Convocation is a huge milestone. The entire university comes together to celebrate years of hard work, dedication, and engagement. Wednesday, June 13, 2018 marked a historical event for the University of Waterloo. A new evening ceremony was added to the existing convocation schedule, as a first for the Faculty of Arts, dedicated to the graduating students from the School of Accounting and Finance.
Among the more than 1,360 Faculty of Arts graduands, SAF, parents, and friends celebrated the graduation of 309 Accounting and Financial Management (AFM), 32 Masters of Taxation, and 1 PhD of Accounting student.
Alumnus Upkar Arora, was the special guest speaker for the evening ceremony. Arora is the co-founder and CEO of Illumina Partners, a boutique advisory firm which has specialized in strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and finance since 2002. In 2014, Arora also founded Illumina Social Impact Partners to advise and invest in enterprises committed to social impact to affect positive, scalable, and sustainable change in our communities.
Being one of the graduates of the first Master of Accounting (MAcc) class in 1985, Arora shared three ideas he wished someone would have told him 30 years ago.
Define success in your own way on your own terms
Success comes in many varieties and is not solely measured by money, titles, statures, or material possessions, and it is certainly not measured in professional terms alone. But it is the synchronicity of heart, mind, body, and spirit.
Life is not a straight line, look around and explore the possibilities
There is no universal right path, but multiple paths that might be right for you. I use three questions to guide whether to say yes to an opportunity: Would I have a chance to work with great people; Would I be able to learn and push my personal boundaries; and Could I make an impact.
Humanity above all
Compassion and empathy leading to human relationships is still what makes us unique and still what artificial intelligence cannot master.
Arora’s advice to design a life that is meaningful and unique to you is by defining success on your own terms, exploring the possibilities, and putting humanity at the core as the three pillars in what you need when building a better world.
Ashay Padhye, was the valedictorian for the class of 2018, Bachelor of Accounting and Financial Management. Similar to Upkar, he shared three points from who he deemed to be the single greatest philosopher of all time, Winnie the Pooh.
You are braver than you believe
University is full of uncomfortable moments and intimidating things that we’ve all overcome through our bravery. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
You are stronger than you seem
We’ve shown an unrelenting desire to not give up, to push through, and to overcome. We are part of the generation changing stigmas around a variety of social issues, and we are engaging in difficult conversations about those issues every day. If that isn’t showing strength, then I don’t know what is.
You are smarter than you think
We are on the cusp of graduating from one of the most challenging programs, in one of the most diverse faculties, at one of the most well-respected schools in the world. That is not nothing.
Ashay leaves the class of 2018 with this final thought for his peers: “You cannot succeed without the risk of failure. You cannot have a voice without the risk of criticism. Do what is uncomfortable and scary. You do not have to be fearless. Just don’t let fear stop you, because the question isn’t whether you have something to offer to the world or if you can change the world.”
Congratulations Warriors, your relationship with the University of Waterloo doesn’t have to end after you graduate. Being a Warrior alum means a lifetime of resources, ideas, networks, connections, support, and family.
Learn more on how you can stay connected.