2018 Graduation Ceremony – Rama 9 Campus Valedictorian
Rama 9 Campus Valedictorian – Suhant Mehta
“Standing here before you, I would like to thank my family, friends, and teachers for giving us the support that we needed to be here today. For those of you who do not know who I am, my name is Suhant Mehta, I am from India and started my journey at STIU in 2015.
As I look around, I feel a flood of emotions from everyone present here. The pride that families take here today on their child’s achievement is unmeasurable. The joy of knowing that your child has earned a university degree is immense.
To start off, congratulations to all my fellow graduates! It is a massive feat to have been able to overcome the past few years in our lives! After battling sleepless nights, aching fingers, and countless meals at the amazing canteen, we can proudly call ourselves the Class of 2018!
Being honest, I would not believe you if you told me back in 2015 that I was going to be here giving a speech to all of you. I would like to thank the university for giving me the honor of being the valedictorian for this year. As I did with accepting to be here, seeking discomfort and reaching for opportunities were the most important part of being at Stamford.
After only my first term at Stamford, I realized taking initiative and seizing every opportunity is crucial to having the best university experience. Early on, I noticed there was no volleyball club at Stamford, even though the sport is extremely popular here in Thailand. So, I decided to start the volleyball club with my buddy Chris, and to our surprise it has now become one of, if not the most, popular sports clubs at Stamford! Starting and running the club has been one of the most valuable learning experiences outside the classroom. I got to learn how to lead a group of vocal members, how to organize events, constantly raise awareness for the club and much more. It was this experience that gave me the drive to become more involved in our unique community. Thank you to my volleyball family, your support over the years means a lot!
Shortly after, I participated in the CSR Club’s events, which managed to change who I was as a person for the better. I learned to be more empathetic to people around me after realizing not everyone is as lucky as we are. After a beach clean-up event, watching countless documentaries, and starting to scuba dive, I decided to shift my lifestyle in a way that is more sustainable and less impactful to the environment around me. It’s crazy to think such positive changes came from decisions to support a club’s events.
While most of the opportunities I chose to take were by instinct, some were out of the urge to do something out of my comfort zone. I can recall two decisions that led to the some of the standout experiences I have had in the past 3 years.
The first decision was to run for the student council. This decision, like most of the assignments I’ve submitted, was incredibly close to the deadline. A.Vasillis knows what I’m talking about. I had been neglecting taking the decision because I kept on thinking about how I would survive the terrors of Strategic Management. Thankfully, I managed to survive AND get elected as the Secretary of the Council, who would have thought! I had the privilege of working with a team of extremely motivated individuals, which I’ve had the most memorable moments with. We met a former president of Mexico, we hosted a plethora of successful events, and we became a family! The experience was surreal, it was an honor to have been the representative for my major (IBM), my fellow classmates, and the university.
The second decision was to fly out to the US just for a two-week entrepreneurship workshop at Kendall College in Chicago. After taking my first flight out of Asia, a few days of exploring NYC and consuming countless pizza slices, I arrived in Chicago. I arrived to one of the most intense couple of weeks I’ve had in my life. We got in groups, came up with an idea, formed a business around it, and pitched it all within two weeks! We got to visit a Google office (which was kind of like a dream for me), learn about sustainability from visits to TOMS and Gardeneers, and discuss business strategy with successful entrepreneurs!
The Stamford Community was the catalyst for all the positive changes in this period of my life. The community is incredibly unique, we have students who come from over 118 nations, states and territories, who speak multiple languages, and who have the most diverse set of interests I have seen, from ethical hacking to mobile e-sports.
I’d like to personally like to thank a few people who enhanced the experience of the journey at STIU for me. Thank you, A. Diana, for being the most amazing mentor and advisor, thank you P. Mike for being the person everyone could rely on for help, and thank you to all teachers for allowing me to spend an excessive amount of time on the 6th floor. I had to keep this list short due to time constraints, but I’d also like to thank everyone who ever had even a single interaction with me.
I urge everyone here to consider doing things you would not normally do. Jumping out of your comfort zone and seeking discomfort are things that just might lead you to the greatest experiences of your life! Congratulations once again to the class of 2018 !”