By David F. Raczkowski (BSBA Business Management ’09)
Out of reach, out of touch…seems to be a cliché for college students looking at the world in and the economy in its present state. Ask yourself, “What could a highly successful champion of business have to offer a group of 100 young adults surrounded by the constant downtrodden perspectives about business?” The answer is a simple one: purpose.
The excitement and anticipation of the distinguished group was palpable. It was quite clear to me and to my peers that from the beginning of the event we were looking for more than just an award ceremony or an acceptance speech. We were looking for perspective, a different view on what is happening in America, in the world, and that’s what we got. From the start of Don Keough‘s speech, we could tell that the light hearted spirit and positive outlook would be present. Mr. Keough started his talk with a joke a friend of his once shared upon receiving an award, saying, “Ya know, it’s very nice that you all thought of me when choosing a winner for this award, but I don’t deserve it, then again, I have arthritis, and I don’t deserve that either…so, I’ll take it.” Sitting at my table filled with attentive listeners, trying to contain my laughter, I found that the self-awareness of that statement articulates what finding success is all about.
The combination of these messages, purpose and self-awareness, resounded throughout the rest of my day. As did Mr. Keough’s confidence in the future of America saying, “Because it is you young people who will take the world into the future, and you won’t let it fail.” What could I think? Hope and motivation, or perhaps that the seed of an unwavering will is already planted in each of us and we must nurture and allow that seed to grow. The depth of my reactions I am still not sure of, but what I am sure of is purpose. My purpose is to be an individual who contributes much time and energy into this world, who refuses to stop growing and who refuses to let the world stop progressing. This is my purpose, and it is the purpose of all my peers as well. An individual who has attained success in a way all business students now can only dream of believes in us, the leaders of the business world believe in us, we have to take the next step in believing in ourselves.