Graduation Speech to HR27

A few days before graduation, I was asked by Hack Reactor staff to volunteer as class president of my cohort, HR27. In this role, I will encourage cohort mates in their job searches and lives, and make sure that our cohort remains united and cohesive as time goes on. One of my first responsibilities was to write a graduation speech, commemorating the time we've spent here. A couple of cohortmates requested the speech body, so I've included it below:

Pause for a moment to take this in. You, you great adventurer of the universe you, are here. You may have come from another place, from sales or consulting or law or marketing, but now you are here as a software engineer.

Let's call this moment a Hack Reactor moment - a moment when the universe conspires to give you something you want, something beautiful, something that will take you to the next stage in your life.

So what is this universe conspiring for you? This universe includes:

  • You, with your determination and smarts - much of your success can be attributed to your own hard work and willpower, through late nights, N-Queens, recursion, Backbone, React, and all the other challenges you faced before and while you were here. So first, I'd like to acknowledge you and your effort.

  • Second, it includes the people in your life that took chances on you and gave you opportunities, who have and will continue to support and encourage you.

  • Third, it includes the folks at Hack Reactor, who may have seen you struggle through reduce or filter or map at your interview and said despite all, We believe in this guy.

  • Finally, it includes the founders of Hack Reactor - Marcus and Tony, Shawn and Doug - for taking their own risk to build this beautiful place

In sum, many things - your own efforts - along with an almost infinite number of random and seemingly unrelated things - had to happen for you to be here right now!

With this acknowledgement comes an opportunity, a challenge. An opportunity to create this same type of “Hack Reactor” moment for others in your life — whether that’s at Hack Reactor, at your new job, or with your friends. It’s the challenge to take risks on others and support them in accomplishing their dreams.

In this spirit, I encourage you to support those graduating with you here today. In their job search, their interviews. Pick each other up, share in struggles, and celebrate triumphs.

Congratulations on your Hack Reactor moment, everyone. I’m so proud of the work we’ve accomplished here, and can’t wait to celebrate with all of you in the days to come.