Rohit Anand was one of the student speakers at the Penn State World Campus Graduation Celebration for summer semester. (Watch the livestream of the event here.) Here are his remarks from that event, detailing his journey and acknowledging those who played a pivotal role in helping him to earn his Master’s Degree in Enterprise Architecture.
It is an honor and a privilege to be speaking in front of all of you here tonight. I would like to begin by thanking my parents who have stood by me this entire time, my professors who have helped me through the process of successfully completing my master’s program in Enterprise Architecture, and Sherry Hartman, Program Manager, who has provided tremendous support this entire time. She has been a great adviser through my grad school journey and has been very prompt in answering all the questions that I have had throughout this time.
I completed my undergraduate degree back in 2011. At that point, if someone had asked me about someday going back to school, I would have laughed. I wanted to find myself, figure out my life, understand the corporate culture, and try to fit in. Fast forward a few years and I found myself looking to expand my knowledge and skill set to help with my consulting work. In those days, I worked with Microsoft and I was on the road a lot, so it was very tricky for me to find time between travel and other responsibilities to actually focus on pursuing another degree.
At one point, I was on-site with a client when I heard about an individual who was involved with the Enterprise Architecture program at Penn State. I knew I wanted to specialize my career with something related to enterprise architecture, so I started researching this program. For me, online education was always a question mark, just because I was not sure if I would be able to commit 100% to a program while working full-time in a highly demanding career. I was also coming from South Dakota State University and knew that getting accepted into a school like Penn State was going to be a challenge. Nevertheless, I studied the program online, thought, ‘it doesn’t hurt to give it a shot,’ and submitted my application. After a few weeks, I heard back and learned that I had been accepted into the program! That was the moment when it hit me—it was real and I was actually starting my journey on the path toward achieving a master’s degree.
I’ll be honest; over the course of my master’s program, there were several times when I really did not want to pursue this degree anymore. I’m sure many of you experienced this too. It was exhausting and I was not finding enough time for myself. But then there were other times when I was really determined to just finish my semester and move on. Fast forward to today and I cannot believe that I am finally finishing my journey—getting a master’s degree in my field.
And now, call me crazy, but I gave it another shot and applied for the MBA program with the Smeal College of Business here at Penn State. I got accepted and I will be heading straight into the residency week starting this Monday. I guess at this point, some might think that I just like getting degrees. But I want to emphasize that my decision was made easier because of Penn State, its faculty and staff, and the program structure being offered. If it wasn’t for them, I think my entire experience would not have been this exciting and enriching.
Lastly, I would like to end by saying that there is nothing that you can’t achieve as long as you put your mind to it. It does not matter when you start or how long it takes—all that matters is that you finish. It is a journey and I have enjoyed it. I am sure all of you did, as well.
Thank you and congratulations again to the graduating class of 2017.
WE ARE…PENN STATE!
Penn State World Campus students who plan to graduate in Fall and are interested in speaking at the graduation celebration can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org