Anne Victor,Tsinghua-MIT Global MBA Program Class of 2019,Gave a Student Speech at Commencement 2019
July 12, 2019
Ladies and Gentlemen, peers and friends, Dean and professors, good afternoon to you all.
I am honored, and humbled, to have been given the honor to deliver this speech on behalf of our School of Economics and Management, our students and the international community. I would like to thank all the speakers that have preceded me and the generous words that were shared.
My name is Anne Victor, or 维安妮, and I was born and raised in Haiti. As you may or may not know, growing up in a country troubled with constant political and natural disasters, my childhood and growth revealed to be quite challenging. Fortunately, God blessed me with wonderful parents who established their life goal to give their three daughters the best possible life.
As such, I was blessed to have my parents sponsor me to pursue my higher undergraduate studies in Purdue University, USA. To their pride, I graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, with minors in Statistics and Organizational Leadership and Supervision.
As you might be aware, to be able to practice psychology in most countries around the globe, a graduate degree is needed, and as such my goal since high school had been to pursue my higher studies in a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Following my long-term plan, I took one year off from studies to prepare for the five years of doctorate degree to come, despite my previous three years of undergraduate research experience.
Nevertheless, as many may know, life is an unexpected journey, and plans do not always come to term. This revealed to be true to me, when during my “gap” year, Haiti experienced once again another political misadventure. Unfortunately, this time it directly affected our family business, which focuses on international trade, supervision, inspection, verification and certification.
With this new term of events, my parents urged me to consider coming back to Haiti to help restructure the family business towards either the private or non-profit sector.
Although it was a clashing dilemma according to my career and life goals, I decided to pursue a shorter higher degree in China, a country I had heard so much of from my father, the President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Haiti.
In this new unexpected journey, I proved myself to Tsinghua University of my capabilities, and Tsinghua University recognized them and accepted me in the Tsinghua-MIT Global MBA Program.
I would like for you all to imagine a 23 year-old psychology child, about 5-10 years younger than her classmates-to-be, arriving in the Asian continent for the first time, in a journey that was not hers to begin with. I will admit I had my doubts and fears, and truly believed that I would focus on getting the required knowledge for the family business and leave China shortly after my graduation.
And this is the moment that I want to take to thank Tsinghua University, School of Economics and Management (SEM), and most importantly, my classmates. Within a few days post arrival in China, I had found a home, friends, a new family and support system that has guided me throughout these past two years.
Has that journey been challenging? Yes. Did I nearly break down due to the pressure of the hard work requirement? Yes. Did I want to give up at times? Yes. But did I ever feel incapable? That is a firm no. And that is thanks to the resources that Tsinghua has given us, to the opportunities and learning experience that were given to us. Although sometimes they were hard to find on our own, they were there for us to use at will. Tsinghua University and SEM has demonstrated to this scared little 23-year-old girl, that there was nothing to be afraid of, and that everything was possible with the right mindset.
With this new mindset that I developed during the first year, I began one year ago in an ambitious thesis project, to be able to restructure my parents’ company remotely. And without getting into many details, I can let you know that in only 10-months, I was able to demonstrate through literature review, framework development and a case-study application, all the knowledge and learning experience that were given to me by Tsinghua, and indeed established some critical changes in my family business.
And today, I am not standing in front of you, not as a little 23-year-old nervous girl, but as a 25-year-old thesis excellence awardee woman. I am also one of the first international students of my grade before several months graduation with a job offer as a senior Business Development Analyst for the Oxford-Hainan Blockchain Research Institute.
Please, do not misinterpret these statements as bragging, but instead as pride of being a Tsinghua alumna, for having being given this chance to strive, for having being believed in, for having being given an opportunity that so many in my country cannot even dream of.
I would like to thank Tsinghua University once more, my peers, my friends, and most importantly my family for the person that I am today. I would like to invite all of you to reflect on your life journey, on the chapter to come and on the blessings that we have received.
Today we will embark on our next chapter. And in this chapter, I want to wish you courage, faith, blessings and belief that tomorrow is full of opportunity and remind you that the School of Economics and Management of Tsinghua University has well prepared us to fully grasp all opportunities that may come, whichever form they may come in.
We are lucky and blessed to have found a strong solid foundation to be able to pursue our life journey with all the necessary pillars of knowledge, independence, self-esteem and strong goal orientation, given to us by the most prestigious university of China. On this ceremony, we mark the beginning and the ending of this new chapter. We had all chosen to come to Tsinghua, and Tsinghua had chosen us to be part of this community. And for that we can all be thankful.
I could go on with motivating words, but I believe what is left to say is to always remember where we came from, what Tsinghua has given us, and what we have achieved through this.
Congratulation, class of 2019, we have done it.
Thank you everyone.