During the commencement ceremony at Harvard Business School, Casey Gerald, Student of MBA Class of 2014, gives an inspiring and stirring speech to his classmates. For about 17 minutes, Casey talks about his life experience, his time at Harvard and at the non-profit movement MBAs Across America without notes or teleprompter to his fellows.
He begins his story when two robbers broke into his house seven years ago and threatened his life. Shortly after, he was rescued by the police. "A strange thing happened as I accepted the fact that I was about to die. I stopped being afraid." Since that moment, he realized that he feared to not accomplish enough in his life for others. "I decided to give my life to a cause greater than myself"
He moved from Yale Law School (YLS) to Harvard Business School (HBS) after a lawyer taught him "If you wanted to change the world in the 20th century, you had to go to law school. But in the 21st Century, i f you want to change the world, go to business school".
During his time at HBS, he realized that "it wasn't that Harvard Business School changed who we were. No instead, I think it reminded us who we could be. It reminded us that we didn't have to wait until we were rich or powerful, or until we actually knew finance, to make a difference. We could act right here right now".
He then founded MBA Across America, a non-profit movement of MBAs and entrepreneurs aiming at revitalizing the U.S. economy.
Casey concludes with an optimistic view of the future that awaits he and his fellow graduates. "As we leave the place for the last time (...)we take up the work of not just making a living, but making a life.(...) We have work to do (..) with the love of those who raised us, with the lessons of those who taught us, with the strength of those who stand beside us as we face what lies ahead. I say let us begin."