“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
It was August 2010 when the Class of 2012 started their Full-time MBA program at UST. This would also mark my 2-month anniversary of employment in the MBA program office. Over the next 2 years I would see a transformation, not only in the students, but also in myself as we progressed through this program together. We started out together, not really knowing what to expect from this experience. Looking around the room at the group of 40 students I felt an immediate connection to them. I had gotten to know some of them a little bit over the summer and then all at once, here they were ready to take on a brand new experience that would change their world forever.
I was impressed with this group of students just from reading their admission applications, but you don’t truly get to know someone until you spend time talking with them in the hallways, the elevators, and the place we all called home, the MBA Commons. I learned about families, about their dreams for the future, their struggles with managing their time and thoughts about where they would be after graduation. Every semester brought with it a new experience, from Launch to Links to ABR projects that seemed to last an eternity. But they all made it through, completed their summer internships and they are now in the final days of their MBA program.
I’ve worked in graduate student affairs for over 20 years and I have to say that I made the strongest connection with this group of MBA students than I ever have before. Their dedication, their drive and their commitment to do things right was astounding. These students excelled at everything they tried; they won case competitions, they completed community service projects, they mentored students, and they consistently stayed together and supported one another through it all. I have to say I wasn’t surprised when this class had 100% participation in their class gift drive. This is one special group of students.
As I read their names at the commencement ceremony next week, I can honestly say that each one of them has made a lasting impression on me. I’ll be watching as they take on new roles in their careers and make lasting impressions on those they meet. I’m pretty confident in saying this small group of thoughtful, committed people WILL change the world.