CPS ‘16

Exploring Perfectionism Firsthand

“I would certainly say I struggled with confidence and imposter syndrome. I felt I wasn’t smart enough, or pretty enough, but we are worth it, we are important, we are good enough, and that’s really what inspired me to write my book,” says Vanessa Bush, CPS ‘16. “It’s important, I think, to be open and honest. The acceptance of mental health has made it possible for me to share my vulnerabilities. I don’t feel that I can be my true self until I’ve told this story.”

Bush, hailing from Acton, Massachusetts, worked in educational travel before transitioning into higher education in Boston. After doing her research, she was set on attending Northeastern for her M.Ed. with a focus in higher education administration. She highlights how appreciative she was for the faculty, curriculum, course variety, and flexibility which made Northeastern the perfect fit. Due to Northeastern’s great network, Bush was also able to be a part of NUsource, a student and alumni resource for mentoring, networking, and career development.

After graduating from Northeastern with her M.Ed., Bush landed a role in the University’s Enrollment Management office. She credits Northeastern for the lasting impact on the network of people she has met through completing her M.Ed. and the work she has done here. “The community that I have met, with both school and working [at Northeastern], has been phenomenal. The people that I was privileged enough to attend classes with and work with were some of the brightest, most talented people I have ever known.”

Since the 4th grade, Bush wanted to be a writer and always sought the ability to share her knowledge and skills with the world. Throughout her life, she has been working on a piece about perfectionism. She has published a number of poems in magazines over the years, yet writing a book has always been her goal. Last summer, Bush attended a work conference where she connected with Eric Koester, the founder of the Book Creators program and Lindsey Pollak, “New York Times” best-selling author and career & workplace expert. With their guidance, Bush knew it was time for her to tell her story about her research and experiences with perfectionism.

Bush is set to publish her book entitled “Embracing Your Perfectionist Self,” in the fall of 2023 by her publisher NDP. She hopes to continue offering public speaking engagements to spread awareness about mental health. As a writer, her goal is to shine a positive light on mental health through her work. “We all need to forgive ourselves, be a little more graceful and understanding, and give one another permission to not have to be an embodiment of perfection,” she says.

If you would like to purchase Vanessa’s new book, you can preorder it here. Northeastern students and alumni receive 15% off their purchase! If you are interested, please contact Vanessa where the promo code will be provided. If you would like to contact her, you can email her at [email protected]. You can also follow her on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook

What inspires me is to be a role model for my sons, to show it’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to fail,
that’s how we learn and grow.”

Vanessa Bush, CPS ‘16