Ambassador Advises Graduate Business Students to Address World Challenges

May 17, 2013
During their graduate studies, master’s students at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business learned to view business through a global lens. Mauro L. I. Viera, ambassador of Brazil to the United States, asked them to use their newfound business knowledge and Jesuit values to address the world’s challenges during his remarks at the 2013 commencement address on May 17. [Watch the video.]
 
“The world you face as you start your professional experience, in which you will be required to show the skills that have been carefully crafted during your McDonough School MBA years, is fascinating,” he said. “We live in a world that is increasingly challenging in various dimensions and, for that matter, represents a new and fascinating adventure that will require from you creativity, social responsibility, compassion, and humility.”
 
The Ambassador spoke to the 443 graduates from the MBA, Executive MBA, and Executive Master’s in Leadership programs about the shared values between Georgetown’s Jesuit heritage and Brazil, a primarily Catholic country. He also discussed the responsibility to use them as a guide to effect positive change.
 
“I am sure that the knowledge and values at Georgetown University will inspire decisions you will make as professionals. May you always have a positive social impact and affect the lives of people, even those who you may never meet in person, for the better,” he said. 
 
David Thomas, dean of Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, also asked the graduates to consider the choices they will make in the future and how to measure the success of those choices.
 
“As leaders, I encourage you to take risks, seek opportunities to learn and grow, and take the path that leads to your personal fulfillment,” he said. “Strive for achievements that make a positive difference in the lives of others, especially the less fortunate. Otherwise, great titles, tremendous material wealth, or an easy life will result in hollow achievements.” 
 
During the ceremony, the valedictorians and salutatorians of each program also were recognized. They were Catherine Willemin and Katrina Plummer for the MBA Full-time Program, Sandra Moore and Zhongji Tao for the MBA Evening Program, Peter Frantz and Gerald McAree for the Executive MBA Program, and Andrew Delinsky and Ronald Schuster for the Executive Master’s in Leadership Program. 
 
Some students, including Full-time MBA graduate Ema Kamara, found the emotions of the day to be overwhelming, but rewarding.
 
“Today is a huge culmination of the past two years. We came in and they said it will be a transformational experience,” said Kamara, who will participate in Georgetown’s Entrepreneurship Incubator program this summer before joining Deloitte Human Capitol in the fall. “I think this is the realization of delivering on that promise. It definitely was transformational. And, being with the entire class again, probably for the first time since our opening residency, brings home how much we have all grown.”
 
Others, like Executive Master’s in Leadership graduate Jim Kyle, took time to reflect upon the impact of his program. Having now earned his fourth master’s degree, Kyle this one was the most valuable because it enhanced his leadership skills.
 
“I really enjoyed the program as a whole, not just faculty, not just students, but the overall interaction with everybody,” he said. “I recommend it for seasoned leaders that need to come back and say ‘ok let’s update my skills. The way we used to do things is not the way we do things now.’ This is a program to help you update your skills.”