In our academic world, August is a time of beginnings. Schools are beginning new academic years. Faculty are beginning new classes. Students are beginning new degree programs. It is the perfect time to remind us all about our own goals and what we can accomplish in our life.
Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” You can create your own future.
For those starting new programs, this will open the door to a new chapter in your career and your life. Be sure to take advantage of the many opportunities you have available to you in your program. You will get out of your education what you put into it. Keep your mind open to learning and venturing well beyond what you think is possible.
At the early age of 17, I came from Puerto Rico to the mainland United States for the first time to our nation’s capital. I had the entire world ahead of me, and no idea where I was headed. As I stood on the steps of the Capitol building, I sensed an unclear dream in my heart of my possible future.
Just a year later, as so many of us have done, I stood eagerly in the halls of my university, soaking in knowledge and wisdom, not truly knowing how far my education would take me. I never imagined that the progression of my life would bring me back to Washington—to this powerful intersection of economics and politics—to a city that had such an impact on my young self. We never know the path that our life will take, but it is up to us to take the steps to create the life we want.
For students…join clubs, take internships, find a mentor, shadow a business leader, attend a lecture series.
For alumni and business leaders… remember how your education helped you and give back. Partner with schools. Teach with faculty. Join boards. Mentor students and offer internships. Be a guest speaker in classrooms. Hire graduates. Help with scholarships.
I once heard a quote that said, “Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to.”
Work hard, stay focused, and you can achieve your goals.