Congratulations, EW Class of 2020! Hope this especially tough environment presents opportunities for you to show the world what you are capable of. We are cheering for you and cannot wait to see what you will achieve. Good luck!
Veselina Dinova, Evening Financial Reporting
It is so amazing that you are already graduating and I wish you all the very best and every success in life and work! It was my pleasure to teach you and to be part of your journey at Haas. Congratulations and Go Bears!!!
Ganesh Iyer, Evening Marketing
Don’t forget that you are now not only students always but also teachers always! Congratulations!
Greg La Blanc, Weekend Strategy
Congratulations, Class of 2020! I’m excited to see what the future holds for you – go forth and make it a better world.
Dave Rochlin, Fundamentals of Design Thinking & WE Innovate
Congratulations to all of you!
Obviously, I am convinced that by now, you have all realized how big the NPV of doing an MBA was (remembering to factor in opportunity costs).
I wish you all the best in your future investments, be they capital expenditures or working capital! As long as they are on the optimal capital market line, you will be fine.
David Sraer (who probably wrote the nerdiest congratulation message), Weekend Intro to Finance
Congratulations to the graduating Class of 2020! It was an honor and a joy to be your ethics professor a couple of years ago. I have great confidence in your ability to make a difference in a world that desperately needs you in this moment. Don’t settle for a career — pursue a calling! Discover who you can best serve with your unique gifts and abilities. Change your world!
Sincere best wishes,
Jeff Thompson, Evening Ethics
Wishing you success in business and in happiness.
Jim Wilcox, Weekend Macroeconomics
Dear, EWMBA Class of 2020.
It seems like yesterday that you were all of my students in 200C Leadership Communications. As my children!!
Where did the time go?
Yes–those were the lovely days of personal connection, group lectures, parties and wonderful days of being together. The movie changed around 7 weeks ago. Suddenly we were sheltered in place–with social distancing–some of us with our loved ones and some of us alone.
Is there a silver lining for all of us during this ordeal? I believe there is one. One simply has to look at the Haas Guiding principles to see how we have moved from a common language to a united purpose. we have been moved to action24/7.
CONFIDENCE WITHOUT ATTITUDE is the new leader in every way–it is all about doing our best for the greater good-to commit these acts of leadership with humility is the greatest gift to society at this stage.
STUDENTS ALWAYS– the pedagogy of the new world is “the new normal””–who will you be in this new movie. Lifelong learning about the new world and how to be of service in the new world.
BEYOND YOURSELF– we were all committed to service but now it is UNLIMITED ACTS OF SERVICE AND THE LIFESTYLE OF SERVICE. As leaders –we are the ones who will role model and honor the acts of loving kindness, the acts of compassion, the power of empathy, the spirit of being together. We are charged with unleashing the human potential that surrounds us.
And finally–QUESTION THE STATUS QUO
– we are the leader as communicator the leader as storyteller, the leader as teacher, the leader as visionary and the new starring role in the new normal–LEADER AS CULTURAL ARCHITECT.. ..
There is a new world a new society that needs to be designed post pandemic– – you are the ones who will do this–you are the cast of characters who will make this new movie with rewards paying off moment to moment in the form of saving lives, changing lives and improving the human condition.
In closing –I know some of us were not sure why we signed up for an MBA program as rigorous as Haas. well–this is one question that no longer needs to be answered–you signed up because you have mastered skills, tools, attitudes and behavior that will serve the world as it is finding its new form You have become a changemaster–a changeagent-because of who you are and what you are able to do.
As Anne frank said in her diary while she and 9 others hid from the Nazis for 7 years in a 750 square foot attic –“”One day when this is over–the world needs to find a way to put itself together again.””
YES we will find our way–we are already on the journey. Don’t let your brother and your sister down. We are all in this together.!!
I send you my warmest congratulations and many blessings for the future of good health for you and your families.
In the words of my predecessor , Professor Bill Schonnenheim as he ended each of his 200C classes “”REMEMBER–LEADERSHIP IS LOVE. LEADERSHIP IS LOVE.
HERE’S TO THE FUTURE!!
With admiration, respect and much love,
Mark Rittenberg, Leadership Communications
Hearty congratulations on earning your MBA! You now face one of life’s more difficult questions: what are you going to do with all your newly found free time?
As I reflect on my own education, on my career as a corporate executive, and on my experience teaching strategy at Haas, I thought I would offer you four little nudges I wish I had known when I got my MBA years ago..
1) Widen your lens
Having a Haas MBA will definitely open doors that were previously closed, but three minutes after you walk through one of those doors, no one will care that you have an MBA. You have acquired some specialized skills in your EWMBA experience, but the biggest benefit of your last three years of study is that you are no longer dependent on whatever functional discipline has dominated your past. Through the combination of core courses and electives, you now have a working knowledge of all the disciplines that make up a business, and that is what gives you an advantage versus those with much more specialized education and experience. As you move forward, make the effort to get your mental helicopter higher in the air and to see whatever issues you are facing in a broader context. Connect the dots.
2) Ask great questions
It’s easy to think of the CEO as a decision maker, but having had the privilege of spending 21 years reporting to three CEOs of a $6 billion consumer goods firm, I know that breaking ties and making tough decisions is a very tiny part of the CEO’s job. The most important role of a CEO in Executive Committee meetings, and the most important role of Directors in Board meetings, is asking great questions. As you progress in your career, the number of answers you have will be fewer and fewer. Your impact will be far greater if you learn to use your ability to see things with a wider lens and then ask very insightful questions that cause you and others around you to think in a different way. Great questions are very often much more influential than great answers. They are the secret of how CEOs exercise their greatest influence, and the sooner you start asking great questions, the more valuable you will be.
3) Distinguish between urgency and importance
One of the most difficult dilemmas that prevents all of us from achieving what we want is that urgency masquerades as importance. They both create the need to prioritize, but they are very different vectors, so different that you can think of them as axes in a 2×2 grid. As you finish your MBA, take the time to clarify what is important to you going forward, in your career and in your personal life. Then be as diligent as you can in allocating your most valuable resource – your time – to the things that are important, but aren’t urgent. What is important to you can change over time, but unless you make conscious choices about what is and is not important – your personal strategy – your time will be sucked up by the urgency vacuum and you will fall well short of achieving what you want.
4) Stay connected
Your coursework has helped you widen your lens, but one of the most valuable benefits of the MBA experience is your network of peers. You are unlikely to ever interact with a more diverse group of people than you have in your last three years on the Haas campus. Your peers come from all over the world, they have very different backgrounds, and they work in a very wide variety of functional disciplines and industries. Your future exposure to that kind of extraordinarily helpful diversity is unlikely to be as rich as it has been at Haas. Make a conscious effort to stay connected to your classmates, not just on LinkedIn, but with occasional emails, texts or phone calls.
I know I speak for every member of the faculty and the administration when I tell you that it’s been a pleasure to have been a small part of your experience these last three years. We all look forward to watching your future success in both work and in life.
Dan Simpson, Corporate Level Strategy