3 Great MBA Graduation Speeches | TopMBA.com

3 Great MBA Graduation Speeches

By Nicole Willson

Updated September 3, 2019 Updated September 3, 2019

For business school students, May is an important month since it marks the end of the semester and for some students the beginning of post-MBA life. May is also a time where people are inspired by the words of graduation speeches. Here are some business school speeches that are up there with Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford commencement speech. While business school graduation season is over, these MBA graduation speeches can still provide you with inspiration and motivation as you apply for your MBA.

Shantanu Narayen

CEO, Adobe

In his commencement speech at UC Berkeley's Haas School of business, Narayen (Haas MBA '95) discusses what it was like getting his MBA while working at Apple and becoming a father for the first time. Narayen also shares what it was like getting an MBA and pursuing computer engineering, before it became an accepted career path.

While Narayen says that he was in a sleep-deprived haze during some of his time at Haas, he goes on to state: "What I do remember was the excitement that I felt, the new friends that I made, the learning in school and a connection that this business degree would help take me farther than I could go with my engineering degree alone. And that it did, well beyond what I could have imagined."

Sheryl Sandberg

Coo, Facebook

While Sheryl Sandberg's Harvard Business School Class Day speech didn't touch on the Facebook IPO, it did provide inspiration and career advice. Her speech also shared some Harvard Business School facts that most people may not know. Sandberg became aware of the lack of organ donation in the United States, and later added an organ donor feature to Facebook, because of a social marketing course taught by Kash Rangan. In 1995, Sandberg's MBA class section (section B) tried to have the first Harvard Business School online class in an AOL chatroom.

Sandberg also discusses how she came to work for Google, despite the fact that the cons outweighed the pros on an MBA-style job option spreadsheet she made. She said that she decided to work for Google after the CEO Eric Schmidt gave her the following advice: "When companies are growing quickly and they are having a lot of impact, careers take care of themselves. And when companies aren’t growing quickly or their missions don’t matter as much, that’s when stagnation and politics come in. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on." 

Dr. Oz

It's pretty obvious that Dr. Oz is a doctor, but did you know that he's also an MBA? Dr. Oz got an MD/MBA from Wharton, where he gave a speech designed to help Wharton grads as they figure out what will help them achieve success. According to Dr. Oz: "Success is moving oneself toward a better understanding of what's important in life... Happiness is being grateful for what happens along the way." Dr. Oz then gave his own David Letterman style top ten list, The Top Ten Tips for Success and Happiness.

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This article was originally published in September 2019 .

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Written by

Nicole is the SEO manager of TopMBA.com, as well as a contributing author. She holds a BA in history and sociology, and a master's in library science. Aside from her work for QS, Nicole is a long-time contributing editor and administrator for WikiHow.


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