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Commencement Exercises after Graduation

'Tis the season for commencement exercises aka graduation. Having taught, advised, and mentored many students over the years, I am most impressed by those students who commence with applying the "real lesson" they (should have) learned in school. These are the lessons that probably were not in any syllabus. Regardless of one's academic major or chosen classes, some of these very simple but significant lessons probably relate in some way to the following examples:

  • you will (possibly forever) reap the returns of what you really invested in studying;

  • you will get the best responses to requests for help from people who hear from your regularly (e.g., friends, instructors, advisors);

  • you will never totally get away from math (e.g., salary, benefits, taxes, retirement, major purchases);

  • you will need to take initiative and make mistakes along your path to become skilled in anything;

  • and you have a personal brand whose value must be articulated concisely to your employer, manager, team, and colleagues;

  • you must be authentic, knowing what lines you will not cross en route to becoming successful

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