Original Post: http://www.brandeis.edu/now/2014/may/commencement/rabb.html
by: Leah Burrows
In Sunday’s kickoff diploma ceremony, the Division of Graduate Professional Studies at the Rabb School of Continuing Studies conferred nearly 100 graduate degrees and certificates on a diverse group of professionals from across the country and around the world.
The ceremony awarded graduate certificates and master’s degrees in bioinformatics, information security, information technology management, project and program management, health and medical informatics, virtual management and software engineering.
The graduates, most of whom worked full-time jobs as they pursued their degrees and certificates, shared the spotlight with their families, who were praised for their support and patience.
“Friends and family members should get a graduate degree in understanding,” said Anne Marando, executive director of the Division of Graduate Professional Studies.
Student speaker Robert Havasy, MS ’14, agreed, thanking his family for “propping me up when I thought about quitting, when the work seemed too much.”
Havasy, the corporate team lead for product and technology development at the Center for Connected Health, highlighted the differences between Rabb graduates and others receiving their degrees on Sunday.
Many of these students will spend the next few years figuring out what they want to do, struggling to find their place in the work force and searching for a mentor, Havasy said.
“What makes Rabb unique is the vast majority of us came here from established careers,” Havasy told his fellow graduates. “We will return to work next week or, more likely, tomorrow. We will become mentors to these students. So spend time with your interns, use your influence to promote diversity, civility and integrity in the workplace.”
Eric Siegel ’91, the founder of Predictive Analytics World and Text Analytics World, gave the keynote address. He urged the graduates to “do what you love and love what you do.”
“My advice to you is geek out,” Siegel said. “Get into it. Find that thing in your work you get a thrill out of. The holy grail in your work life is finding that thing that gives you a kick.”
Siegel, the executive editor of Predictive Analytics Times and the author of “Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die,” received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis in computer science.
He shared his own experiences geeking out about predictive analytics, theater and teaching. The self-proclaimed “singing professor” lived up to his name, serenading graduates with a few verses from his songs about problem solving and analytics.
“It is a priority to find the fun in your work life,” he told the graduates.
Pursing an education while working a full-time job wasn’t always fun for many of Sunday’s graduates but it was fulfilling.
“This was such a rewarding experience,” said Rocky Moscoso, who received a Master’s of Software Engineering. “I had 14 years of experience in the field before coming to Brandeis and I was able to use what I learned at work in the classroom and visa versa.”
Veronica Orozco, who also received a Master’s of Software Engineering, agreed.
“This experience was insane, overwhelming and totally worth it,” she said.
About the Author:
Leah is the News and Communications Specialist at Brandeis University, generating content for the university’s website and magazine. Leah also writes for her own blog: wordsbyleah.com