Spring 2012 Commencement Ceremony
The Spring 2012 Semester officially came to a close on June 16 as SolBridge held its commencement ceremony. Since the school first opened in 2007, it was the seventh ceremony for MBA graduates and fifth ceremony for BBA graduates.
Speaking before a packed auditorium of graduates, faculty, friends, and family members—some who traveled as far away as China, Nigeria, Russia and Thailand—President and Vice Chancellor, Dr. John Endicott reminded everyone of the long journey students take to reach this pinnacle.
“Today is a wonderful day for all of us. Our graduates will have completed a very difficult journey and will be receiving either BBAs or MBAs in return for hard work and diligent study,” Endicott said. “While one journey will be over, another is about to start. That one will take most of the rest of your life and involve overcoming challenges and difficulties that we many not ever imagine as we stand here today.”
In his speech, Endicott shared some advice he heard years ago about what an employer looked for when interviewing job applicants which is quite apropos for those about to enter the job market. The employer noted when considering a person for a job that he “wanted someone who would be a creative resource and stressed the need to be a leader, not a follower.” To be sure, “this observer noted that universities are turning out too many followers and not enough leaders.” Although leadership is vital, this same person placed great significance on team work, someone who “respects or is representative of our diverse society and world” and someone who has the ability to speak two or more languages—traits and abilities which would make a job applicant an ideal candidate in today’s business world.
You have experienced one of the most diverse student bodies in Korea, perhaps all of Asia and have had excellent training from a very solid faculty,” Endicott said. “You have been placed in competitive situations, practiced teamwork and come out leaders.”
Endicott also reminded graduates of their moral and social responsibilities once they leave SolBridge and pursue their individual career paths.
“Let us make a reputation for SolBridge that will serve as a beacon for the world,” Endicott said. “Yes, we will be competitive alright but we will hold high moral values that our Chairman and his father have espoused since the creation of the Woosong Foundation in 1954.”
The valedictorians for the 2012 Spring Commencement echoed Endicott’s sentiment in their commencement addresses.
“I truly believe in each and everyone who are seating before me. I have a faith that you are having a capability to inspire yourselves and others,” said Imam Hossain, BBA graduate. “I know that you have your own dreams. Keep them kindling and keep them alive.”
In as much as graduation is a time to rejoice and celebrate, it is also a time for reflection mixed with bittersweet emotions. While students might feel proud of their accomplishments for having reached this milestone in their lives, they might also feel sad to leave their friends and favorite professors behind while at the same time, feeling “anxiety of entering the real world” which is not the same as school.
“I want to tell you, my friends, fear no more. Either to be a passive victim of circumstances, or be the active hero of our own lives, the choice is ours, always. So, don’t wait for things to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope,” said Xiaolin (Lynn) Huang MBA graduate. “Surely, we will inevitably make mistakes or fail. It’s OK. Just keep in mind that you are not perfect and no one is. Learn from the mistakes and do better. Rest if you feel tired, but, don’t quit. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.”