Professors give advice to the Class of 2016

‘This is your chance to be your person, not what somebody else thinks you should be’

Dear Class of 2016,

As you enter your last month of classes everyone is asking you the same question: What’s your plan?

For the first time in 22 years there is no set track, the next move is yours for the taking. Some of you may have jobs, some may be headed to grad school, a few of you will travel, a few of you may be joining the armed forces and others may still be figuring it out.  Between now and then you have the opportunity to make this the best Marathon Monday yet, play volleyball in a pit of mud at Mudstock, dance it out in the mod lot at Modstock, dress to the nines at Commencement Ball, and watch the sun rise over Shea field. When all is said and done you’ll have your four years of memories and friendships to last a life time and an oversized diploma to show for it.

We asked a few of your favorite professors to give you their best piece of advice for where ever your path takes you after graduation. Here’s what they had to say.

Danielle Taghian, A&S, Biology


“Be resilient, but that comes in two forms. The first is: be flexible. Don’t pigeon hole yourself into one way of thinking.  There are many options out there in life. A path may not be the path you thought it would be, but it might be the right one in the end.

“Second: be positive in life. There are times when things are not going your way and having a positive outlook can make the difference in succeeding or even having peace of mind.”

Michael Barry, CSOM, Finance


“Something I say to every class on the last day: don’t get stereotyped. Do something because you find it interesting and not because of what somebody else thinks.

“So if you’re a finance major, you don’t have to do financial services. You’re the one that’s going to work in the morning, not your brother or your roommate or whomever; it’s your show. There is a stereotype with finance majors that you have to do financial services, you don’t. Some do, but some do many other things whether its consulting, or corporate finance, the Peace Corps, or Teach for America.

“The important thing is that you get up in the morning doing something you find interesting, that you want to do. This is your chance to be your person, not what somebody else thinks you should be.”

Richard Tresch, A&S, Economics


“Everyone should just relax. Its long been predicted that the US will be a labor short economy by 2025 or so, and that seems to be the case. You’ve got the baby boomers retiring and there is the countervailing trend of technology removing some jobs. Yet, I think students graduating from Boston College will have very good labor market, but they might not see it yet. As long as the economy keeps tuning along, the unemployment rate is already under 5%, and for all the talk you hear about how awful things are, and its been tough for some the past 10 or 15 years, but we’re just going to need more people.

“I think people with BC educations, people to manage companies and some will have administrative positions of carious kinds, will do very well. I think the graduating class will see the job market improving, according to research, if not this year, eventually. They won’t just have one job in their life, they will move around, especially in the next 10 years. I think the opportunities are going to be complete. If companies have an international they go to, and if you’re will ing to go to an office in shanghai or wherever, even better!

“I’ve seen students over the past 20 years get more and more anxious and I’d like to see that go in the opposite direction. Its not just wishful thinking, as long as people relax a little bit.”

Liz Cox, Lynch


“One thing that I would have liked to hear as a new grad is, you don’t have to be perfect at what you do. You’re still young and there’s still a lot of time for you to get good at what you’re doing. A mantra that I have fallen back on is ‘keep your head where your feet are’. Really just stay in the moment and work hard at what you’re doing.

“You don’t have to be prefect, you don’t have to be great, but you should want to be great at what you do.”

Joseph Cioni, CSOM, Business Law


“At any pointing time I think a real measure or test of a persons happiness is how grateful they are. GK Chesterton said in his book Orthodoxy, “The test of all happiness is gratitude.” I think that is really important because no matter what you’re facing; wether your living it up in the good times or enduring the bad times, gratitude is really a reflection of how happy you are. Its so crucial you carry that with you your whole life.”

Bridget Akinc, CSOM, Marketing


“Be true to you. Which is my view of following your passions. You may find there are stepping stones along the way to getting to a place whee you want to be, but following the passion that you have for something will make work seem like an endeavor that you actually want to choose.

“I think that the convergence of passion with work is where you start to see a really big impact in the world in solving big challenges or helping organizations grow. It has to be something you believe in.”

Good luck, enjoy your last month! Everyone here at BC is excited to see where all of your paths take you.

Once an Eagle, always an Eagle. Congratulations Boston College Class of 2016!

Boston College