The UCLA Anderson Class of 2014 MBA, FEMBA and Ph.D. students celebrated commencement today with a keynote by YouTube CEO and, now, fellow alumni Susan Wojcicki (’98). The new graduates received their diplomas and enjoyed a perfect Southern California day outside on Wilson Plaza surrounded by relatives and friends.
Following the national anthem, performed by MBA candidates Fran Benjamin (’14) and Lindsey Knowles (’14), Dean Judy Olian thanked the crowd for their support of the students as they worked for their degrees. “For all you’ve done — and sometimes done without— we are so grateful for your support,” she said. She then encouraged students to continue to live the motto and spirit of UCLA Anderson as they begin the next chapter of their lives.
Picking from lessons she has learned in the classroom and in life, Olian advised students to turn adversity into an advantage, be honest and transparent and keep learning and taking risks with what they learn. “You can’t possibly know today what you’ll need to know in 10 years, or even in five years,” she said. “Because none of us know what we need to know!”
Olian then introduced Wojcicki to the stage for her keynote. Wojcicki said that, in her day, the company to work for was Netscape. “How many of you have even used Netscape’s browser?” she joked. Citing the film “Titanic” and the speaker at her own commencement, she reminded students “it’s possible to be very wrong,” and to be vigilant in Thinking in the Next. She turned to the recent film “Frozen” and its oft-sung main song. “You have to embrace change when consumers demand it, and be willing to ‘Let it Go,’” she said. “Look for growth, even if the opportunities really stretch you!”
Following Wojcicki’s remarks, Andrew Hull (FEMBA ’14) and Aaron Kabaker (MBA ’14) also got to address their fellow classmates and helped present the candidates for degree.
Dean Olian then introduced Glenn Lyday (’03), president of the UCLA Anderson Alumni Network board of directors and principal consultant with The Table Group, who welcomed students into the alumni network and reminded them of the opportunities for worldwide collaboration and continuation of the Anderson spirit. “You’ll be glad to know that same collaborative, team-focused, fun attitude of the students here at Anderson carries over as alumni,” he said.
The ceremony culminated with Dean Olian conferring upon all their degrees. A reception followed in UCLA Anderson’s Alumni Plaza.