Spring 2019 Smith School Undergraduate Commencement
- Articles, Blog

Spring 2019 Smith School Undergraduate Commencement


(Event pending) LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE Rise FOR THE SINGING OF THE
NATIONAL ANTHEM, WHICH WILL BE PERFORMED BY DACADENCE FEATURING
GRADUATING SENIOR, ARON KAUFMAN. PLEASE BE SEATED. PRESIDING OVER
THESE EXERCISES IS DR. ALEXANDER TRIANTIS, DEAN OF THE ROBERT H.
SMITH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS. THE CLASS OF 2019! GOOD EVENING, FAMILY AND FRIENDS
OF THE CLASS OF 2019! GOOD EVENING TO OUR
DISTINGUISHED GUESTS AND TO MEMBERS OF THE SMITH SCHOOL
FACULTY AND ADMINISTRATION. I WELCOME YOU TO THE
COMMENCEMENT OF THE ROBERT H. SMITH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS SO THAT
TOGETHER WE MAY HONOR OUR GRADUATES WHO HAVE COMPLETED THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREE. FROM EACH OF US SITTING ON STAGE
FROM EVERY TEACHER WHO TAUGHT YOU AND EVERY STAFF PERSON WHO
MADE YOUR SMITH EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE – WE OFFER A
WELL-DESERVED “CONGRATULATIONS.” GIVE YOURSELVES A ROUND OF
APPLAUSE! YOU SHOULD BE PROUD – YOU’VE
GRADUATED FROM ONE OF THE PREEMINENT BUSINESS SCHOOLS IN THE WORLD. AT THE SMITH SCHOOL, THE BEST STUDENTS, THE BEST
FACULTY AND THE MOST CHALLENGING PROBLEMS OF OUR GLOBAL,
INTERCONNECTED SOCIETY COME TOGETHER IN WAYS
THAT ARE TRANSFORMATIVE AND FAR-REACHING. WE ARE A CENTER OF
COLLABORATION, INNOVATION AND FEARLESS IDEAS. EVERY DAY, SMITH IDEAS AND SMITH PEOPLE ARE MOVING BEYOND LABS
AND LECTURE HALLS TO MAKE A GENUINE AND POSITIVE IMPACT ON
OUR ECONOMY, OUR SOCIETY AND OUR WORLD. TODAY YOU BECOME ONE OF THOSE
PEOPLE. YOU WILL GO OUT INTO THE WORLD READY TO CREATE VALUE FOR
YOUR ORGANIZATIONS, LIVE LIVES OF MEANING AND PURPOSE, AND IMPRESS THE HECK OUT OF EVERYONE WHO
MEETS YOU. MANY OF YOU ARE WEARING CORDS AND MULTIPLE
STOLES TODAY IN RECOGNITION OF YOUR ACTIVITIES AND ACADEMIC
HONORS. ONE SUCH CORD I’D LIKE TO POINT OUT IS ROSE GOLD IN
COLOR AND DESIGNATES STUDENTS WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THE SENIOR
CLASS GIFT. IT IS A SPECIAL PERSON WHO WILL GIVE BACK TO
THEIR SCHOOL PRIOR TO GRADUATION AND I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU
FOR YOUR GENEROSITY AND LEADERSHIP. IF YOU ARE WEARING A SMITH
PHILANTHROPY CORD, PLEASE STAND SO WE CAN RECOGNIZE YOU. THE OCCASION OF YOUR
COMMENCEMENT IS A TIME TO CELEBRATE JOURNEYS – TO
CELEBRATE BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS AND ALL THE AMAZING THINGS THAT HAPPEN
IN BETWEEN. TODAY WE WILL LOOK BACK ON YOUR
JOURNEY AND LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR FUTURE. SOME MEMBERS OF THE PLATFORM PARTY WILL BE INTRODUCED AS THE
PROGRAM PROCEEDS. AT THIS TIME, I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE OTHER
PLATFORM PARTICIPANTS. PLEASE HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE UNTIL
EVERYONE HAS BEEN INTRODUCED. CHRIS DAX, ASSISTANT DEAN OF DEVELOPMENT AND ALUMNI
RELATIONS; FAAIQ ZARGER, PRESIDENT, SMITH UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT
ASSOCIATION; PROFESSOR MARTIN DRESNER,
CHAIRPERSON OF LOGISTICS, BUSINESS AND PUBLIC POLICY;
PROFESSOR MICHAEL FU, CHAIRPERSON OF DECISION,
OPERATIONS, AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES; PROFESSOR DAVID GODES,
CHAIRPERSON OF MARKETING; PROFESSOR SARAH
KRONCKE, REPRESENTING PROFESSOR RUSSELL
WERMERS, CHAIRPERSON OF FINANCE; PROFESSOR MARTIN LOEB,
CHAIRPERSON OF ACCOUNTING AND INFORMATION ASSURANCE; PROFESSOR
MARK WELLMAN, REPRESENTING PROFESSOR KAY BARTOL,
CHAIRPERSON OF MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION; THIS PLATFORM IS NOT LARGE
ENOUGH TO CONTAIN ALL WHO HAVE PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN
MAKING THIS DAY POSSIBLE. IN THIS REGARD, A SPECIAL DEBT
OF GRATITUDE IS OWED TO THE OUTSTANDING FACULTY AT COLLEGE
PARK AND THE ROBERT H. SMITH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, AND TO THE
DEDICATED STAFF WHO HAVE GIVEN SO MUCH OF THEMSELVES TO THE
GRADUATES. ALSO AT THIS TIME, WE
RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THAT ALL ATTENDEES REMAIN SEATED
THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE CEREMONY IN ORDER TO PROVIDE FULL
RECOGNITION TO ALL GRADUATES. LET’S BEGIN BY HEARING FROM A
MEMBER OF THE CLASS OF 2019. DR. RITU AGARWAL, SENIOR ASSOCIATE
DEAN FOR FACULTY AND RESEARCH, WILL NOW INTRODUCE OUR STUDENT
SPEAKER. I AM NOW PLEASED TO INTRODUCE
OUR STUDENT SPEAKER, ABIGAIL CERCIELLO, WHO IS GRADUATING
WITH A BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND A
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT AND BUSINESS ANALYTICS, AND A MINOR
IN SUSTAINABILITY. ABIGAIL DISTINGUISHED HERSELF AS
BOTH A SCHOLAR AND A FEARLESS LEADER
DURING HER TIME AT THE SMITH SCHOOL. HER ACADEMIC HONORS
INCLUDE BEING ON THE 15 DEAN’S LIST EVERY SEMESTER DURING HER
COLLEGE CAREER, AND RECEIVING A PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLARSHIP. SHE PARTICIPATED IN THE
PRESTIGIOUS SOCIAL INNOVATION FELLOWS PROGRAM AT THE SMITH
SCHOOL, WHICH IMMERSES STUDENTS IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP TO DRIVE
SOCIAL CHANGE. HER LEADERSHIP ACTIVITIES INCLUDED SERVING AS
PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL ACTIVITIES FOR ALPHA
KAPPA PSI, THE PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS FRATERNITY, AND AS
FUNDRAISING CHAIR FOR A TERPSERVICE ALTERNATIVE SPRING
BREAK TO CHICAGO. SHE ALSO SERVED AS AN IMPACT
AMBASSADOR FOR THE CENTER FOR SOCIAL VALUE CREATION, A
CONSULT-YOUR-COMMUNITY BUSINESS ANALYST, AND A STUDENT
AMBASSADOR FOR THE SMITH SCHOOL. ABIGAIL’S IMPACT WAS RECOGNIZED
WHEN SHE WAS INDUCTED INTO OMICRON
DELTA KAPPA SIGMA CIRCLE, A PRESTIGIOUS HONORS SOCIETY FOR
STUDENTS WHO DEMONSTRATE HOLISTIC LEADERSHIP AT THE
UNIVERSITY. DESPITE HER CHALLENGING ACADEMIC
SCHEDULE, ABIGAIL ALSO TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE GLOBAL
OPPORTUNITIES SMITH OFFERS, SPENDING A SHORT-TERM
GLOBAL STUDY TRIP IN PRAGUE AT THE CZECH TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY, FOCUSED ON
DATA-DRIVEN SMART CITY DEVELOPMENT. UPON GRADUATION,
ABIGAIL WILL JOIN PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS AS A
TECHNOLOGY CONSULTING ASSOCIATE IN THEIR NEW YORK CITY
HEADQUARTERS. PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING ABIGAIL CERCIELLO. Thank you for the kind
introduction! GOOD EVENING TO ALL OF THE FELLOW STUDENTS,
FAMILIES, FRIENDS, ADMINISTRATORS, FACULTY, AND
STAFF HERE TONIGHT AND CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF
2019! I AM HONORED TO SHARE THIS– you
get a round of applause! Let’s do it! I’m really honored to share this
MONUMENTAL ACCOMPLISHMENT WITH ALL OF YOU AND WANTED TO SEND A
GIANT THANK YOU TO THE PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM FOR THE ENDLESS
SUPPORT TO HELP US ALL STAND IN OUR CAPS AND GOWNS THIS EVENING. IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT JUST
FOUR YEARS AGO, MOST OF US TOOK OUR VERY FIRST STEPS IN VAN
MUNCHING HALL TO ATTEND OUR FRESHMAN YEAR CLASSES. LOOKING BACK TO MY OWN FRESHMAN
YEAR, I TOOK A COURSE CALLED INTRODUCTION TO INFORMATION
SYSTEMS WITH THE ENERGETIC AND BRILLIANT DR. KARAKE, AS DID
MOST OF MY FELLOW STUDENTS IN THE ROOM. TWICE A WEEK, WE EXPLORED THE
CONCEPTS OF BIG DATA, COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, AND
NETWORKS, LEARNING THAT OVER 90% OF THE WORLD’S DATA WERE
GENERATED IN THE PAST THREE YEARS ALONE. IN MY BUSINESS
ANALYTICS COURSES AT SMITH, WE INVESTIGATED DATA SETS TO
UNCOVER PATTERNS BETWEEN VARIABLES TO FIND OUT WHAT MAKES
AN OPTIMAL OUTCOME. YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO VERY FAR
THESE DAYS TO HEAR THAT ANALYTICS AND STATISTICAL
MEASURES ARE CRUCIAL IN THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT AND WE
CONSTANTLY ARE LOOKING TO QUANTITATIVE ANALYSES TO PREDICT
FUTURE EVENTS AND MAKE DECISIONS. SO IN ALIGNMENT WITH MY STUDIES
HERE AT SMITH, I DECIDED TO TAKE A LOOK AT OUR GRADUATING CLASS
FROM A NUMBERS PERSPECTIVE. THE CLASS OF 2019 IS TRULY UNIQUE
AND IS MADE UP OF APPROXIMATELY 900 STUDENTS FROM 8 MAJORS AND 2
MINORS. TOGETHER, WE REPRESENT A GENDER BREAKDOWN OF 58% MALES TO
42% FEMALES AND REPRESENT 17 STATES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. 36% OF STUDENTS IN SMITH STUDIED
ABROAD AND A THIRD OF STUDENTS EXPLORED A NICHE AREA OF
BUSINESS IN THE 14 FELLOWS PROGRAMS OFFERED. 84% OF THE GRADUATES IN THIS
ROOM TODAY COMPLETED AT LEAST 1 INTERNSHIP AND 86% OF STUDENTS
SECURED PLACEMENT PLANS FOR AFTER GRADUATION. I COULD GO ON AND ON ABOUT THE
IMPRESSIVE STATISTICS BEHIND THE CLASS OF 2019, HOWEVER, ONE KEY ITEM
THAT STUCK WITH ME FROM MY MAJOR COURSES IS THAT ANALYTICS IS
BOTH A SCIENCE AND AN ART. BEHIND EACH OF THESE STATISTICS
LAY IMMEASURABLE CHARACTERISTICS THAT BROUGHT THE CLASS OF 2019
TO THEIR SUCCESSES AND TO WHERE WE ALL STAND TODAY AT
GRADUATION. WHAT YOU CANNOT ACCOUNT FOR IN
THE DATA IS MOMENTS IN THE OFFICE OF CAREER SERVICES
PREPARING FOR INTERVIEWS AND POLISHING OUR RESUMES. IT DOES NOT ACCOUNT FOR THE
PROFESSORS AND FACULTY WHO WENT OUT OF THEIR WAY TO PROVIDE
STUDENTS WITH PROFESSIONAL CONNECTIONS THAT THEY FELT
ALIGNED WITH OUR DESIRED CAREER PATHS. IT DOES NOT TAKE INTO
CONSIDERATION THE EXPERIENCES THAT ABROAD STUDENTS FACE AS
THEY LEARN ABOUT NEW CULTURES AND PERSPECTIVES OR THE VALUE
THAT COMES ALONG WITH A TEAM PROJECT MADE UP OF STUDENTS WITH
DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS. MOST IMPORTANT, BEYOND THE
NUMBER OF CLUB MEETINGS WE ATTENDED, THE TOTAL INTERNSHIPS
WE COMPLETED, OR EVEN THE AVERAGE GPA THAT SITS ATOP OUR
RESUME, IS THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT WE BUILT HERE IN SMITH WITH
ONE ANOTHER. THE STRANGERS WE SAT NEXT TO IN OUR CLASSES
QUICKLY TURNED INTO OUR FELLOW GROUP PROJECT MEMBERS, THEN TO
OUR ROOMMATES, AND NOW TO OUR BEST FRIENDS AND BIGGEST
SUPPORTERS. THE RELATIONSHIPS AND COMRADERY
THAT EXISTS AMONG THIS GROUP OF GRADUATES IS UNRIVALED AND I’M
SURE EACH ONE OF US HERE TONIGHT HAVE MANY OF OUR FRIENDS AND
PEERS TO THANK FOR ENCOURAGING US TO FIND OUR PASSIONS AND HELP
US GROW TO BECOME THE BEST VERSIONS OF OURSELVES. AS I SAID BEFORE, THE CLASS OF
2019 IS TRULY UNIQUE FROM BOTH A QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE
PERSPECTIVE, BUT NO CONFIDENCE INTERVAL CAN ACCOUNT FOR HOW
CERTAIN I BELIEVE THAT THE PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM WILL GO OUT,
FIND SUCCESS, AND DISRUPT OUR WORLD. CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN TO
MY FELLOW GRADUATES OF THE CLASS OF 2019. I WISH YOU THE BEST OF
LUCK IN YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVORS. YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVORS. THANK YOU ABIGAIL. IT IS MY GREAT PLEASURE TO
WELCOME TODAY’S COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER, LISA KIDD HUNT. LISA IS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL SERVICES AND
BUSINESS INITIATIVES AT CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., WHERE SHE LEADS
GLOBAL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES WITH FOUR BROKER DEALERS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, AND
DRIVES STRATEGIC INITIATIVES FOR THE FIRM. LIKE YOU, LISA IS A PROUD TERP,
WITH AN UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE IN FINANCE. SHE’S RISEN TO SENIOR LEADERSHIP
IN AN INDUSTRY THAT HAS HISTORICALLY BEEN VERY
MALE-DOMINATED. LISA HAS WORKED IN THE SECURITIES INDUSTRY FOR
33 YEARS, THE PAST 27 WITH CHARLES SCHWAB. SHE HAS AN OUTSTANDING TRACK
RECORD OF SUCCESS, DRIVING PROFITABLE LONG-TERM GROWTH FOR
HER COMPANY WHILE CREATING MEANINGFUL OUTCOMES FOR CLIENTS
– INCLUDING A VARIETY OF ROLES IN STRATEGY, PRODUCT 20
DEVELOPMENT, GENERAL MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT. HER CAREER AT SCHWAB HAS TAKEN
HER FROM AN INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTOR ROLE TO A LEADER OF
SCHWAB’S GLOBAL BUSINESSES. LISA WAS THE 2018 CHAIRPERSON OF
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR THE SECURITIES INDUSTRY AND
FINANCIAL MARKETS ASSOCIATION, THE LEAD
TRADE ASSOCIATION FOR THE CAPITAL MARKETS SYSTEM AND
FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS GLOBALLY, AND CONTINUES TO SERVE
ON THE BOARD. SHE HAS ALSO BEEN AN INCREDIBLE
RESOURCE TO THE SMITH SCHOOL, SERVING ON OUR BOARD OF
ADVISORS, AND WILL BECOME CHAIR OF THE BOARD NEXT YEAR. LISA IS A PRINCIPLED AND
COMMITTED LEADER AND I’M PROUD TO ALSO CALL HER A FRIEND. I CAN THINK OF NO FINER ROLE
MODEL AS YOU BEGIN YOUR CAREER JOURNEYS. PLEASE JOIN ME NOW IN
WELCOMING LISA KIDD HUNT. Thank you, dean. I appreciate
the kind and warm words. Yes, I consider you a friend as
well. You were not my dean when I was here, that’s why! Do the distinguished faculty as
well, the distinguished speakers, to all the parents,
grandparents, siblings, cousins that are here and to a few of
you that I’m sure are sitting in the audience wondering why you
did not come up with a quicker excuse why you were busy tonight, welcome to the
graduation, and most importantly, welcome to the
graduating class of 2019! Congratulations to you all!
I’m so humbled to be invited to speak at this graduation
tonight. It really is a celebration and
culmination of all of the hard years of work and
accomplishments. I hope you are proud of what you have done. I’m actually a third generation
Terp. I’m part of three generations I should say. My father bill kid who is here
tonight, hey, dad, thank you for coming to a graduation to a graduation
that I’m had independent graduating from. He graduated
from the University of Maryland in the 60s and my daughter whos
is not here with me tonight, she graduated last year, she’s in
Indiana right now because she has a job — yeah, job — and is
working? . We know you’re watching from
afar. It is an honor to be here, I truly mean that! Not
because I’m in awe of everything you have accomplished before you
graduated, but because my experience here at Maryland was
a bit more about the present when I was here and not so much about my future I would
argue my past was a bit different than yours back in the
day but no less impactful. I’ll give you an example, a
proud moment as a freshman here at Maryland was getting a C in
Cal includes. You probably think that’s great, right? It took me three semesters to
get that C. In fact, my parents are here tonight, this is the first time they’re
hearing it. The truth is finally out. I’m old enough now
that I can’t get in that much trouble. I majored in finance
with a minor in economics and I think I was always destined to
have a career in financial services. I grew up in the 70s
and back then there was only three television stations to
watch only TV and Friday nights were a big deal! There were two
hit shows, the Brady bunch and the Partridge family, it you
probably never have seen that, your parents may remember a bit
of those, that’s big watching on Friday night.
I also grew up in a family with only one TV set, I know
that’s probably hard to believe. Back in the day, we had no
computers, no phones, you couldn’t really watch what you
wanted to watch when you wanted to watch it. You had to wait
for it to come on. We always waited for Friday
nights. Unfortunately, my father managed
the TV channels and bill kid, he was
an armchair stock trader. On Friday nights we didn’t watch
the Brady bunch or the Partridge family, we watched Wallstreet week with
Lewis Rukeyser, a show that had
talking heads that shared last week’s
performance in the stock market and future predictions for the
weeks to come. Needless to say, after several years of watching Wallstreet week with
my father, I was hooked on the capital markets! I headed to
college to University of Maryland, Wallstreet was king!
Read was good! Opulence was what you strived for and I was
hellbent on getting a job on Wallstreet. I know that’s kind
of hard to believe sitting here and knowing how much you focus
on doing good things for other people, that really wasn’t the
culture and environment when I went to college. I graduated
from Maryland and I went to work on Wallstreet as a bond
trader. I learned at that first job really quickly that a job
was a lot more than just work and a set of tasks.
With jobs come with a culture and that’s probably a lot more
important than the work that you’re actually doing.
Looking back, I wish I had actually Figured that out much
sooner than I did. Unfortunately, I stayed at that
job for over eight years. I was more afraid of taking a
risk and changing that job than I was focused on how miserable I
was at that job. When it was too much to take I
actually made a switch and went to work for a company that was back then
just a discount brokerage firm. Certainly didn’t have the cac
can he. Of the big Wallstreet firms I had strived so hard to
work for. I was married, newspaperly we had with a
mortgage and I needed a paycheck. I took this job andty came there
with the idea of really staying for a few years, learning a few
things and moving on to a better firm. I have been there for over 27
years. Now I’m sure as you’re sitting out there in your 20s
imagining working at the same company for longer than you actually have lived is
unbelievable to you. I can tell you this, in those 27
years, I have felt like I have worked for more than ten
different companies because of the evolution of the
firm. I have had more than a dozen different jobs. More
importantly, I made friends and I worked at a wonderful culture
and I have been fortunate to work for a company where I have
made friends that I could have never dreamed of and every day I
get to be part of something that’s bigger than myself.
I have had the it opportunity to be a part of not only an
evolution of a company, but to work for a firm who has led a
revolution in the financial services industry.
I started out there at an entry level position working on
the phones, and I did almost anything anybody ever asked me
to do. I worked my way up through the
firm being an individual contributor and as dean shared,
now I’m an executive and I lead our global businesses. I work with just a few dozen
other EBPs in the firm that lead the business strategy and I’m
one of four women executives. Thank you, ladies, we can all
cheer for that! So as a business executive and
a woman who has spent more than three decades in financial
services, but also as a mom to a daughter and to two sons, Sam
and will that are with me tonight, I thought it would only
be fitting that I take a few minutes to give you some of my
advice, maybe it is mom advice, maybe career advice, maybe a
little bit of both. I will be honest with you, I
don’t really remember my commencement speech at all.
Like many of you, I was sitting in there thinking who the heck
is this person speaking, I have never heard of them before, and
I’m not sure I really care what they have to say. I say that
tonight although there is two exceptions, Spencer Godshel
and Garrett, they know who I am, so hey, gentlemen,
congratulations! So I know that they know who I am. So I don’t — I won’t really
fault you if you turn out. Like you, I was multitasking, I
didn’t have a cellphone at the time but I was thinking like
gosh, I hope this speech doesn’t last too long and we’re having a
party later and I hope mom and dad aren’t mad I invited 45
extra people. You may do the same, I won’t really blame you
if you tune this out. But I open you’ll take a few things
away, even if you don’t do that, please take the memory of this
moment with you. It is huge and you deserve to remember it. I thought I would frame this
advice around what each of you are:
Fearless, we’re the most fearsest of all college mascots
that there ever has been. So when I looked up the word
fearless in the dictionary, you will be surprised what it said. Fearless is defined as lacking
fear. Yes. Lacking fear. Why can’t a question like that be in
the SATs? Fearless is also synonymous with a few key and
interesting words. Bold, brave, courage us,
intrend, confident, gutsy, funky, dynamic.
With that in mind, here are a few thoughts around how to
measure up to those very lofty attributes. First, each of you
are about to make the biggest transition in your life, sure,
you have already moved away from home, into a new environment
here at University of Maryland, but this next phase of your life
is a big step. Most of you will live on your
own for the first time, and by that I
mean you will pail your own bills. For the parents in the
room, it means off the payroll!. So all of a sudden, your
financial decisions will have real
consequences. There is nothing that will prepare you for a solid full 40 hours of
work, 40 hours every week, every week for
the next 40 years. Yeah, jobs! There is no month of January
off, no several months off in the summer, it is a bit of an
eye opener. Trust me. You should be prepared to be greeted
on your first day of the job with stacks and stacks of papers, things
like 401K plan decisions, insurance packages, lease
agreements, how do you make your mark as you truly begin to live
your own life and become the person you were always meant to
be. It will be exciting and scary all at the same time. You will have periods of cube
rinse and periods of self doubts and second guessing. You
probably won’t have time to come to campus and lay an offering at
the foot to help you out either! Remain confident in your
decisions. Don’t forget to leverage friend and family as
you make those decisions. Asking for help and input, it is
not a weakness, it is smart. Be brave in those moments of
self-doubt, confident in your decisions, and maybe even a
little bold with the 401K, try putting away 10% to
start, you won’t notice it, but when you’re 50, you will be
happy you did. You are starting your careers
in an amazing time, technology is
everywhere. Enabling access to everything, the Internet,
smartphones, you know they actually made phones that all
they did was make phone calls. That’s — it wasn’t that long
ago! You have uber, Amazon, we’re
truly on and connected 24/7. At the same time, the ease of
everything also makes us so easy to feel the pressure of
comparisons. Social media while connecting us can also have the
effect of having the opportunity for us to second guess ourselves or give us a feeling
that we’re missing out. I think it is called f omo, not
where we’re supposed to be at any particular time. A favorite
quote of mine from Teddy Roosevelt, I was not alive when
he was in office, he said comparison is
the thief of joy. It really is! Try to spend less time comparing
yourself to your friends with what job they have, it the car,
the house they have, and more about what brings
you true joy and high engagement. Use your head
always, but also follow your heart.
Find a company or a cause that gives you true passion and don’t
be afraid to stick around for a while. Maybe not 27 years, but
stick around for a while. Make it a career and not just a
job. I told you about the job I had right out of college, bad
culture, bad fit. I had what I called slum per
party stomach every Sunday night. You know when you were a
kid, you would spend the night at a
friend’s house, eat too much, you wanted to call your mom,
have her pick you up to sleep in your own bed, that’s slumber
party stomach. I had that every Sunday night knowing I had to go in and spend 5 days
at the job. Not a great way to spend your first years out of
college. I can tell you that for the last
27 year, when I go home on a Friday night excited to spend my friends and
mostly family, on Sunday night I can’t wait to get back in the
office and make a difference. I almost didn’t take the job
because I was afraid what mothers would think about
working for a discount brokerage firm. I’m so glad I pushed past it,
forget the trap of what will my friends
think is authentic, be yourself, it is
one thing you’re guaranteed to get yourself in every — get an
A in every day of your life. You are unique and the world
needs you. Not if the reality version of yourself.
We get to choose what we assign meaning to in our lives,
no one else does. Here is a gutsy idea, maybe we
can all practice the joy of missing out. You can quote me
on this. Here is — my next piece of
advice, this will feel a little cliche, it is to be grateful for
the opportunity to fail. I failed early, what it taught
me was to embrace the failures and learn from them.
I shared with you, and now my parents about my C in Cal includes after
a few attempts. That was a — calculus, it was a
huge wake up call pour me. I was a straight A student from
high school, high school was easy for me, that first non-A, it wasn’t just
a non-A, wasn’t even a B, a C, it was a D and it was
humiliating humiliating. Until now, I look back on that,
I don’t think I fully appreciated how important that
wake-up call was. I can also look back and think about all of the other failures and
see what a great gift those really have been.
It gives you the ability to learn from your mistakes, to
pick yourself up and to persevere and still succeed
at your goals. That’s far more gratifying than
always getting it right. I promise. There will be many
times in your career when you don’t get it right. You don’t
get the promotion that you want, you don’t get the job that you
were hoping for, you don’t get your — you don’t make the right
decisions, in a Business Meeting, you don’t make the
right call when it it really counts. I can tell you now, in those
moments, how you act and what you do next
is far more important than the actual failure.
People will remember more about what you do, how you act
and how you handle yourself, preferably with
humility, and poise than what you did to fail. Let’s talk
about courage. Unfortunately, this may be the
hardest to really master, it is the one leadership attribute
that I really admire the most. It has taken me decades to feel
like I really truly haven’t. Courage is not about being
confident, arrogant, about having the commitment and the
conviction to make the right decisions or to call others out
when they aren’t making those right decisions.
It is sometimes hard to speak up. Especially when it is your
boss, your boss’ boss who is pushing an idea or an approach
or a decision. If you think about the worst
cases in business in the last 30 years, they have happened mainly
because of broken cultures or a lack of leadership in addressing
the real issues. It never ends well. People get
hurt. Jobs are lost, brands are
damaged. When you compare the worst
stories in business to the best, you almost always see a stark
comparison and contrast in culture and leadership. The big
difference there, it is courage. In sharing a lesson learned from
the father, almost anything can be bought or sold, except your
reputation. You only have one.
There is a good reason for all of — this is a good lesson for
all of us to remember. Especially a situation when we
have to make a tough decision, making the right it decision is
not always easy, that’s where courage comes into play. I can
congratulate you all on making one of the best decisions in
your lives already, the decision to come to the Smith school. I
will tell you a little secret, where you go to school or what you
major in won’t be the most important decision you ever
make. How you choose to live your life and who you choose to
live it with or not will be far more impactful to
your next 50 years than decisions you have made in the
last 20. I hope — thank you — I hope as
you reflect on the years here in the Smith school you’re filled
with not only pride for your accomplishments, but also real
gratitude for the experience you have been given. The
friendships you have made and the relationships you have
cultivated. One of my favorite movie lines
comes at the end of king’s classic
standby me where gorgie says I never had any friends later in
life like I did when I was 12. Jesus, does anyone? I would
substitute the age of 12 for 20. For me those lifelong
friendships were formed in college. I bet you have made
some of the best friends you will ever have right
here at the University of Maryland through classes, clubs,
sports, or the Greek system, I’m a proud member! Thank you! It
is hard to find the same kind of unconditional friendships you
haver forged here, cherish these people that you spent the last
four years with, they have helped you, pulled you
threw tough all nighters and spent hours
debateing world-crushing ideas like is the
dress gold or white or blue or black. If you work hard at it,
these people, they’ll be your friends for life. Tonight here
at my graduation is my husband Jim who is also a Terp
and who I met — is he went to work on Wallstreet
and realized that she hated the culture and hated the job. She
made bold and brave changes with the company, found one that had
similar values to her own. She had the courage to ask for
stretch goals and opportunities to learn and grow and found
herself doing things she never imagineed. And staying at the
same company too for 27 years. It is okay to have a career
plan, but don’t be surprised if it there are a couple of words of
wisdom I would give you as a financial adviser. Put the
maximum in your 401 # K as soon as you start working. Don’t
live above your means, your parents are tired of paying your
bills. You’re never too young to have a
financial plan, and once you do, stick to it. You won’t regret
it. With that, in closing, I’ll be rooting for you and watching
as you implement all of your fearless ideas and set the world
on fire. Congratulations class of 2019. Thank you very much, Lisa, for
that inspiring talk! You were talking about the
fearsest it creature in the world! We have your very own
right here!>>Thank you.
Thank you. Great job. A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER WILL
BE TAKING EACH GRADUATE’S PICTURE AS THEY RECEIVE THEIR
ENVELOPE. IN ORDER TO NOT OBSTRUCT THE
VIEW OF OTHER GUESTS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE ASKED NOT TO ENTER
THE FLOOR FOR PHOTOGRAPHS. ALSO, WE REMIND ALL ATTENDEES TO
PLEASE REMAIN SEATED THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE CEREMONY IN ORDER TO
FULLY RECOGNIZE ALL OF TODAY’S GRADUATES. DR. VICTOR MULLINS, ASSOCIATE
DEAN OF UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS WILL PRESENT THE CLASS OF 2019
GRADUATES. WILL THE CANDIDATES PLEASE RISE. DEAN TRIANTIS, I AM PLEASED TO
PRESENT THE CLASS OF 2019 GRADUATES. I AM HONORED TO RECOGNIZE THESE
GRADUATES WHO HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED ALL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE 24 BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
DEGREE. WILL THE GRADUATES PLEASE BE SEATED. DR. REBECCA
RATNER, ASSOCIATE DEAN OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS, AND REBECCA
WINNER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION,
WILL INTRODUCE THE GRADUATES. WE WILL NOW RECOGNIZE GRADUATES
WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE PLATFORM PARTY. ABIGAIL CERCIELLO. WILL ALL OTHER GRADUATES PLEASE
REMAIN SEATED UNTIL DIRECTED TO THE PLATFORM 27 TO RECEIVE OUR
CONGRATULATIONS. It is a behavioral experiment,
only two people picked it up! I’m not sure if we have taught
you well or not! .
Once again, let’s all congratulate today’s graduates. GRADUATES OF THE ROBERT H. SMITH
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, IT HAS BEEN A REAL PLEASURE TO SHARE THIS
SPECIAL DAY WITH YOU. MY CONGRATULATIONS TO EACH OF YOU
ON THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS THAT HAVE LED TO THIS DAY. WE ALSO HONOR THE PEOPLE WHO
SUPPORTED YOU, WHO BELIEVED IN YOU, AND WHO IN MANY CASES PAID
FOR YOU- THE PARENTS OF THE CLASS OF 2019. IT IS WITH GREAT HOPE AND
OPTIMISM THAT WE AT THE SMITH SCHOOL SEND YOU OUT INTO THE
WORLD. I AM CERTAIN THAT YOU WILL LEAD
DIVERSE AND ACCOMPLISHED LIVES. I KNOW YOU ARE HAPPY TO HAVE
YOUR CLASSES BEHIND YOU. THIS MAY BE THE END OF COLLEGE, BUT
IT IS NOT THE END OF LEARNING. AS
YOU CONTINUE TO LEARN I HOPE YOU WILL SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE, YOUR
INSIGHTS AND YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH US. AND I HOPE THAT YOUR LIFE WILL
LEAD YOU BACK TO THIS LEARNING COMMUNITY- TO MENTOR STUDENTS,
SERVE ON A COMMITTEE, SPEAK TO A CLUB, OR CONTINUE YOUR
EDUCATION. GRADUATION IS A SIGNIFICANT
ACHIEVEMENT, MADE POSSIBLE BY YOUR OWN HARD WORK BUT ALSO BY
THE SUPPORT OF YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS. AS YOU GRADUATE, I ALSO OFFER
YOU THE SMITH SCHOOL’S ENCOURAGEMENT AND SUPPORT. YOU ARE JOINING A POWERFUL
COMMUNITY OF MORE THAN 66,000 SMITH ALUMNI. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF
OUR ALUMNI NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES AS YOU PURSUE YOUR
CAREERS. CONTINUE THE GREAT TRADITION OF
TERPS HELPING TERPS. STAY IN TOUCH WITH US! AND WE WILL STAY
IN TOUCH WITH YOU! THE ALUMNI RELATIONS OFFICE IS
ALREADY MAKING PLANS FOR YOUR ONE-YEAR REUNION. WE HOPE YOU HAVE A LONG AND
MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SMITH SCHOOL. EVERY MEMBER OF THE SMITH
COMMUNITY IS VERY PROUD OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS. WE WISH YOU WELL ON THE JOURNEY
AHEAD, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING MANY GOOD REPORTS OF
YOUR SUCCESSES IN THE YEARS TO COME. CONGRATULATIONS. I WISH
YOU ALL THE BEST. WILL GRADUATES AND GUESTS PLEASE
REMAIN SEATED UNTIL THE FACULTY HAS RECESSED. AFTER THE FACULTY
HAS RECESSED, GRADUATES ARE ASKED TO PLEASE EXIT THE ARENA
BY ANY OF THE STAIRWAYS OR EXITS FROM THE FLOOR. THANK YOU AND
HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

1 thought on “Spring 2019 Smith School Undergraduate Commencement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *