Good afternoon and thank you for allowing me to share a few thoughts with you today.
Writing this speech has made me reflect on the past two years replica watches. Perhaps Mark Twain said it best with, “I have never let schooling interfere with my education.” Judging by this philosophy, I am sure he would have felt right at home at HBS.
I have had a great time at HBS and I am both saddened and excited by the thought of graduation. On the one hand, I will miss the three day weekends (and the occasional three day weeks) //www.replicaforbest.co.uk/replica-breitling-watches-sale-for-uk.html, mid-afternoon Shad workouts, and the many, many drinks with friends on school nights. At the movies last week, a friend reminded me that the next time we are going to get a discount at the theaters is when we are senior citizens. I wish I could stay in school longer. Unfortunately, that is not an option, so sadly, I must go into the real world.
However, I am excited to be done reading those hundreds of cases (skipping all the exhibits, of course) and studying those seldomly-used frameworks. On Spring Break this year, I heard some of my single friends talking about their competitive advantage and the differentiated strategy they should use. Yes, we may be losing it and need a dosage of reality.
But, you know what, I have learned a lot in the past two years. True to HBS form, I too have devised an original acronym to help me remember what I learned here-I call it The H.B.S. framework, three letters that are firmly etched in my mind and heart.
H is for humility
B is for bold
S is for success
Lets start first with S for success.
I thought I had a good idea what success meant when I entered HBS-a high paying job with plenty of time for vacations, of course. However, a horrific terrorist act, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and much self-reflection while daydreaming in class has changed what I consider important. We will all come up with our own definition of success, but for me, success involves both doing well in whatever job I pursue, but also having an impact on the world around me.
As some of you know, my family and I were in Kuwait during the last gulf war. We saw the shooting from our windows, hid in the basement and eventually, were taken hostage by Saddam. We were confined to a small room where we spent two very traumatic months. Yet, my parents, who are doctors, decided not to leave Kuwait when the war started there recently. They felt a greater calling to their medical profession treating civilians and American soldiers, rather than leaving Kuwait to safety. My parents define the model of success I hope to follow.
But, how will we measure this success? Let me suggest a couple of ways:
o Lets not count the number of names in our rolodex, but rather how many lives we’ve touched
o Lets not count the number of homes we own, but how much shelter we’ve provided
o Lets not count how many Zagat 50 restaurants we’ve visited, but how many mouths we’ve fed.
But how do we achieve the success that everyone tells us HBS students are destined to when it has been so difficult to just get a job.
That takes me to B-B for bold-bold thoughts and bold actions.
Winston Churchill once said, “when you’re going through hell, keep going.” Perhaps he too had a tough recruiting season. From the soft leather couches and warm fireplaces of Spangler, we are going into the real world filled with political and economic storms. However, these storms will pass. Lets take a long term view, focus on the positives, and boldly follow our dreams- these dreams may take a while to come true, but they will come true.
Finally, the most important learning I take with me from HBS is H for humility. And no, I am not talking about wearing the Gucci label on the inside rather than the outside. Nor am I am talking about trading down from a Porsche Turbo to a BMW M3. All I mean is to appreciate others and be grateful to those who helped us get to where we are today.
At HBS, I know I have been humbled by my classmates’ talent when I hear them speak, read about their accomplishments on their classcards, and more recently, watch the HBS show. The world outside expects us HBS students to scream how good we are, but lets let our actions be louder than our words. I know we will reach high peaks of success, but lets not forget that our height is due to a large extent by standing on the tall shoulders of our families and friends, many of whom are here to share this day with us.
The world is waiting to see what we will do once we graduate. I am confident we will surpass the highest of expectations.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to be a part of the HBS Class of 2003.