Kellogg | Mr. Concrete Angel
GRE 318, GPA 3.33
Harvard | Mr. Finance
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
Harvard | Mr. Military Quant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Quadrilingual Amazon
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare PE
GRE 340, GPA 3.5
INSEAD | Mr. Product Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 63%
Harvard | Ms. Female Sales Leader
GMAT 740 (target), GPA 3.45
Harvard | Mr. Renewables Athlete
GMAT 710 (1st take), GPA 3.63
Kellogg | Ms. Big4 M&A
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Defense Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Mr. Future Non-Profit
GMAT 720, GPA 8/10
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Army Aviator
GRE 314, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Gay Techie
GRE 332, GPA 3.88
INSEAD | Mr. INSEAD Aspirant
GRE 322, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Ms. Indian Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 9.18/10
MIT Sloan | Ms. Rocket Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.89
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Salesman
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
Tuck | Mr. Liberal Arts Military
GMAT 680, GPA 2.9
Columbia | Mr. Energy Italian
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Quality Assurance
GMAT 770, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. African Energy
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
NYU Stern | Ms. Luxury Retail
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Russland Native
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Aerospace Engineer
GRE 327, GPA 3.92
N U Singapore | Mr. Naval Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Microsoft India
GMAT 780, GPA 7.14

Reid Hoffman’s Commencement Address At Babson College

On May 19th, LinkedIn Founder and Executive Chairman of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman came to Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., to deliver the commencement address to graduating students. Hoffman, also a partner at Greylock Partners, is a leading angel investor in Silicon Valley.

His speech:

I recently co-authored a book called the Startup of You. I know that you all know this, because in honor and respect of your achievement of graduating today, I have gifted a copy to each of you. In it, I began with a quote from Mohammed Yunus. I will begin today with the same quotation:

“All humans were born entrepreneurs. In the caves, we were all self-employed. Finding food, feeding ourselves. That is how human history began. As civilization came, we suppressed it. We became “labor” because they stamped us “You are labor.” ”

I begin with this quotation because entrepreneurs are important. Here in the U.S., we have always known this because we have an entrepreneurial nation.

We have founding “fathers” of the nation; in parallel, entrepreneurs are founders of companies.

The vast majority of people in the U.S. are descendants of immigrants who took a huge gamble to cross an ocean and come to a new land; in parallel, many entrepreneurial companies emerge from immigrant founders and immigrant talent who come here to build these companies.

The American dream is the ability to make your own destiny, through hard work, perseverance, and some combination of intelligence and luck. In parallel, new entrepreneurial companies succeed on the same basis.

Generally, many people think of entrepreneurs as the (relatively few) individuals who take their own isolated path initially away from society. Few entrepreneurs succeed, but when they do they create products, companies, and jobs for many others. These products, companies, and jobs are part of the ongoing health of a society.

And this is really important; just consider the current unemployment rates. We wish that we had more entrepreneurs creating more businesses.

However, in the modern world, entrepreneurship is even more important than the creation of companies and jobs.

Entrepreneurial talents, skills, and mindsets now apply to all jobs and professions. This is new, brought about by the accelerating change in the world from globalization and technology.

In the last decades, there was a notion of pursuing a career ladder.

You would graduate from a good college – like you are today – and you would select from a set of employers who want you to join the first rung of a career ladder. You might have some choices around industry – finance, transport, technology – or function – sales, marketing, finance, product development – but fundamentally you would seek and choose a path.

In choosing a path, you would then work at one or more companies, and work your way up the steps of a career ladder or (if fortunate) a career escalator. Inevitably, with some hard work and a little luck, you would retire leaving room for the next generations to ascend the steps of their career.

However, due to the changes in a globalized and accelerating world, the notion of a career has changed. Whereas we used to have a career ladder, now we have a career jungle gym. Success in a career is no longer a simple ascension on a path of steps. You need to climb sideways and sometimes down; sometimes you need to swing and jump from one set of bars to the next. And, to extend the metaphor, sometimes you need to spring from the jungle gym and establish your own turf somewhere else on the playground.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.