Commencement Speech – 2013 Valedictorian Nathalie A. Inho

Commencement Speech – 2013 Valedictorian Nathalie A. Inho

Thank you Dean Harris. Good evening President Glickman, Mr. Lee, distinguished guests, family and friends. MCC graduating class of 2013, once again, welcome to your commencement ceremony! The word commencement means to begin anew; a valedictory speech on the other hand, is traditionally a farewell. This evening we close one chapter of our lives and begin a new one. The journey to arrive at this day was different for each and every one of us. The challenges we’ve had to overcome, the sacrifices we’ve made, and the time it took to complete our journey; all different. One thing rings true for all of us however, we have not arrived here alone. It took the support, encouragement, and at times a push from our professors, classmates, parents, family and friends. Tonight they are here to share this momentous occasion with us. Fellow graduates, take a look around you, the people you see sitting here tonight are your catalyst to success. These individuals collectively have given you a wonderful gift, the gift of education. What you do with your gift, is your gift to them in return.

My journey started some 25 years after graduating high school. I’ve always had a goal of achieving a college degree so when my youngest daughter enrolled in college, so did I. There’s an old saying or belief that everything happens for a reason. During a Marketing class we were assigned a project in which we had to develop a product that did not yet exist in the marketplace. At the time our professor was on crutches and mentioned that whoever could come up with a way to make being on crutches easier would have a great idea. Well, I came up with the Krutch Kaddy. After doing all the marketing, legal, and manufacturing research, I found that this idea had merit; it really was a viable product. By the end of the semester, Krutch Pack was incorporated, patent and trademark applications were submitted, the web site was up and we were in production.

Almost every class I have taken here at MCC has directly helped in the success of Krutch Pack. Accounting for example, helped with costing exercises, MIS showed me how to effectively use Google and Amazon. The Psychology, Management, Sales, Communications, and Business Law classes all helped with the day to day activities of running and growing a small business. I was able to apply everything I was learning, in real time, to my business. I have to be honest though, leaving a paying job to start a small business was an exciting and frightening experience; it was a huge leap of faith.

These are uncertain times, stepping out into the world on a new journey can create a certain level of anxiety. I want to remind you that we all possess within us the ingredients to achieve success, the recipe however, the recipe is up to you. As a business owner and an employer, I do want to mention one key ingredient that is often overlooked, one attribute that will help facilitate your move up the ladder... enthusiasm. Henry Ford also shared the importance of this ingredient when he said, "Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait. The grip in your hand, the irresistible surge of will, and energy to execute your ideas”.

What is your goal, your dream? What are you willing to put your very essence, the education you've obtained, your heart, soul and total energy into after graduation day? Whatever it may be, make it something you love to do, something you are truly passionate about. Don't strive to be financially successful, rather strive to be the very best at what you love to do, only then will you achieve true success and reap the financial rewards that come with it. I have learned from experience that there is indeed, very little traffic on the extra mile.

Don't wait for the perfect time or opportunity to come along, go out there and make it happen for you, create your own opportunity because there is no such thing as the perfect time. And don't be fooled, sometimes the best opportunities will come disguised as dilemmas. Follow your dream through courage and determination

Think of the different people around you as the numerous facets carved out on your own very precious gem called life. Carefully choose and place the facets and your gem will shine brilliantly. Therefore, always surround yourself with people who love you, encourage you, and motivate you. People you can learn from. Those that will lift you up to the next level and help you achieve your own maximum potential.

MCC graduating class of 2013, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us", we all have what it takes to succeed though no one can say what lies ahead. In the words of Peter Drucker, “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” In parting, I would like to share with you my favorite quote by the Greek Philosopher Aristotle, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." Remember, the individuals seated here tonight have given you a wonderful gift. What you do with your gift is your gift to them in return.

MCC class of 2013, Congratulations on your accomplishments and I wish you all much success in your future endeavors.

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News Item Posted On: May 30, 2013
For Additional Information Contact: Bonnie Willgoos at 860-512-2928