TWU Commencement Address, May 2015 – Laura Estrada

Laura Estrada,  1974, Radio and Television, is President and Owner, Garza Business Services, Inc. Dallas and is a TWU Distinguished Alumna

THANK YOU SO MUCH…….. CHANCELLOR FEYTEN…………… REGENTS WILSON AND FARIAS…….. DISTINGUISHED FACULTY AND ADMINISTRATORS…….PARENTS, FRIENDS AND FAMILY,  AND OF COURSE, ALL OF YOU…….THE GRADUATING CLASS OF 2015!

IT IS AN HONOR TO BE WITH YOU TODAY.

I AM PROUD TO SAY TWU IS THE UNIVERSITY WHO PRESENTED ME MY COLLEGE DIPLOMA.  I GRADUATED WITH A DEGREE IN RADIO AND TELEVISION. BACK THEN, IT WAS A VERY NEW DEGREE, SO NOT VERY MANY STUDENTS WERE MAJORING IN RADIO AND TV.

AS A MATTER OF FACT, I WAS THE ONLY GRADUATE WITH THAT SPECIALTY THE YEAR I GRADUATED. SO……. I TOLD MY PARENTS I WAS NUMBER ONE IN MY CLASS! NUMERO UNO!!

(((( TAKE OFF MY SCARF ))))

I LOVE SCARVES. IT’S KIND OF MY SIGNATURE.  SCARVES HAVE SPECIAL MEANINGS…….WELL, AT LEAST TO ME THEY DO!

((( WAVE SCARF ))))

SCARVES GLIDE……THEY WAVE IN THE BREEZE…….THEY PROVIDE PROTECTION…..AS YOU STEP INTO THE NEXT CHAPTER OF YOUR LIVES…..I HOPE IT’S A BREEZE, AND I HOPE IT’S SMOOTH-SAILING FOR YOU. AND MAY YOU BE WELL-SECURED AND PROTECTED IN THE FUTURE.

((( TWIST SCARF INTO A KNOT )))

AH, BUT SOMETIMES THINGS MIGHT NOT GO SO WELL FOR YOU. YOUR SCARF MAY GET INTO A KNOT. THIS WILL HAPPEN. IT’S THE UPS AND DOWNS OF LIFE. SO WHEN YOUR LIFE GETS INTO A KNOT, I SUGGEST YOU ADDRESS THE SITUATION. FACE IT HEAD ON, FIND CLOSURE, AND MOVE ON!  LIFE IS TOO SHORT. GET RID OF THE KNOTS IN YOUR SCARF!

INSTEAD, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS…… VALUE YOUR LOVED ONES……. AND MOVE ON. AND, MOVE ON WITH YOUR HEAD HELD HIGH!

LET ME SHARE WITH YOU A FEW THINGS I’VE COME ACROSS OVER THE YEARS.  A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE TAUGHT ME EARLY ON TO CHOOSE MY AUDIENCE CAREFULLY.  WHO YOU CHOOSE TO ASSOCIATE WITH MATTERS.

MY FIREND WOULD SAY, LAURA, BAD THINGS SURROUNDING YOU ARE BAD SEEDS;  GOOD THINGS SURROUNDING YOU ARE GOOD SEEDS. O-K, I SAID.  BELIEVE ME, THESE SEEDS CAN GROW, SO YOU DON’T WANT A LOT OF BAD SEEDS GROWING IN YOUR AUDIENCE. LIFE IS PRECIOUS. DON’T WASTE IT ON BAD SEEDS.  CHOOSE YOUR AUDIENCE CAREFULLY, BECAUSE WHO YOU CHOOSE WILL MATTER FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIVES.

HERE’S SOMETHING YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE THOUGHT OF: THE FIRST IMPRESSSION.  IN THIS SMALL AMOUNT OF TIME I HAVE BEEN HERE ON STAGE, YOU HAVE ALREADY MADE  A JUDGEMENT OF ME. STUDIES TELL US THAT IN THE FIRST MINUTE, PERCEPTIONS ARE MADE  THAT MAY NEVER CHANGE.  BE AWARE OF THIS.  MAKING JUDGEMENTS IS WHAT HUMANS DO, SO PREPARE YOURSELF TO HAVE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION

BE A GREAT ONE!

THIS TAKES PRACTICE! IN BUSINESS, THE FIRST MINUTE OF CONTACT WILL LEAD TO MORE CONVERSATION – OR NOT.  IF YOU DON’T GET PAST THAT FIRST MINUTE, YOU DON’T GET THE NEXT FIFTEEN.  SO PREPARE FOR THAT FIRST MINUTE……. AND MAKE A GREAT IMPRESSION.

YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS SELLING RADIO, A NEW SALES MANAGER WAS HIRED.  HE GATHERED ALL OF US IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM AND SAID THE USUAL SALES MANAGER SPEECH: MAKE YOUR QUOTAS, DON’T OVER-EXCEED ON YOUR EXPENSE ACCOUNT, ETC, ETC, ETC.  AND…… AS HE WAS ABOUT TO DISMISS US……… HE SAID ONE LAST THING:  AS YOU WORK FOR THIS COMPANY, I WANT YOU TO “DO WHAT IS RIGHT”.

THERE WAS TOTAL SILENCE IN THE ROOM.

FOUR WORDS HE SAID – FOUR POWERFUL WORDS: DO WHAT IS RIGHT.  IT SOUNDS VERY SIMPLE…. BUT IT CAN BE DIFFICULT AT TIMES. YOU ARE GOING TO BE FACED WITH UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATIONS; DIFFICULT DECISIONS TO BE MADE. THERE WILL BE TIMES WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO GET THAT FEELING DEEP DOWN IN YOUR GUT THAT SAYS “AM I DOING THE RIGHT THING”?

THAT’S WHEN YOU SAY TO YOURSELF THOSE FOUR WORDS: DO WHAT IS RIGHT.  TRUST YOUR GUT. DO WHAT IS RIGHT.

LET ME LEAVE YOU WITH SOME QUICK TIPS. SOME OF THESE JUST MAY RESONATE WITH YOU.  I’LL RUN THROUGH THEM QUICKLY…….. THEY ARE IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER.

SO HERE WE GO:

  1. LEARN TO KEEP A SECRET. ONCE YOU CAN KEEP A SECRET, YOU WILL HEAR MANY.
  1. LEARN TO NEGOCIATE. YOU WILL NEGOCIATE DAILY WHETHER YOU REALIZE IT OR NOT, SO LEARN TO NEGOCIATE.
  1. BELIEVE IN SELF-SUFFICIENCY. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELF.
  1. EMBRACE CHANGE. BE OPEN AND FLEXIBLE IN ORDER TO EMBRACE CHANGE. IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN, SO EMBRACE IT.
  1. ALWAYS GET IT IN WRITING.
  1. YOU CAN NOT PLEASE ALL THE PEOPLE, ALL THE TIME. ACCEPT THIS FACT AND MOVE ON.
  1. THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS IN LIFE.
  1. BE CAREFUL OF SOCIAL MEDIA. IT’S POWERFUL, BOTH GOOD AND BAD.
  1. SPLURGE ON “EXPERIENCES” INSTEAD OF MATERIAL THINGS.
  1. YOU’VE HEARD THE SAYING “OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS”.   NOOOO, IT DOESN’T ALWAYS KNOCK.  SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE INITIATIVE, BANG DOWN THE DOOR, AND SAY “I’M HERE”!

CLASS OF 2015: IT’S BEEN A PLEASURE TO BE WITH YOU TODAY.  I WISH YOU THE BEST IN THE FUTURE. YOU ARE THE FUTURE.  SMILE WIDE and SMILE OFTEN.

AND ESPECIALLY TODAY……DON’T FORGET TO HUG YOUR PARENTS.

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About 4twualumni

Director of Alumni Relations, Texas Woman's University, Denton, Dallas and Houston Texas
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