getting his degree, Rashad says, “Western Governors University gave me the opportunity to show myself what I was capable of, and I’m very happy that I didn’t let myself down.”