22 Courses Later: The Commencement Speech

<P>I'll be graduating this weekend, and I am looking forward to hearing a commencement speech given to the Tufts community by <a href="http://enews.tufts.edu/stories/030906Commencement2006.htm">Lance Armstrong</a>. I think that will be a real treat. I don't know what kind of advice he'll be giving the class of 2006, but I am sure it will be something special.
<P>Advice during a commencement speech comes in all shapes and sizes, but there was one piece of advice I was just reading about from <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Siebel">Thomas Siebel's</a> <a href="http://www.edwardthomson.com/blog/2006/05/a_software_job_that_you_love.html">commencement speech</a> that I thought was appropriate to share:

<P><code>First thing, you need to get a job. How do you do that? I guess there are a couple of ways. A common route is to get as many interviews as you can, until someone offers you a job. And then you take it and make the best of it. I do not recommend that route.</code>

<P><code>My suggestion to you is that you find an industry that you find interesting. Say biotech. Or travel. Perhaps entertainment. Communications. Aerospace. Automotives. Within that industry identify a high quality company that you would like to work for. Located in a place that you would like to live.</code>

<P><code>And then get hired there. Learn everything you can about the company. Study it on the Internet. Read its annual reports. Become an expert. And then figure out how to get a job there. Any job. It doesn't matter.</code>

<P><code>Write the CEO. Write the VP of Engineering.</code>

<P><code>Get yourself an interview and explain that you want to work for that company ? no other company — and you are willing to take any job to get started.</code>

<P><code>Get a job in the mailroom. The help desk. The front desk. Customer service. Don?t worry about the salary or the title. Just get a job. After you get in the door, then the rest is up to you. Make it happen.</code></P>

<P>This reminds me of some similar advice I got on how to get into a new industry from a Fletcher grad, who simply put it as "Any door, any floor." While I have not done exactly this, it makes exact sense, and I am keeping this thought in the back of my head when I graduate this weekend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *