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Be Inspired: Linda Patane’s Graduation Reflections

be inspired


Linda Patane graduated from the Intensive Business program this past spring.  This is her message to her fellow graduates, one worth sharing with others. 

Thank you, Linda, for the inspiration you provide in word and example!  Congratulations, too.


Good morning fellow graduates, faculty, family and friends.

Recently I was reflecting about what brought me to NDNU. Five years ago, after completing my Associate’s Degree I felt my education was complete. Even though my dream had been to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree, I was having difficulty resolving how I could do this while also working full-time at a venture capital firm. However, a friend once told me, “Life allows us to make U-turns, to go back and finish something that is not quite complete.” I believe this is true. So, two and a half years ago, after a great deal of encouragement from my friends, I applied to NDNU. Once accepted, I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into.  How would I juggle my job while also enrolled in the Intensive Business Program at a well-known university? How would I ever be able to get through the next few years?  And, finally, would I fail and disappoint myself?

What I learned was how powerful perseverance can be.  Although there were times when I questioned my ability to proceed, or was concerned over how I could afford the rising cost of education, I continued to progress through my classes.  I found strength from the support of friends and family, and the satisfaction of knowing that as I awoke each day, I was one day closer to achieving my dream.  It is with great personal satisfaction that I am standing before you today, graduating with honors.

As I look back at my time at NDNU, I am thankful for the dedicated professors, and advisors, who were always available for questions. A college, however, must also have students and I am continually impressed by the quality of people I have met here. Collectively, you have taught me how to challenge my fears and to succeed.  A profound example of this is the fact that I am giving this speech.  If it were not for the numerous classes where presentations to fellow students were required, I would not have learned to master my fear of public speaking.

Each of us started our journey through college in a different way. For some of us, it was directly after high school; for others it may have been after spending years in the work force. But for all of us, we now must go into the world and use the education we have received.  There are only a few words of wisdom I have for you.  One revolves around passion; it may take a few jobs to get there, but once you have found your passion, never lose sight of it.  Never choose a job for the money, choose the job for the experience, the opportunity and the people.  In essence, a simple quote will always serve you well: “Do what you love, love what you do.”

As I close, remember, do not give up on your dreams, anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Most of all, believe in yourself for your mind is your most potent asset. Today is about us. Now, go and celebrate what we have all accomplished these past years.

Congratulations class of 2013.

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