I still can’t believe that my commencement was on Monday. My arrival last fall, after a year of deferring, seems like it was just yesterday—but today I have to say goodbye.
The year I studied at the Yale School of Management has been the most special year of my life. When someone asked me why I chose to come to Yale, I joked, “This is Yale; no one can say ‘no,’ right?” However, it’s not a joke: What I have learned and shared with others at Yale was such an impactful, unique experience that I do not believe I could have had anywhere else.
It is well known that the mission of Yale School of Management is to educate leaders for business and society. Through my studies here, I have a deeper understanding of this mission, and I also more fully appreciate the efforts made by SOM to practice this purpose. In classes at SOM, Professor A.J. Wasserstein taught us the hardships and dreams of entrepreneurship. He asked us, “Which path will get you to where you want to be?” I think it is a great question that we should always ask ourselves: What is my short-term goal and long-term goal? What kind of life do I want to live in the future? When I keep these questions in mind, I am no longer confused about my future. Another class that has had a lasting impact on me is Professor Zoe Chance’s class, called Mastering Influence and Persuasion. I learned that I should be brave to ask questions and not be afraid of being rejected. Just ask. I can never take the first step without asking. Life is full of too many uncertainties—pandemics, wars—but we have to get a foot bravely in the door.
In addition to learning bravery from our professors, I gained insight into industries from leading experts and alumni from various backgrounds who were invited to speak with us. I learned about the consulting industry today in different countries, and its challenges and trends. I learned about startups from founders in many industries. These insights and advice are invaluable to me. And finally, I learned from others. Yale University is a school with a truly international perspective. It is invaluable for me to communicate with others from different countries, diversified backgrounds, and multiple languages. This program taught me to think as a global leader and work with diverse teams to achieve goals with unexpected obstacles.
Outside of the classroom, I had many opportunities to experience things for the first time at Yale: my first time as a student photographer, first time playing ice hockey, first time acting in a drama, first time watching a Yale-Harvard football game. Every first time is unique, and that’s exactly what Yale offers us: infinite possibilities.
Thanks to all seasons of Yale—the cherry blossoms in spring, the sunshine in summer, the red leaves in autumn, and the first snow in winter. These beautiful seasons marked the progression of time during this past year, and they offered a gentle reminder to embrace my time at Yale.
Thanks to my family, friends, teachers, and alumni who support me. It is your selfless help and support that has brought me to where I am today.
Thanks to Yale SOM. Even during the pandemic, when we had to face so many challenges, Yale provided us with the choice to defer. Thank you for making this impossible adventure possible. I have learned from Yale SOM that only one person knows how to truly ignite your inner spark, and that person is you. Thank you for giving me more confidence in my future life.
Graduation does not mean the end; it is just the beginning of our new bright future. Let’s move on to the next journey of life!