In today’s difficult economy, it’s common to hear new college graduates ask what’s next?
Many graduates are faced with uncertainty after school: How do they keep their degree useful and relevant, why they have to love what they do, and finding their niches in a world where being different requires gut and determination. Perhaps, what these emerging professionals need is a voice of inspiration that tells them to keep reaching for their goals.
At his Stanford University’s commencement address to the class of 2005, Steve Jobs gave an astounding speech, which is now dubbed one of his lasting legacies. The speech titled “Stay hungry, stay foolish” saw the late Apple co-founder share the story of his life, a masterpiece of self-reflection and inspiration.
What wows many about Jobs’ commencement speech were his deep thoughts embedded in it and how his stories that spanned five decades of life experiences, triumphs and challenges were effectively delivered in just about a 15 minute speech. Globe and Mail’s marketing reporter, Simon Houpt refers to Jobs as “A savvy communicator with a singular point of view.”
“Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories,” said Jobs, in his opening line. As it turned out, this wasn’t just another working class hero story or that of a self-made super entrepreneur, it was an open book into the life of a visionary; someone whose ideas continued to shape the lives of his admirers and critics, beyond the technological devices associated with his name.
One of Jobs’ stories was based on how he dropped-out of college in his first year due to finances and not exactly sure about what he wanted to do. He would later follow his curiosity and intuition by attending classes that had little to do with his college program. As it turned out, knowledge and skills gained from those random classes were crucial to designing Apple’s first product, the Macintosh computer.
“If I had never dropped in on that single course [a calligraphy class] in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them,” said Jobs. “If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do.”
As the 2012 graduating students of Corporate Communications and Public Relations postgraduate certificate program prepare to go into the labour market and distinguish themselves among their “colleagues and competitors,” many will be faced with the challenge of connecting the dots. How their academic skills will be transferred into the work place. It is important for these graduates to believe that what they have learned, while in school will at some point be useful in their lives, regardless of the career path they choose to embrace.
“You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life,” said Jobs.