Skip to main content

Resilient and Ready: Chambers College Graduates Prepare to Take on a Changed World

Resilient and Ready: Chambers College Graduates Prepare to Take on a Changed World

Portraits of 2020 grads Kaitlyn-Brooke-Dakota    

On Saturday, May 16, 630 graduates from the John Chambers College of Business and Economics heard virtual words of inspiration from West Virginia University leaders, including President Gordon Gee Clay Marsh Meshea Poore and a charge to have the courage to take risks and fail from their College’s namesake, John Chambers

This crop of graduates will continue to navigate a historic journey, as they aspire to change a world that has been fundamentally changed by a global pandemic – an unexpected crisis that will uniquely prepare them for the future.

“Our graduates have persevered through some of the most difficult days our world has faced in their lifetime with incredible strength and grit,” said Javier Reyes, Milan Puskar Dean of the Chambers College. “No other generation is going to be as ready as them to face the future – a future that will, undoubtedly, be full of change.”

Graduates are commemorating this milestone with the resilience to brave that world with a newfound sense of adaptability and perseverance that they’ve acquired through a spring semester that has brought them out of physical classroom and into a virtual one.

As part of that transition, they’ve sacrificed memories and experiences while adapting to new ways of learning and engaging.

“I'm really grateful that I attend a college where they care so much about our health, but I’m sad to say goodbye from a distance to my professors and classmates who have been on this journey with me,” said Marketing major Brooke Harlow, who has secured a full-time job working for global research and advisory firm Gartner at their Dallas location this fall. “But I’m making the best of it and making different memories than I planned.”

While graduates are feeling the sadness of missing out on in-person goodbyes to the professors and classmates who have impacted their journeys at WVU, they are embracing perhaps the greatest skill that the last two months has taught them: the power of flexibility.

“This has really prepared me to be more flexible,” said Kaitlyn Cline, a graduate of the Management department who advanced her skill set through a human resources internship at WVU Medicine. She will be taking the next step in her education through the Master of Science in Industrial Relations (MSIR) program in the Chambers College this fall.

“This experience has taught me that even when things aren't ideal, you just have to make the best of it and be willing to change because that's the only thing you can control,” said Cline. “You just have to roll with the punches; it really does make you a better person.”

The power of change was a message reverberated by College alumnus and namesake John Chambers in his congratulatory remarks to graduates. Chambers is the former CEO of Cisco Systems and current founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures.

“It is our ability to realize that we have the courage to change as we go into challenges and to position what we want to look like when we come out,” said Chambers, who has navigated his businesses through multiple economic, supply chain and health disruptions through the years.

Management Information Systems graduate Dakota Wolfe is taking that advice and embracing change through uncertainty, as he will be transitioning to a full-time position with Deloitte working with government contracts – an opportunity he feels prepared to take on with a newfound sense of perspective.

“This crisis has brought perspective,” Wolfe said. “At a time when the world is being shaken up, I’m lucky to have stability in an opportunity.”

Reyes reminds graduates that the opportunities facing this crop of graduates will give them the ability to not only become the future of business – but to change its trajectory, as well.

“Each Chambers College graduate has a blank slate in front of them, and that will give them the ability to transform business,” said Reyes. “Companies will be rethinking how they work, and they will look to this generation to make an impact and shape a new course for all functional areas of business and organizations.”



CONTACT: Heather Richardson
Assistant Dean of Communications
John Chambers College of Business and Economics

Chambers College