A Glimpse of Graduation

Picharn Kanjanakantorn

Bachelor of Science, International Business

Good evening esteemed guests, ladies, gentlemen and the graduating class of Fall 2012. First, I would like to say thank you for that kind introduction. For those who do not know me, I am Picharn Kanjanakantorn, but most call me Pop for short. I would like to thank all of the families, friends and faculty for being here today to support the respective graduates. I believe I speak for everyone when I say that it really does mean a lot to us all.

Profile Photo of Picharn Kanjanakantorn

Well, here we are — after countless all-nighters studying, rolling out of bed early to make it to class, jumping from one major to another trying to figure out who we are and who we want to be, learning to do our own laundry and eating pizza for breakfast, among all other memorable college experiences we have had, we are finally graduating. My first thought about being presented a diploma and what it would mean to me was, “Did I really just spend all this money on one single piece of paper?” But of course our diplomas are not just pieces of paper. They represent the beginning for all of us, the beginning of our real adult lives. No longer will we be determined by standardized letter grades, but by our efforts and experiences. We are now free to go our own way, and it will definitely be different for everyone. Some of us will further our education, some will rush into the workforce, some will take some needed time for ourselves and maybe even travel the world. No matter what, we are all able to choose our path, and my advice to you is to not be afraid to do whatever it is that you want or believe in. This is your life, and right now the world is at your disposal, so take the opportunity while you have it.

I came to the (Naveen Jindal) School of Management in 2010 as a transfer student. My first noticeable impression of UT Dallas was of the professors’ willingness to take extra steps to help students. UT Dallas has provided me the opportunity to discover myself. Dr. (Habte) Woldu, Dr. (Marilyn) Kaplan and A.K. Sharif are some of the many professors that recommended me to participate in study abroad trips and to take part in the Dean’s Council. The study abroad trips taught me how to assimilate into other cultures, be it social or business environments. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit the Solaris headquarters in Poland, the BMW headquarters in Berlin and Grupo Gloria in Peru. I strongly encourage you graduates to make the same journey of traveling abroad, not only for leisure but also to broaden your horizons.

“What is really important is how you, yourself, are remembered. Hopefully, you will always be remembered as that person who really cared, who helped or guided others in their times of need, and who made others feel special and appreciated.”

Today's achievements may fade or even become forgotten. The applause you hear today may become a distant memory, your medals and certificates might gather dust on a shelf or even in a drawer somewhere. But, as important as those material things can be, what is really important is how you, yourself, are remembered. Hopefully, you will always be remembered as that person who really cared, who helped or guided others in their times of need, and who made others feel special and appreciated. Remember to always hold onto your values, ethics, integrity, determination, and most importantly, your humanity. These are the qualities that will guide you further on the path you create for yourself. As Ralph Emerson once said, "Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Congratulations everyone, and good luck to us all as we embark on the rest of our lives. Thank you!

Picharn Kanjanakantorn attended the International School of Bangkok in Thailand and graduated from UT Dallas with a bachelor’s degree in international business and a minor in psychology. He has been involved in several organizations on campus including Ascend, AISEC, the men’s volleyball club and multiple student associations. He is the co-founder of the International Management Society and is a recruiting manager for the JSOM Dean’s Council. He has volunteered at the DFW International Community Alliance and held three jobs as a student worker in the UT Dallas Activity Center. Kanjanakantorn also was a research assistant for Dr. Habte Woldu and Alamgir Sharif in the international management studies and foreign study programs. After graduation, he plans to travel the world and return to UT Dallas to pursue his master’s degree in international business and marketing.