Sarah Little Hellen: MBA Valedictorian Class of Spring 2022
Sarah Little Hellen from South Africa is the MBA Valedictorian for the Spring 2022 graduating class. Below are her graduation remarks;
“Distinguished guests, professors, families, friends, and graduating class of 2022.
I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to address you on behalf of SolBridge International Business School as a valedictorian for masters. A year ago when I started this journey, I had to meet my fellow classmates on screens and participate in orientation over Zoom calls, it was a big adjustment and challenge that students and professors needed to face collectively. Yet we still managed to find ways to connect from all corners of the world.
Perhaps this was a sign of what the rest of the year would look like — finding ways to work together, not having all the tools, not knowing what the future holds, finding comfort in uncertainty, and making the best of a challenging situation. Yet, we prevailed and worked together to ensure our safety and had the opportunity to re-join classes amongst peers, which was our first victory before graduation.
An MBA is every bit a personal development as much as it is a professional one. At its core, an MBA allows people to complement their experience with business skills, offers exposure to different fields and functional areas, and provides an understanding of tools and methodologies to frame and solve problems.
Ladies and gentlemen, what you also see before you are a group of individuals who have chosen to dedicate a year of their lives and invest it towards their own personal growth. It is a path that not everyone would take and one that took us away from our comfort zone, into the fear zone, through the learning zone, to be in the growth zone. Everyone from our class has left their careers, homes, families, and friends to forge new connections here, and I say to my classmates, don’t let yourself forget the hard work and perseverance you’ve put into being able to be here today!
Thank you to every student who supported each other, thank you to the professors and members of faculty for doing everything you could to ensure we received the best quality education, and for your passion for your work.
My hope for the future is for each and every one of us to remember the difficulties we have overcome, grasp opportunities as they come, and use all the tools we have been equipped with to create success.
Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards. So with this, I will leave you with a quote from my hero, Nelson Mandela, who said:
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”