In our most recent blog, Roniunique Clark shared her reflections on her Letter to My Future self, but Ronunique isn’t our only Heller Admissions blog writer who graduated this past Sunday. We’re also saying good-bye to Neh Meh (who graduated from the SID/COEX program) and Andy Mendez, who graduated from the MBA/SID program, and was chosen as the graduation speaker for the MBA program. Here’s what Andy had to say:
“I want to start by wishing a good afternoon to our fearless leader, Interim Dean Maria Madison, as well as to the members of the Heller administration, faculty, and staff. I also want to give a very warm welcome to all of our esteemed and honored guests who’ve traveled far and wide to be here with us today. Thank you for joining us as we celebrate this milestone moment in the lives of the 2023 graduating class.
It is my distinct honor and pleasure to be up here today representing my friends and colleagues in the Social Impact MBA program. My community back home in Florida knows me as Andrea Alicia Mendez or Andrea Alicia Mendez (said with an accent), depending on which side of my family you ask, but as a member of this community and among my peers at the Heller School, I’m simply Andy. As I stand here with you all at the tail end of this long, intellectual journey, I am conscious of the fact that this is the start of a new chapter for each and every one of us. That chapter may take us across the street, across town, across the country, or around the world. No matter where we each may end up, I am confident that the skills we’ve developed, the perspective we’ve gained, and the friendships we’ve made will stay with us for years to come.
Some of you began your graduate degree programs with a clear idea of what you wanted this journey to look like, and, at the end, you’ve landed exactly where you intended to be. For others, this program has inspired you to shift and pivot in ways you did not expect. Both experiences are valid and worth celebrating.
I stand here before you with a heart full of gratitude. I’m grateful to each of you for voicing your insights, for sharing your cultures, and for considering new perspectives. The Heller School isn’t just the name on our degrees, isn’t just the building where we took our classes — the Heller School is a living, breathing community. The Heller School exists and continues to thrive because each and every one of you has contributed something special and irreplaceable to our collective experience. As we depart to fulfill our separate callings and to chart our own paths forward, let us take the spirit of this unique community with us. Graduates — I am so happy to be sharing this day and this accomplishment and this moment with you. I couldn’t have done it without you, and you couldn’t have done this without each other. With that, let me say a final congratulations to the class of 2023 — it’s a wrap!”
Personally, I would like to thank both Andy and Ronunique for their service to the Heller Admissions blog. They’ve shared a lot of valuable advice and perspectives over the past years, and they will be missed dearly. I’m looking forward to having some new Graduate Assistants joining us in the fall, and I can’t wait for you to hear their stories.