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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Success by University of Pennsylvania

1,161 ratings

About the Course

Do you want to be more successful? This course was designed to help you define what success means to you, and to develop a plan for achieving it. Wharton Professor G. Richard Shell, an award-winning author and the creator of the popular Wharton School course on the meaning of success, created this course to help you answer the questions that arise when you consider how best to use your life. Drawing on his decades of research and mentoring, Shell offers personalized assessments to help you probe your past, imagine your future, and measure your strengths. He then combines these with the latest scientific insights on everything from self-confidence and happiness to relationships and careers. Throughout, he shares inspiring examples of people who found what they were meant to do by embracing their own true measure of success. Get ready for the journey of a lifetime—one that will help you reevaluate your future and envision success on your own terms. Students and executives say that Richard Shell’s courses and executive training programs have changed their lives. Let this course change yours....

Top reviews


Jun 8, 2020

Excellent course gives you the tools and ideas to think deeply about how you define success and set you on a solid path to achieving your greatest professional and personal success possible.


Apr 13, 2023

This course was fantastic! I highly recommended this to everyone. I felt that I have grown due to this course, and I wish it had been required in either my undergraduate or graduate schools.

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1 - 25 of 347 Reviews for Success

By Chaim H

Jan 3, 2021

Very enjoyable course - a good balance of video content and assignments. Facilitator was superb with a mix of personal stories and new ideas.

Would recommend it to friends and family.

By Brianna W

May 17, 2019

I loved this course! It has been the best one I've taken on Coursera yet. It was an honor to learn from Richard Shell. I think this course can benefit anyone at any point in their life!

By Valentina F

Apr 25, 2019

This course can be a life changer. It's so rich that it's somewhat hard to rate it properly.

The course is all about finding what is true success _for you_ and not in a generalist way: there is no "good for everyone" recipe for success. This passes through analyzing the impact of your biases, cultural values (pro and cons), the heritage that a variety of people gave you in terms of values, examples, pressures and inspirations. Last, it will guide you to write a recipe for you success which will be a snapshot of your evolution journey and you will be encouraged to re-read it in the future to see what you have done and where to go next.

Richard Shell spent a very significative part of his young years in a Buddhist monastery in Sri Lanka. To me, a zen practitioner in Thich Nhath Hanh tradition, this is pure gold, since I relate a lot to his vision of a dynamic balance for the individual evolution and life improvement. I also appreciated him sharing some of his personal life-pivoting experiences, something that I think required effort and commitment.

I very highly recommend the course and I'd like to say a very special thank you to all this Coursera staff that made this course possibile.

I suggest to invest to access to quizzes and grading, since they help a lot to trigger your reflections and reaction. Without them, the course is still precious but could be less impactful.

By Le T X Y

Aug 20, 2020

Extremely useful course to help take a step back to fully understand the meaning of Success. Provides helpful tools to understand who we are and what truly matters. Highly recommended!

By Luyi L

Jan 6, 2017

Very helpful course changes my mind about success. I have heard the similar ideas from others, however, it makes a difference in a Wharton course. Recommend this to everyone.

By Cyndie D

Oct 22, 2018

This course helped me to understand the many levels of success. The obvious successes most think about are wealth and status. After this class I now understand that success is an all around sense of well being and passion for what it is that you are doing.

By Ali P

Oct 25, 2017

This is personally one of the best and most useful courses I've taken in my life so far. I cannot absolutely recommend this course enough to anyone who is looking around to learn about how to live your life to the fullest. I currently run a self-development website and on it was thinking of talking about values and how to identify them. Now after taking this course, I will be redirecting everyone to this course to find out what a successful life means to them and how to identify their values. It has already given me insights about my motivations and values that I was unaware of!

The lecturer is also very inspiring, has an interesting life story that I admire and has a breadth and wealth of knowledge that I just wish I could tap into more. If you're reading this far, don't read further. Just enroll.

By Roslyn P

Dec 15, 2018

This is an excellent course. The concepts are made simple with content that is highly interesting, kept brief and clearly explained. The connection between lectures and submission questions are in alignment. They create aha moments of discovery in the small details that learners can thread and connect to a bigger picture. I've already recommended the course. I described it as providing personal take aways that help one identify the intrinsic connection to success and personal values — with skills for life exercises. The course has provided me with self discovery; who I am, how I express myself today, and techniques I can use to as I progress in my professional journey. Exceptional experience!

By Gilbert C

Jan 5, 2020

This is certainly the best course I have done in Coursera, but it's also one of the best courses I've ever done (and I've got the equivalent of 2 bachelors, a grad certificate and a PhD). I would recommend this for anyone and it will be useful at any stage of career, but particularly at the start. Richard Sell is an affable and down-to-earth speaker, who uses anecdotes effectively to illustrate points from the literature of success and happiness. The course is designed less to impart to you a series of dos-and-don'ts or rules and regulations of successful habits, etc., but rather to help you discover your own understanding of success. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

By Matthew G

Apr 13, 2019

This is an exceptional course. Dr. Shell is a highly engaging speaker – his stories make the material come alive. The content is interesting as well as thought provoking. As a career coach with a large university, I strongly recommend this course to anyone who wants to create a richer, more fulfilling career.

By Nirmala N V

Apr 13, 2019

A very eye-opening, and inspiring course taught by Dr. Shell which made me look at success in a different perspective. Dr. Shell taught this courser from his heart and that definitely resonated with me. Thanks Dr. Shell!

By Jaison C

Jun 11, 2019

I didn't think I would enjoy or benefit from this module but I was completely wrong. This gave me a solid reinforcement of what makes a person happy, and that is a success to me.

By Alina I

Mar 29, 2017

After this course I was able at least to formulate these ideas on paper and tried to work out the plan. I think this is not the final action list, I can add more in future.

By Vitalii S

Nov 25, 2019

This give me better point of what life I want and how to get there.

Thank you teacher for this course - your work is really helping people, at least for me.

Thank you!

By Mauricio V

Mar 31, 2019

You will learn about habits of successful people , your inner and outer life, but most important you will learn how to make a concrete plan to achieve success...

By John P D

Nov 25, 2018

I loved the way the assignment drew you in the back door, me so to speak, that would make you think about the fact is success comes from all direction on n

By Zaneta S

Apr 12, 2019

Makes to think what success means to you. Helps to get rid of a pressure from the environment.

By Rupesh S

Apr 2, 2019

Really helpful to analyse life in pragmatic way.

By Yana V

Jun 16, 2017

This was a wonderful course that helped me to understand myself and my definition of success better. Although some information seemed a bit boring and unnecessary to me personally (maybe because I’ve known it before), the exercises were truly unique and which I never heard of before. Professor Shell is very interesting to listen to! Very pleasant and wise person.

By Kyriakos K

Apr 12, 2021

Much respect for Richard Shell, he talks and captivates you, he's really charismatic. Despite that if you're looking for methods, tips or tricks about achieving success or even a new helpful advice that will "say" something new in your mind and unlock an undiscovered area, you won't find it here.

By Виктор В

Nov 16, 2018

There are many too obvious things. Especially after a second week. This is not the worst course, but not the best one

By Timur N

Dec 19, 2021

This course just wastes u time. Meaningless and unuseful. They just tell you some common phrase that u can take from Wikipedia.

Course is worthless.

By Lavanya Y

Jul 11, 2021

It is in the Outliers book by Malcolm Gladwell that I first understood the fact that Success is not a self-made achievement but is influenced by various factors like luck, opportunities, external influences such as Family, culture, society etc. However, the research studies and results highlighted in that book are majorly focused on outer achievements. I think the idea that Success is not achieved only because of innate ability has stuck with me ever since. I am not sure if it is the mid-life crisis or something else that led me to anxiety over what has been happening in my life since a few years.

I took this course as I felt strongly that I needed some direction in understanding what Success means to me and how to go about achieving my own view of success. The lessons in the first module helped me affirm my views that Success is what you define for yourself based on the values you would like to uphold and the motivations you have whether they are intrinsic or extrinsic. The lessons in the second module directs one to dig deeper into understanding how our values get formed due to various external influences and what capabilities we have developed as our strengths. The third module then talks about the pitfalls of focusing on outer life and achievements. It also helps clearly explain how to achieve success that is sustainable and not fleeting or temporary. The final module helps you put everything together and define our own success path.

I have greatly enjoyed listening to the videos as well as spending time on the exercises. Professor Richard Shell has an interesting approach to talk through the concepts by mixing specific examples, research studies, references from various other famous people, as well as excerpts from highly successful personalities. His own personal story is very motivating and influential in its own nature.

Overall, I would highly recommend this course if you are someone who wants to understand the true and deeper meaning of success, and various elements to help you achieve your own definition of success.

By Shinq Y I T

Apr 22, 2020

Thought-provoking, reflective, and insightful, I think the Success course provides helpful terms and a framework for understanding your concept of success and how to define it moving forward. Awareness is half the battle and it also helps to have the words to articulate concepts that you may already hold but haven't previously described or fully fleshed out. I enjoyed the style and structure of the course, which felt less like a traditional class and more of a discussion among thinkers, perhaps akin to that of the Greeks when they would pose questions and consider concepts as they debated the meaning of things instead of mere factual knowledge addition. This course manages to inspire self-reflection and an almost philosophical understanding of your values while also providing helpful tools and metrics of a sort by which to evaluate and consider these otherwise abstract ideas. I also enjoyed the peer-reviewing aspect as it enables you to journey alongside others in this course and read about their stories and takeaways from the course. A valuable exercise for anyone who could use a little clarity on defining their life path, and one I'll share with others should occasion permit.

By Denis K

Jul 18, 2020

Last week I successfully completed the course “Success” from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. This is the first course in the Achieving Personal and Professional Success Specialization, which consists of the four of the most popular courses taught at the Wharton School, and it is simply remarkable.

Most of us would like to be successful, but success, as I learned in this course, does not have a universally correct form. For that reason, you have to define what it means to you before attempting to achieve it.

Thanks to this course and particularly to prof. Richard Shell — the creator of the course — I now have my own positive view of success along with a coherent plan or path that I believe will lead to a successful life. And if you, like me, are eager to design your own successful future then I encourage you to take this course too.