Jacobson to Graduates: Seek out Learning
As she stood at the podium before hundreds of new graduates and thousands of their friends and family members, Catherine Jacobson said she could relate to both groups.
The president and CEO of Froedtert Health served as guest speaker for the University of Wisconsin-Parkside spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 18. The experience, Jacobson said, took her back to graduation from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., as the first in her family to attend college. More than 50 percent of the UW-Parkside graduates Saturday were the first in their families to earn a degree.
"If I'm a graduate sitting here today, one of the top things you have to be thinking is: 'I'm done.' I caution you to not be so quick to be done," Jacobson said. "Continue to seek out learning. A life led by continuous learning is a life better led."
As a mom, Jacobson said she could see the event from the eyes of friends and family as well. "You may also be thinking: 'I'm done.' Especially if you have contributed in any way financially," she said. "You should also be excited to see where this degree will take your graduate and what it will allow them to become."
Jacobson reflected upon her own career in providing advice for the graduates. One way she sought out learning was through membership and participation in professional organizations. "I became involved enough that I was able to get leadership roles at the national level," she said. "I met people who were leading health care organizations and that opened up a whole new network for me.
"When you prove what you can do inside your organization and stretch yourself by seeking out learning, opportunities will come your way. Continue to seek out learning; it will lead you to a passion."