A Glimpse of Graduation

Jacqueline Timte

Bachelor of Science, Business Administration

Faculty, staff, distinguished guests, parents, and class of 2008: , welcome.

While gathering my thoughts about this speech, my very first graduation in fifth grade stuck out in my head. I kept thinking about my favorite teacher reciting the first portion of the Dr. Seuss book "Oh the Places You Will Go.". This book details the changes from one chapter in life to the next. Today, we have reached that turning point, that time when one chapter ends and another begins. The following Dr. Seuss quote might seem silly but it has always been an inspiration for me.

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go.

When I decided to seek a degree from the School of Management, I was led to ask the question: management of what?

Your textbook answer might consist of managing people, risk, or stock portfolios. However, in addition to these important management skill sets, I have found that UTD has taught me how to successfully manage my life through time management, relationship building and career development.

In developing these qualities, the faculty and staff have made my experience as well as the experience of my peers a great one. Each and every faculty member is passionate and dedicated to both their job and field of study. They are continually encouraging and supporting their students to excel beyond their expectations and goals. The professors lead their students to step outside the box and venture into the unknown. This nurturing environment has helped us achieve what we stand here to commemorate today.

Whether working on a project until three a.m., getting a caffeine fix at Java City, or trying to find one of the coveted break-out rooms, I have grown to love the School of Management. Ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you that I spend more time at the school than my own house. This home away from home has created everlasting memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. Upon reflection, Iím reminded of the numerous hours spent in the advising office double and triple checking that I was going to graduate on time,; or realizing that I was spending too much time at the school when I had successfully learned the names of the nightly cleaning crew vacuuming around me. On a more serious note, I will always remember how the business school has continually opened its doors, and consistently tried to expand and diversify to meet the needs and desires of its students.

During my time at UTD, I have learned three really important lessons.

First, I learned that grades, though important, are not the only thing that matters. I think that the knowledge gained from experiences is sometimes more beneficial than the actual grade. Though all of us feel accomplished when we receive high marks, I have discovered that often the lower grades set a benchmark for improvement. This mark enables me to correct my mistakes and better myself for the future. It is in these times that I truly feel a sense of accomplishment.

Second, I learned that college is not only about the diploma that you receive at graduation. While this helps us get jobs and move on after college, it should not be the focus. Like most college freshman, my main goal in college was to receive a diploma. The more I sat through classes, the more I realized that college is about providing students with opportunity to learn, diversify themselves and become better people. Education is meant to open your mind and broaden your personal horizons, forcing you to think outside your comfort zone.

Though today marks a day of accomplishment and success, it signifies a turning point in our lives.

Lastly, I learned that college is about finding who you really are. It is about settling into an identity that is set apart from your parents or any other major influences. This is a time where you can think freely and are challenged by faculty and peers to defend your beliefs. The experiences in college teach you to filter everything that comes in and sift through it for truth. College teaches students to find their interests and talents as well as setting forth both personal and academic goals and striving to surpass them.

Though today marks a day of accomplishment and success, it signifies a turning point in our lives. For many of us, we are at a crossroads between a safe haven of academics and the unknown world of business. As we enter the outside world, we think that we are fully educated and know all that is needed in order to succeed, but this is probably the furthest thing from the truth. As one of my favorite quotes by Albert Einstein states, "You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else." College is about learning the rules of the game. Once we have learned the rules, we can finally play and to succeed, we must play better than others. I encourage each and every one you to take these rules that we have learned and play as hard as you can in order to succeed.

On this happy and momentous occasion, I leave you with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Thank you and congratulations to the class of 2008!

Jacqueline Timte graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Business Administration. She was a member of the Deanís Honor List, a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Management Honor Society, a member of the Management Deanís Council, the Golden Key Society, the Financial Management Association and Phi Alpha Delta, UT Dallasí pre-law society. In addition, she was involved in a wide range of volunteer activities, including the Dallas Childrenís Theatre and coaching a cheerleading team.

In addition to school, she serves as president and CFO of Greengrid Corporation, a company she founded with two other UT Dallas students as a result of having won the grand prize in the UT Dallas Business Plan Competition for 2007 and being chosen as the recipient of the Most Compelling Business Idea.

She is currently a member of the Fast Track Program and working on her MBA degree at UT Dallas.