Congratulations, Graduates!


A few random suggestions for new grads.

Quick, right now while you are still a student: Find some interesting professional associations and join at the student rate. Sometimes you can lock in a student or new graduate rate for up to two years. While you are paying off those student loans, you will appreciate being connected to a professional network at a lower cost.

Practice some humility. I was rather brash, bull-headed, and optimistic new hire. I didn’t see much further than my own nose, which incidentally was often pointed in the air. Yes. You’re a Columbia grad, Ivy League, yada yada. But guess what? Performance reviews are humbling. I was told that I was too chummy with senior management and that the secretaries thought I was mean. Be kind to your support staff. They work pretty closely with the bosses and really know what’s going on around the office. They can be a great help when you need it. Senior managers appreciate your enthusiasm, your ideas and your support, but remember when they say, “OK. This is how we’re going to do this,” that’s how you’re going to do it. Respect the decision and learn from it.

Stay connected with your fellow Columbians. You’ve made lifetime connections with people who shared a formative experience. Join Young Alumni events in your area. Participate on a committee. Give back through mentoring and class giving. Keep that up and over the years you will expand your network of Columbians you would otherwise never have met. I’ve had some really wonderful discussions at reunions with people who graduated in the 50s, 60s, 70s and often find myself looking for them at the next one.

Most of all, enjoy your day. Congrats. You made it!

Noreen Whysel '90CC