More than 500 graduate and 400 undergraduate students walked across the stage at the Charles E. Smith Center to graduate from GWSB on May 17. They were exhorted to set big goals and work hard to achieve them – for the good of society as well as themselves.
“Find passion in what you do,” Dean Doug Guthrie told the graduates. “Dream about dreaming big dreams; don’t be afraid of that.” When you hit a patch of uncertainty, Guthrie said, embrace it as a chance to make meaningful change.
“Uncertainty and opportunity: this is where the future lies,” he said. “Think about giving. Consider that you can make the world a better place.”
Keynote speaker and GW Trustee Steve Ross, BBA, `81, told graduates to never grow complacent. Ross is senior vice president at RBC Wealth Management, a position he achieved by working his way up from a $3.65-per hour-intern with Ferris, Baker, Watts, which was acquired by RBC.
Along the way, Ross picked up advice on setting long-term goals, cultivating your own talents instead of envying others, and absorbing lessons from those who’ve gone before you.
As a case in point, Ross spoke of carpooling with his firm’s founder, George M. Ferris Sr., who worked into his 90s.
Ross interviewed Ferris “to sponge everything I could about economic history, the stock market, his successes and failures, and how he made a contribution to society,” and ultimately compiled 60 pages of notes.
Even today, “I often reflect on many of his thoughts and statements,” Ross said.
Graduate student speaker Andreas Schneider, MBA, `13, who co-founded Washington’s first kombucha (fermented tea) microbrewery, Capital Kombucha, with John Lee, MBA, `13, and Daniel Lieberman, JD/MBA, `13, said the number that best quantifies his time at GWSB is 1.7.
That number – 1.7 – is the percentage of people in the United States who hold an MBA – a small minority with the skills to address challenging problems like unemployment, Schneider said.
“We have the opportunity to create opportunity, the chance to give others a chance,” he said.
Gabbi Baker, BBA, `13, the undergraduate speaker, said she is leaving GWSB having learned the value of networking, team work, accepting failure, speaking up, and giving back.
“We now have a responsibility not only to continue learning, but to share these lessons with others and use them as we enter the world to make a difference,” she said.
Posted by gwsb on May 21, 2013 | Filed under: GWSB News.