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At MBA convocation, a call to do the tough work

The more than 400 members of the MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2017 celebrated June 8 at a convocation ceremony where speakers discussed the responsibility graduates have of saying “It’s me” to the hard work in life.

“I need you, your friends and colleagues need you, and our companies and communities need you to say ‘It is me’ to the hard jobs, to the ones that scare us the most,” student speaker Leslie Tillquist Martin told her classmates. “We need to say ‘It’s me’ to daunting systemic challenges faced in energy, waste, health care, education, agriculture, politics, and more. We need to say ‘It’s me’ to the daily slow chug of improving on the status quo in how we treat each other, the workplaces we create, the companies we fund.”

The ceremony, held at the Wang Theatre in Boston, also featured remarks from Gustavo Pierini, SM ’87, the president and founder of Gradus Management Consultants. Pierini, the distinguished alumni speaker, was given the Dean's Award for Excellence and Leadership.

“Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important,” Pierini told graduates. “We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason.”

Dean David Schmittlein urged graduates to recognize that MIT alumni have a unique privilege and responsibility.

“I am confident that you will achieve professional success,” Schmittlein said. “But the world will need more than that from you. Many of you have heard me talk about our MIT Sloan alumni as people who can, and do, have the courage of well-founded convictions. The world needs those people.”

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