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ANU S. KUMAR

Master of Science, Marketing

Albert Einstein was once traveling on a train when the conductor came down the aisle. Einstein couldn't find his ticket. As he frantically checked his pockets, his briefcase, the floor, etc., the conductor said: "Dr. Einstein, don't worry, I know who you are. I'm sure you bought a ticket." Einstein replied, "I, too, know who I am. What I don't know is where I'm going."

Today, as we collect our tickets for the journey forward, hopefully we have a better idea of who we are and where we are going than when we first started this journey at UT Dallas.

President David E. Daniel, Provost Hobson Wildenthal, Dean Hasan Pirkul, faculty, friends and family — thank you for helping us along our journey thus far.

"If ever we are tempted to settle for mediocrity, remember the time, effort and money that we've invested to get here, to this very day."

They say a good speech should be like a comet: dazzling, eye-opening and over before you know it. In true Comet spirit, I'll try to keep it short and sweet. So who are we? We are Comets. Where are we going? I don't know. But I do know that no matter where we go, we'll always be Comets. Today, I would like to spell out what being a Comet means to me.

The C is for being curious — to always be inquisitive and thirsty for knowledge. Yes, officially we are no longer students. No more assignments, exams, projects and professors. Experience will be our new teacher. Baseball pitcher Vernon Law explained it best — "Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first and the lesson afterward." The only way to prepare for this challenge is to be a life-long learner.

Let's be O for outstanding in whatever we do. We are graduating from an institution that has been consistently outdoing itself in business school rankings. The work that we do will reflect on our school and can be nothing short of outstanding. If ever we are tempted to settle for mediocrity, remember the time, effort and money that we've invested to get here, to this very day.

In the midst of it all, we have to be malleable, a befitting virtue for the M in the middle. Life and work may not always turn out as planned. The ability to adjust to changing circumstances will be key. One of the best things about JSOM is how it's constantly changing to cater its courses to the ever-evolving job market. As a student in the analytics track, I can personally attest to this. As we step out, we'll be pushed and prodded, confronted and challenged, but we will not crack. Because we are malleable, just like gold.

Being a Comet should be a symbol of service. The E is for empowering others. As we reflect on our time at UT Dallas, I am sure we'll have memories of faculty and staff who have mentored us, enabling us to achieve more than what we could have aspired for on our own. We now have the power to create interview and internship opportunities, to support and guide others by sharing our experiences. Our time and talents should be channeled to empower students who follow us to reach greater heights.

And finally, the T is for being thankful. A good place to begin would be to thank our family and friends. We would not be here without you. After all, you did pay our tuition. Thank you for putting up with our complaining and all the craziness that comes with being around a graduate student. Let us remember to be Comets who find a way to give thanks to this school, which has been a huge part of our support system. It is our turn to be that support system. Building a strong alumni network is one of JSOM's top priorities. So, as we look forward to our future, let us pledge to give back. Looking forward and giving back, let that be our motto.

Who are we? We are curious, outstanding, malleable, empowering and thankful Comets, now and forevermore. Where are we going? – Onward, to bigger and better things. And we are going to shine.

Congratulations, Comets!


Anu S. Kumar graduated as a scholar with high distinction with a Master of Science degree in marketing. She has served on the Dean's Council and has been a club mentor to the new JSOM Tuesday Toastmasters club. She has enjoyed membership in the JSOM Book Club, the UTD chapters of American Marketing Association and Beta Gamma Sigma. She was recognized as the Student Volunteer of Fall 2014 by the Office of Student Volunteerism. She hopes to continue serving the community as she pursues a career in marketing analytics after graduation.

 

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