Graduation Day 2011

What an incredible feeling! Commencement came and went last Sunday (May 15, 2011) and Berkeley’s air filled with the stir of the Class of 2011 grads, abounding in the streets. What we expected to be a dreary and wet (read: miserable) day outside at the Greek Theatre (outside) Auditorium (pictured right) instead turned into a fairly beautiful one. As usual, the festivities were emcee’d by Dean Lyons (pictured left)

My fellow classmates and I shared a laugh, while we took snapshots together, reminiscing over the past three years and celebrating our latest triumph: to become graduate MBAs of our beloved Haas School of Business. So many of us crossed the stage with our little ones (self-included!) in our arms or by our sides. Our Part-Time program offered so many Haas Babies, that it practically brimmed with nostalgia (and wonder of how we and our spouses made it).
There were great speeches by a few selected students, and our commencement address was given by Barbara Desoer, President of Home Loans for Bank of America (and fellow Haas MBA Alum). There were many memorable remarks, but two in particular remain vivid in my brain that I wanted to share to our readers:
  • Single-Tasking. So many of us get too caught up in multitasking that we lose our focus and end up doing a poor job all around. It’s time to remember what’s important and attack it fervently with all our hearts — to single-task instead for a change. To this, I can definitely relate, having gotten caught up in meetings, while typing emails, IMing and texting. It all can get a little ridiculous.
  • Wisdom from Maya Angelou: Ms. Desoer also quoted Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That sentiment just aims us in the right direction: to think about and take action for people — that becomes the greatest gift, and the most memorable. Not money, glory, power or anything else.
For a full transcript of her speech, click here.
After the reception, many of us gathered at the Campanile Esplanade (pictured below) for some refreshments and then off to our many celebratory dinners/parties. An end to one part of our lives, but really just another first step in our journey to go beyond ourselves and be students always.
With any luck, I’ll be able to squeeze in another good-bye post. Until then, Happy Summer’ing and many blessings.
– TL