Peyton R. Patterson, chairman, president and CEO of NewAlliance Bancshares and NewAlliance Bank, told the graduate students of the School of Business Friday that if they want to move up in their careers, they must understand their companies.
Patterson, who received her masters at GW in 1983, gave the keynote address at the ceremony in the Smith Center and said the graduates must get to know their businesses intimately.
“You’re going to be in a job and you’re going to have an immediate boss, but you are a part of a larger entity,” Patterson said. “So it is important for you to understand the metrics, the boundary system, where is this company going. You should have to spend a lot of your hard-earned time to support that company so you need to know it well.”
She also said the graduates must be their most powerful advocates and not be afraid to ask questions.
“You can’t be afraid to know that you need to know more,” Patterson said. “But I ask that you strike a balance between what you want to do professionally, what you want to do in your personal life, and that’s what needs to be what you define as just enough to get ahead.”
Amanda Charles, the student speaker, shared her story of growing up in the Dominican Republic and coming to GW. She said anything is possible from this year’s class.
“Class of 2008, if anything is to be said of us, let it be that we care enough, dare to dream and still change our world,” she said.
Heejun Lee, who received her masters of tourism administration on Friday, said after the event that her first goal after graduation is to get a good job.
“I am a job hunter now,” she said. “With this degree, I can get a better position.”