What Would You Tell the Class of 2012?

A Patch blogger is working on the alumni address for this weekend's spring commencement at Oakland University.

Watching my wife's face turn pale was priceless. She really hates speaking in public.  I on the other hand actually enjoy it.  A few weeks ago I received an email asking if I would give the Alumni Address on behalf of the Oakland University Alumni Association at OU's Spring Commencement this Saturday.  I can't even begin to describe how honored I am to have this opportunity, let alone the borderline-manic excitement of speaking to that many people.

I've been pouring over my speech for some time now, trying to find the words that would make the most impact or at the very least not come accross as antiquated relics that fall on nearly-spent attention spans.  After all, the Alumni Address is the last on the schedule ... the one thing keeping graduates from their families and freedom.

So what would you say?  What pearl of wisdom do you think college graduates would find the most valuable?

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Rob Ray April 27, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Is there a movie reference here?
Kristin Bull April 27, 2012 at 04:01 AM
You'll do great, Rob. Post a link to the YouTube video after the ceremony!
Daryl Patrishkoff April 27, 2012 at 09:29 AM
Work hard, anything is possible, work hard, stand out in a crowd, work hard, find solutions, work hard, be a change agent, work hard, find a way to make things work, work hard, seek out a mentor, work hard, be the difference, work hard, continually learn new skills, work hard, find a way to add value, work hard, be proactive, work hard, be a positive influence and then work a little harder. Avoid the negative, be honest, you are never the victim, be honest, they are not in control (whoever they may be), be honest, avoid the politics, be honest, if you don’t have the answer do not make one up, be honest, never distort the facts, be honest, do not miss your commitments, be honest, avoid all conflicts of interest and be the honest go-to get things done person. Use technology, have real face to face conversations, use technology, get away from your computer, use technology, get out on the operations floor, use technology, interact with people in person, use technology, turn off your phone, use technology, do not text in meetings, use technology, write short to the point emails, use technology, answer all phone calls, use technology, look people in the eye when you talk to them, use technology and turn off your computer. View situations from other people’s perspective, be honest in all your dealings and be the hardest working person in the room.
Rob Ray April 27, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Thanks Kristin; will do!
Rob Ray August 17, 2012 at 01:49 AM
For those interested, here's the entire commencement (I'm toward the very end): http://csitsfms.sys.oakland.edu/commencement/2012spring0900.html


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