Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The graduation speech I would give.

Hi everyone! I haven't posted for really long while, mostly because I've been busy with a little thing called business school. But I finally graduated. WOOT!

So below is an article that I wrote for the MBA newsletter. It's the graduation speech that I would give, if I were asked (which I wasn't). Enjoy! Hopefully over the next few weeks I'll get a recap of my 2nd year posted here as well as pics from graduation. It's been a wild two years...and I'm tired!


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that no one ever remembers speeches at graduations. I think this is because the speeches are too long, too boring, and
are given by people you don’t know and don’t care about. Now, I’m apparently not someone important enough or academically high achieving enough to get asked to speak at graduation…but I do have access to a semi-captive audience through the MBA Newsletter. So here for your reading enjoyment is the speech that I would give if I actually was asked to speak at graduation.

Last summer as I was driving cross-country to my internship in Arkansas, I spent a lot of time with my iPod on the road. The song Seasons of Love from the musical Rent came up and the lyrics brought tears to my eyes because they rang true to my experience in the MBA.

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year?
In daylight, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee[Diet Coke?],
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife,
In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?
How about Love?
Measure in love
Seasons of love

It seemed that each day seemed to last forever, a never-ending stream of classes, cases and cold calls…yet all of a sudden I was one year in and what I most remembered were the friends I’d made, the memories I had and the love I felt.

Another song came up on the ole iPod during that long, long drive: For Good from the musical Wicked (yes, I LOVE musicals). Yet again, the tears came as I thought of how this song really perfectly described how the people I have met in the program and how they have changed me personally.

It well may be that we will never meet again in this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend.
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you I have been changed for good

The people I have met during this experience (the students, the faculty, the families) have had a lasting impact on my life. As trite as it is, I truly would not be the person I am now without these people in my life.

Music is a powerful thing for me because it speaks what is in my soul better than I can say it myself. This week, I was driving home from school, I was listening to the radio this time I heard a new song by Miley Cyrus called The Climb. Once again, this song perfectly talks about how and why the MBA experience for me is so impactful.

There's always going to be another mountain
I'm always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes I'm gonna to have to lose,
Ain't about how fast I get there,
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

While not all of us have jobs yet, and not all of us have our lives figured out yet, and this all feels so important right now, in just a few years, months, even days, the only thing we will remember is the climb of the experience.

I hope that as we graduate and move on with our lives, that we won’t forget. That we will remember how we were stretched and who stretched us. We will remember how we changed and who changed us. We will remember how high we flew and who flew with us, and how far we fell and who offered their hand to pick us back up. Because that is what the MBA experience is about. The cases, the homework, the late nights, the tears, the drama, the stress, the laptop crashes, the study rooms, the laughs, the joys--it’s about the journey and people we took this journey with.

Happy graduation! Good luck in the future! And in the immortal words of the elders of the future: “Be excellent to each other and party on, dudes!

Monday, December 15, 2008

In honor of finals...

...I thought I'd bust this one out again. So describes my life right now.

I haven't written very much this semester but let it be said... best. semester. ever. Loved all my classes. Truly enjoyed the work that went into them. Hopefully will have the grades to show for it...

And the fact that I have one more semester until I graduate is really terribly sad.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The peaceful revolution.

Once upon a time in high school history class, we were discussing regime change, revolutions and the violence that is associated with them. Examples: Bolsheviks in Russia, our own Revolutionary War, etc. etc. I remember the teacher comparing our own election every 4 years to a revolution. A peaceful revolution.

This idea has stuck with me and I've thought about this a lot over the last few days. I and roughly 100 million of my fellow Americans took time out of our busy lives to head to our local polling place and participate in an organized, legitimate revolution of government.

I can't even put into words how I felt as I waited in line to vote yesterday. I drove up from Provo to Salt Lake in the morning (because I never changed my voting registration). There was a terrible rain storm outside so it was wet and cold and just plain miserable. But as I looked around, I noticed the variety of people who braved the storm to be there in line to vote with me. The middle aged office worker who was clearly on his way to work late. The fragile grandma with her walker and the nice volunteer who picked her up to come vote. The very pregnant young mother with an impatient 2-year-old in tow. And me, twentysomething grad student. A cross-section of Americanity all there in a condo complex clubhouse to do their civic duty and individually contribute to a peaceful change in government.

While the candidate I voted for didn't ultimately win, I am not disappointed in the result. The system worked and the country has elected a new president. Majority rules and I respect that. I've seen many of my friends on Facebook and elsewhere making comments about how upset (sad, pissed,etc) they are with the result. Each person is entitled to their own opinion and it is fine to be disappointed that the election didn't go your way. However, the election is over and it's time now to support our new leader. While I don't agree with all of President-elect Obama's politics, I think he'll do a good job and he will get all of my respect reserved for the leader of our country.

Congratulations and good luck President Obama. You're going to need it.

Monday, October 20, 2008


That is what I am. I'm so sorry I've neglected all two of you that read this blog (thanks for reading mom).

Lots has happened in the last 4ish months (duh) but I promise to fill you in very soon.

Until then.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I just had to share this. This video captures pretty much my exact thoughts on Skymall. IMHO, Skymall is everything that is right and wrong with consumerism.

On the one hand...it really is just a bunch of just-way-too-expensive stuff for people with just-way-too-much money.

On the other hand...I ALWAYS check out Skymall when I hop on a plane just to see what kind of weird/amazing/random products these companies come up with. A life-size Bigfoot sculpture for your backyard? Now, that's innovation!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mingling with greatness...

Okay, so I realize my posts about this summer have primarily covered all the fun stuff. However, I am doing actual work too. I'm happy to say that my project is moving along nicely. It's had a couple of hiccups along the way (but really, what project doesn't?) but I'm right on track and moving forward.

One of my favorite elements of the Wal-Mart MBA Leadership internship program is that we get to meet with the very individuals who are running the largest company in the world.

So far, we've heard from:
  • Eduardo Castro-Wright, Executive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer, Wal-Mart Stores Division
  • Doug McMillon, Executive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sam’s Club
  • Lee Scott, President and Chief Executive Officer
And we have many more on the schedule for the summer. When I find my notes, I'll post some of the gems I've learned from these discussions.

The great outdoors.

This weekend, I decide to get some fresh air and experience the natural state of the Natural State (haha). Just east of Bentonville is one of the best preserved Civil War battlefields in the country. Pea Ridge National Military Park has some picturesque vistas, fascinating history lessons, and great hiking.

One of the best things about being here in Northwest Arkansas is all the outdoor things to do. There is never a shortage of rivers to float, trails to hike, and courses to golf.

Many people have asked me how I like Arkansas so far....and I've been pleasantly surprised how much I really like it.