2016 D’Amore-McKim graduate Jessica Maienza, a Business Administration major with dual concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship who completed three co-ops during her time at Northeastern, addressed more than 700 fellow students during the Senior Ceremony held Thursday, May 5 at Matthews Arena. In her speech, she highlighted the graduating class’ global co-op accomplishments, the importance of networking, and the possibility of future endeavors.
Following is her full speech to her fellow graduates:
To the esteemed Northeastern faculty, to the family and friends of my peers, and of course, to the class of 2016, I am honored to be standing before you. As I look out into the crowd, I am beaming with pride. There is a myriad of familiar faces in this sea of graduates. Each of you brings back cherished memories from the past 5 years. Some of you are the first students that I met during orientation in July of 2011. Some lived on my Business Leadership floor in Speare Hall freshman year. Others I met during Finance and Investment club meetings, all of us confused and innocent freshmen, unaware of the remarkable opportunities that lay ahead of us. What do all of you, my peers, have in common? Each and every one of you has had astounding accomplishments while here at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business.
What an incredible time to have been a student at Northeastern! We have been fortunate to attend the esteemed business school during a time when the university has grown with us as we have grown. In 2012, Northeastern’s College of Business Administration became the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, a monumental moment in our business school’s history. Just as the past five years have been an exhilarating time in our lives, the past 5 years have been exciting for our university.
Each of the graduates here today have benefitted from our business school’s programs in experiential learning, entrepreneurship, and international programs, including study abroad, dialogues, and coop. Speaking from my personal experience, when I came to Northeastern in 2011, I had never even left the United States. I knew, as you all knew, that the opportunities at Northeastern could not be found anywhere else. Though it took the encouragement of you, my peers, and the remarkable support system of coop coordinators and professors in the D’Amore McKim School of Business, I am graduating today having a truly global undergraduate experience. I was able to participate in a Dialogue of Civilizations in Spain where my thirst for travel began. I then completed my second coop at my dream company abroad in London and went to Chicago thereafter to complete my third coop. All and all, I have now travelled to 20 countries, including various cities throughout the US. During my last semester, I was even able to gain entrepreneurial experience as a student consultant for a small Northeastern start-up. I must thank Northeastern and its faculty for literally showing me the world and providing me with the experiences of a lifetime.
Though one might say my experience is surreal for a business student my age, it is not foreign to my fellow Northeastern graduates. For instance, I have many peers in this crowd who have studied social entrepreneurship in South Africa, marketing in India, and emerging markets in Brazil, while others have completed coops in Hong Kong and Mexico City. Coop has not only allowed us to travel and gain priceless work experience, but many of us were able to discover other passions along the way. One of my peers, who I met freshman year, began running marathons while on coop on the west coast. Although I know I am only naming a few experiences, each of you has extraordinary accomplishments like these to boast upon graduating. We owe it all to Northeastern University. From the bottom of my heart, on behalf of my peers, I thank this amazing business school and everyone who has helped us on our journey.
And now we are entering the real world. A world in which “Middler” has no meaning and “Rebecca’s” is just a girl’s name. A world in which “pulling an all-nighter in Club Snell” sounds fun. Undeniably, it’s bittersweet. My best friends since freshmen year will be spread all across the United States and the world in pursuit of their careers – Boston, New York, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, London, and even Melbourne, Australia. Thank you to Northeastern for giving each one of us a truly global experience and for opening my eyes to hundreds of new perspectives.
In proper business school fashion, I want to leave you with one imperative piece of advice. Just as I used to preach at Finance Club meetings, stay in contact with each other. Northeastern has a network of amazing alumni stretching across the globe which we will be joining after today. Continue to network with your peers and co-workers once you leave campus and don’t forget to add me on LinkedIn!
Congratulations to my fellow graduates, may we always treasure our years at Northeastern as we continue to pursue our dreams. Thank you.