Good morning Dean Liu, distinguished professors, faculty and staff, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
It is my honor and privilege to represent the graduating students from the class of 2016 and speak today on their behalf. As I reflect on my time as a student in Guanghua over the past couple of years, we have truly been given so many opportunities and have made lifelong friendships and in ChinaGuanxi.
My first time coming to China was a few years ago, the most common way young people find their way here – as an exchange student during my undergraduate career. Interestingly enough, my exchange time was spent right here at Beida, but for me, 6 months in China was not nearly sufficient. So, upon graduation, I came right back to China to continue studying at Guanghua which has transpired to be one of the best decisions in my life.
Guanghua has given all of us countless opportunities. There are many different areas focused on from traditional management and finance to more innovative and entrepreneurial subjects. As a student, we were allowed to participate in as many classes as we could handle exposing us to a large variety of disciplines. This way we could discover what was most interesting or appealing to each one of us individually and dive in. There were many opportunities to work with top professionals in every industry in a wide variety of companies giving us access unparalleled by other schools.
Additionally, the Guanghua platform has set up incredible experiences. Like the ability for many of us to study as an exchange student in another country, winning the Asia Pacific Venture Capital Investment Competition, and even having a private dinner with Warren Buffett (which I am still jealous of the few of you who got to do that by the way).
There have also been many amazing moments we have shared together as a class like attending classmates’ weddings, congratulating classmates on their newborns or even just celebrating a job well done on a class presentation. We have all grown into one big family and it is my hope that we can all stay in touch moving forward wherever we may find ourselves as we begin to accept job offers, continue our studies or even begin our own startups.
My biggest takeaways from Guanghua is the knowledge and understanding I have acquired from my professors and classmates, all with different industry backgrounds, educational backgrounds and cultural backgrounds. I have really developed an appreciation for things that are done differently than the way I have previously been accustomed and my learning from them will help my tremendously in my career and future endeavors.
So, I would personally like to thank my classmates for this and on account of my fellow classmates, I would like to extend our gratitude to all the people who have bestowed knowledge on us in all variations.
Thank you to our family members and friends for your support and belief in us. I would like to thank my parents, Mike and Jody and my sister Heather, for making the long trip from the US to be here today.
Thank you to all the professors, Guanghua faculty and staff for your support and dedication to this wonderful institution and our individual growth.
I want to thank Nick Guan in the office for everything he has done to help our class. (I know we have driven him crazy with all our requests but he has somehow managed them all)
And I would also like to specifically thank one professor who has become more than just a mentor to me but also a friend and even visited me in my hometown of Atlanta last year, Professor Jack Chiang. Thank you.
The last thing I would like to say to my classmates here today is to take action. We have all been bold thus far pursuing our master’s degree in another country by coming to China and learning in such a rapidly changing environment.
But take action. Every story you've ever connected with, every leader you've ever admired, every little thing that you've ever accomplished is the result of taking action. You have a choice. You can either be a passive victim of circumstance or you can be the active hero of your own life.
Thank you all so much and congratulations to all my fellow classmates graduating here today!谢谢大家