Why Obama Went To The Kellogg School



Though the school received confirmation of the President’s impending visit a week ago Monday, it had to keep the wraps on the news until Tuesday of this week. “It was very important that this was treated as a policy talk and not a campus visit,” says Blount.

His message on values was very consistent with our own values,” says Blount. “We are all about the low ego, high impact leader. I tell the students I don’t stay up at night so you can get rich. I stay up at night so you can make the world a better place.”

Students were randomly selected by lottery to attend the event and tickets were handed out on Tuesday and Wednesday. “Uniformly, the people who won the lottery were just delighted,” says Blount. “It was like a party out there. The energy for the two days was just fabulous. It was an unbelievable honor to have the President here.”


The MBA students in attendance greeted Obama warmly, frequently applauding various points he made during an upbeat address on the economic recovery that has taken place since the Great Recession of 2008-2009. The economy’s turnaround has especially been felt by graduating students who have in recent years experienced what some students have called a “frothy” job market for MBAs.

“As Americans, we can and should be proud of the progress that our country has made over these past six years,” he said. “And here are the facts — because sometimes the noise clutters and I think confuses the nature of the reality out there.  Here are the facts:  When I took office, businesses were laying off 800,000 Americans a month. Today, our businesses are hiring 200,000 Americans a month.  The unemployment rate has come down from a high of 10 percent in 2009, to 6.1 percent today.  Over the past four and a half years, our businesses have created 10 million new jobs; this is the longest uninterrupted stretch of private sector job creation in our history.

“Think about that.  And you don’t have to applaud at — because I’m going to be giving you a lot of good statistics.  Right now, there are more job openings than at any time since 2001.  All told, the United States has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and every other advanced economy combined.  I want you to think about that.  We have put more people back to work, here in America, than Europe, Japan, and every other advanced economy combined.”

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