August 6, 2007

An End and A Beginning

A few hours ago, the Ateneo De Manila University's Graduate School of Business (AGSB) and School of Government (AGS) held its commencement exercises. Being a graduate of the Information Technology cluster of the AGSB, it was a momentous occasion.

I had a chance to reflect on the messages of the Dr. Alfredo Bengzon, the event's invited speaker and Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, president of the university. I've outlined the points that struck me positively:

  1. "Reducing inequality is the highest form of human achievement." - I really liked this statement Dr. Bengzon quoted from Bill Gates. Dr. Bengzon related that the graduating class has the privilege to see both ends of the spectrum of social classes, with the Philippines being a country of having rich and poor sectors being very egregious. We are graduates are in a position to help reduce the gap and make the country our business.
  2. The Ateneo Way - The values of excellence, service and cura personalis are not that different from the values I picked up at the University of the Philippines, where service to the good of the country, the use of talents to serve the common good and fighting for what you believe in is very much advocated. The only differences I could think of are the sectarian orientation and the calmer perspective of The Ateneo Way.
  3. Beginning and End. - Dr. Bengzon said the unique thing about a commencement exercise is that it is the ceremony that graduates students but is named after a word that mean a beginning.
    While this may be a cliché already when it comes to graduation ceremony speeches, this dichotomy is really relevant to me on a personal level. The day that follows what I would consider my last day at the AGSB is my official first day at the Asian Institute of Management. This a real-life example of a new challenge springing up after finishing a previous one.
AIM is the new challenge not only for me but for also the incoming MBA class. I feel that going to AIM broadens this mission of serving the common good and the learnings I will have will hopefully will have a positive impact. I think this is a fitting mindset to have now that the real MBA program is commencing.

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