Olin Business School new building atrium
Graduating with gratitude

I had eagerly volunteered to be a student blogger last year, and had high hopes of being a [semi]regular contributor to the blog. Unfortunately, I never found (or made) the time to sit down and type out a few words…until today.

So, today, as a student-turned-alumnus, I want to talk about being grateful.

This past weekend, I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis. Graduation day was a significant and memorable event…one that will forever be etched into my nostalgic, curious brain. And on that day, I found myself swept up by feelings of deep gratitude.

I. Am. Grateful. Grateful that my parents had made the trip to St. Louis to celebrate the big day. Grateful to my wife for her incredible encouragement and support over the past two years. Grateful for a remarkable and diverse collection of classmates, who have given me a lifetime of memories. Grateful that I had the opportunity to learn from gifted, insightful professors who challenged me and pushed me to succeed. Grateful for an administration that has my best interests in mind, and worked tirelessly to provide me with a meaningful experience. Grateful for a dean who leads with purpose, and who possesses a warmth that endears him to every Olin student. Grateful for the gift of stunning new business school buildings, which have sparked even more life into an already-vibrant Olin community.

I. Am. Grateful.

Ah, but this gratitude stretches far back, having settled in long before graduation day. I am grateful that in 2012, the fine folks of Olin Business School thought I might be a good fit for the MBA class of 2014, so they offered me a spot on the roster. I’m grateful that they provided me a scholarship that enabled me to say “yes” to that offer of admission. I’m grateful that from Day 1 of GO! Week, I felt like the people around here were invested in me. The Olin community has always made me feel like “they” believe in ME…that I am capable of great things, now and in the future. And if Olin has a brand, I would argue that its brand is the ability to instill belief in its students. This belief trickles down in nuanced ways – through conversations, emails, smiles, questions, and handshakes – and it has always found a way to find me. The impact of this institutional quality cannot be overstated. Over the past two years, whenever I found myself struggling, wavering in uncertainty, or stressed and stretched thin, I found strength in Olin’s belief in me.

For all of that, I am incredibly grateful. Thank you Olin Business School and thank you Washington University. I’m going to miss your beautiful pink granite buildings and the friendly faces that have made this school such a wonderful place to call home over the past two years. How lucky I am that Wash U will forever be part of my story. I promise to come back and visit.

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