I have two brothers at Georgia Tech currently. Come Saturday, I'll just have one brother left at Georgia Tech as the middle one in the family will walk across the stage in the Georgia Dome to accept that hallowed piece of paper from Bud Peterson. Along with my brother, a couple thousand more engineers, managers, PhDs, mathematicians, and scientific liberal arts students (yes, we have a form of that at GT) among others will also close their own personal chapter with Ma Tech. Congratulations!
Graduates: hear my advice!
1. You feel like a badass because you are. But humility must still be a part of your personality.
Georgia Tech is elite. Revel in it. Many of you know classmates got weeded out over the years and but you pursued and kept going. Many of you are graduating from recognized and continuous Top-10 programs in the country. That persistent attitude should be well recognized. Welcome to the fraternity of alumni who understand and feel your pain of the stress Tech put you through. You're coming out with degrees that will get you jobs almost immediately in positions that some may have worked years to reach. With those jobs you will suddenly realize that not all people who have jobs went to Georgia Tech. In fact, there are hundreds of ways others can get to the same position you have by not going to Georgia Tech. Realize this fact, and be humble in all things. Be grateful for the opportunities that were given to you and continue to strive for excellence as you did at our beloved Institute.
2. You will say and do the wrong thing to the wrong person
Just because we graduated does not mean we'll never fail. My first year out is a classic example of this fact. However, we didn't go to Georgia Tech to just learn how to succeed. We learned how to adjust after a failure and how to improve the outcome the next time the opportunity comes around. In the real world now you'll be faced with many decisions. You'll be able to analyze the situation and make a firm decision but some will still be wrong. It will be up to you to take that step back, figure out what went right , what went wrong, adjust, and be ready for the next time.
3. Once your walk across the stage, your liver will change instantly
It's as if a switch is flipped inside your body. What used to be a few beers on a weekday night will turn into a nasty hangover. Be wary!
4. You will forever represent Georgia Tech
Figure out how to give back through time, service, or money, and advertise positively for Georgia Tech. The Institute is recognized throughout the world. Wherever you go, you will run into someone who recognizes our logo and understands what it means. You now represent Georgia Tech in everywhere you go. Advertise it well and remember whose reputation you are now responsible to uphold.
5. Buy football season tickets through the right channels
C'mon now. You have money. You can buy tickets through the Athletic Association. No excuses.
6. As always and forever, To Hell with georgia!
Winfield Tufts, ISyE 2010