The following are some welcoming remarks I gave the incoming MBA class at the Carey Business School of Johns Hopkins University this past weekend
Saturday, August 23rd, 2008:
My name is Sam Huleatt and I graduated with an MBA in finance only a few months ago.
I am really delighted to give this year’s Alumni welcome to the incoming class because my experience at Hopkins is one that has already had a profound impact on my life and I love opportunities where I can express how well I fee my degree has prepared me to achieve goals both in my professional and personal life. It’s also an exciting time to be an alumnus and student as the school continues to undergo significant changes.
First of all — congratulations on your acceptance!
Second, the reality of graduate school is probably starting to sink in for many of you. Some of you may find yourselves wondering exactly what challenges lie ahead. For example, many of you are working full-time, others are balancing family life and school, and still others are frightened by the fact that you need to remember back to high-school calculus…definitely scary!
Reflecting back, I believe a graduate degree is really about accepting a challenge; a challenge issued by both the school and a personal challenge you issue yourself.
During my time at the Carey Business School, there were numerous faculty members that challenged me in ways I couldn’t have anticipated. Whether it was being asked to represent the school on the Hopkins Alumni Council, organizing a venture capital conference, showing up on a Saturday for some extra help, or writing a strategic marketing plan for a major IT company, the challenges laid before me were substantial, often difficult and always and rewarding.
Often these challenges required me to think outside-the-box and to make sacrifices in my personal life — make no mistake about it, finals will require many all-nighters and missed weekends. It’s all worth it! The reason I was able to get as much out of my time at Carey Business School as I did was because I chose to view challenges as opportunities.
Seeking out a professor’s advice, taking the initiative to start a study group or designing your own course — these are actions that lead to opportunities you wouldn’t know existed if you had never made the initial effort. You’ll have opportunities to attend various professional development and networking events and I encourage you to attend. The more you engage in the community the more you will get out of your experience.
As you begin to develop a career strategy, as you look for jobs or internships, make sure to take advantage of the tools available to you. For example, you can use inCircle to seek out alumni like myself, and others in the greater JHU community. Or do something different: start your own venture. Don’t feel limited by conventions.
Your time at Hopkins is what you choose to make of it, and never forget that the title of “student” is a key to ulock many doors of opportunity. You’d be surprised how many busy and important people will gladly set aside time to speak with an eager MBA student. One of my favorite people often says: “It’s never a lack of resources that limit you, it’s only a lack of resourcefulness.” Make sure you get everything out of your education that you want to.
Again, congratulations! On behalf of the school and all the alumni, we wish you all great success during your time at the Carey Business School. Remember alumni are here to support you.