Classmate’s Graduation Speech Focused on our Transformation into Leaders
As Juliana Taylor approached the podium at graduation, we all waited with intense anticipation. We had the opportunity to select a class speaker for our commencement ceremony, and we believed Juliana (who you know as a regular blogger) was the best candidate amongst our many talented classmates. As usual, Juliana did not disappoint. She began by describing the intense 10-month program of high-impact learning and training that brought us to this celebratory day.
Although each of our journeys was uniquely different, we stood unified in leaving The Fuqua School of Business more prepared to encounter the world. The program did exactly what it set out to do: it probed and challenged each of us to transform on both a professional and personal level. Juliana’s speech reminded us that from our very first day of orientation, the MMS program required us to be open to change.
Our hand-selected teams with classmates from various cultures, backgrounds, and experiences forced us to work collectively in ways that pushed us far beyond the limits of our comfort zones. Individually, we needed to accept the things we could not control and learn how to positively adapt to new techniques and working styles. As we charter our individual life courses now, we should always remember that things may never go according to plan and it is imperative to guard ourselves against being thrown off track.
Juliana realized that becoming champions of change often necessitates leadership. She urged us to be confident leaders regardless of our abilities or capacity. As she eloquently explained, “Leaders aren’t always the loudest or toughest. They are the ones who are visible through their ability to inspire and guide those around them. Show those around you that you are smart, capable and creative, not just by saying, but by doing. Show a commitment to your values and make that clear to those around you. Last but not least, show integrity in your personality as a leader so those around you may believe.”
Fuqua has prepared us to enter the world as bright, young leaders. With our promising futures ahead, we should embrace the advice of our graduation speaker and classmate, and confidently craft our life paths. I commend Juliana for her very inspirational speech and offer wholehearted congratulations to the MMS Class of 2012!