A questionnaire about their institution and what success means to them was distributed to the students of the PSG Institutions in Tamil Nadu recently. They were asked to return the forms, which had multiple choices for answers, in a week.

“For an institution to be successful it is important that the students do well. They have to be successful. This exercise tried to find out what they think about success,” says T.G. Vijaya, professor at the PSG Institute of Management.

About 7,200 students studying in its colleges and in Class XI and XII of Sarvajana Higher Secondary School were given the questionnaire.

The questions were decided based on a discussion among the faculty and the management. Some of the questions were: what is the most important factor that determines a person’s success. And the options were: hard work, determination, attitude, confidence, education, ambition, money, smart work and others.

Which of the following represents success — power, money, fame or social recognition? Over 45 per cent of the students who had replied felt it was social recognition. On the question on how many thought they will be successful in life, 86 per cent of the students had a positive reply. For the one on role model, 37 per cent said parents were their role model and 19 per cent said they were a role model unto themselves.

The questionnaire also asked whether it was more difficult for equally qualified women to achieve the same professional success as male counterpart. Nearly 46 per cent students said they did not feel so. The questionnaire also tried to find out why the students chose the PSG Institution and whether the knowledge gained in the institution will help them in their pursuit of success.

Dr. Vijaya adds that students will benefit from such exercises since it helps the management understand their needs. “We were looking at the collective opinion on some subjects.” This was a way of reaching out to the students, find out what they felt about the institution and success. The institution can improve on possible avenues based on the student feedback. And, it plans to have such an exercise regularly on varying topics.