Career · Hometown Ideas · Inspiration

Lessons from the Class of 2012

Last week I attended the convocation for Science and Nursing students at the University of New Brunswick.


Most people would find sitting through a graduation ceremony to be dull with the exception of their loved-one’s walk across the stage – but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of UNB’s guest speakers. These included Fredericton’s own Susan Chalmers-Gauvin, who in addition to being a successful business woman, is a passionate and inspiring individual. After-all, she started a world-class ballet company in New Brunswick!

Two things that I took away from her speech were:

  • Location doesn’t have to hold you back. As a young graduate I’ve always thought that living in a small community would allow limited opportunities to grow. The truth – success can happen anywhere! And with the internet to ease communications worldwide, there really is no reason to fret about your chosen location.
  • “You never know where your star may rise”. Taken in context, this statement was about being open to opportunities, even if they don’t fall perfectly in line with your degree. Don’t be afraid to take on new opportunities because you never know where they’ll take you. You never know where your talents truly lie until you take the time to explore them.

It was a really interesting experience to be on the “other side” of a graduation ceremony, and the experience has only made me more passionate about pursuing my dreams. After-all, I watched over 100 new scientists graduate into an already competitive job market. I wonder how many of them will pursue Science, and whether the most successful individuals will pursue careers in another discipline.

Love commencement addresses? Check out some of the best on yes and yes.

Do you remember any tidbits of inspiration from commencement speeches? 



3 thoughts on “Lessons from the Class of 2012

  1. I have been using Steve Jobs’s 2005 Stanford commencement address in my ESL classroom for several weeks. I wasn’t a big Steve Jobs fan before using this speech, but I love his advice: take risks, do what you love, don’t let the opinions of others drown out your own inner voice, live each day is if it was your last. Also loved J.K. Rowling’s commencement address. I loved her messages about compassion and creativity.

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