I believe my work speaks for itself, and I hope it appeals to you.
1. Commencement Speech (University of Texas at Austin. McCombs School of Business. Summer 2013):
“Well, I just want to speak on gratitude (thanking friends, families, husbands, wives who supported the graduate). Then recognize professors and the program administrators.I want to close with recognizing value of the MPA program and beseeching peers to maintain the sustainability by donating or giving back as alumni. Then, in the middle, I want to give one word of advice to peers…in the neighborhood of striving to be humble, to respect people across cultures and to keep shining. So, that is the basic plan. I will be speaking only to graduating students of the Accounting program. This commencement is restricted to accounting graduates, and I will be graduating as well.”
Greetings dignitaries (recognize individuals accordingly), family members, friends, my fellow Longhorns,
It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. For many of us that proverbial step was taken more than a few years ago. And at long last, on this glorious day we have arrived at the thousandth mile. However, we must not fail to realize that the more momentous journey is really just beginning; meaning that what we celebrate here today, on this monumental day that represents the culmination of our hard work, time, determination, commitment, and effort, is in itself another first step. It is with utmost honor and humility that I stand before you to speak words that might as well be yours, words I hope echo sentiments we all share. Naturally, this is a day that each of us has been anticipating for a long time, as have our parents, brothers and sisters, friends, and other loved ones. We have each come a long way, and some of us have come from a long way, to arrive at this milestone. We have set upon our respective journeys to this common destination, and along the way we have encountered many fellow travelers and made many new discoveries, none more important than the ones we have made about ourselves. I believe that one must become a professional long before one is hired to be a professional. And truly, that is a huge part of the essence of an institution of higher learning, such as the one we are all privileged to have attended all these years, THE University of Texas! Whether you are graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting or with a Masters of Professional Accounting, you are on the verge of undertaking a profession that requires a unique amount of diligence and arguably incomparable degree of meticulousness. I am confident, because of the credibility and capability of our reputable university, that each of us stands ready to rise up to meet this new challenge with necessary resolve.
Friends, we could never have accomplished any of this without the guidance, support, and love of our professors and mentors, family members, and friends. Therefore, I would be remiss not to sincerely thank you wonderful individuals for the irreplaceable role you have each played in shaping and molding us into the men and women we are today. I also must remind my fellow graduating Longhorns that as we go forth from here, even as we continue to “Bleed Orange” we must always remember that everyone we encounter out in the so called “Real World” has the same blood as us within their veins. I say that simply to reiterate the importance of fostering the same spirit of diversity, solidarity, and compassion that we have been taught to embrace right here, henceforth, and for the rest of our lives. Based on my own personal experiences, I have come to sincerely believe that we can learn so much more about ourselves, ironically not from people who are exactly like us, but rather from people who are unlike us. I hope that you too may appreciate this perspective.
Finally, as Longhorns ready and equipped to go out and grab life by the horns, no matter how far we go, no matter how high we ascend in our respective professions, we must always remember the ties that bind us – The University of Texas. So, I must ask in advance that each of us does our part to make our Alma mater proud by sustaining her prominence and the quality of education of future generations of Longhorns; by developing the good habit of giving back as Alumni, not just of the money we hope we may make lots of, but also of the time we know will never have enough of.
With that said, I have just these parting words left to say: “HOOK ‘EM HORNS!!”
2. Wedding Speech (toast to a man unlike any other; Summer 2013):
“Ken, my uncle is a 37 year old Auditor who works in Douala, Cameroon. Ok you will have to use his character traits which I will give subsequently to paint an image of him. He hails from the North West region in Nkambe. Now let it be an intense write up packed with so much drama and literal language. It should have an arresting opening and it should be mind blowing. Now his character traits are: He is loving, soft spoken, easily makes friends he is also very kind and open. He loves choral music and he loves keeping an interesting discussion. He is also stylish, intelligent, smart, flexible, and loves to catch fun from time to time. I’ll want you to paint a personal image of the relationship I share with him; in fact, this should be the high point of the tribute. Spell out his kindness towards me and how much I look up to him as a hero and a mentor. How much I respect him and how much he means to me. Now for his wife; she is strict, orderly, composed, very organized, friendly, God fearing, caring, respectful, and also very stylish. Paint out the caring nature in her and how she can take ample care of my uncle; also paint out the organized nature and how she will organize her home. She is from Canada and works at a bank. She hails from the North West region in Banso. Ok man these are the details but you know best how to fit the facts and come out with something exceptional. You know exactly what I expect from you so just give it to me. Thanks man and I wait on you.”
Ladies and gentlemen, believe me when I say I don’t know where to start. It is said there is much power in words and yet here I stand powerless because this moment has left me speechless. This is a day that I too have long awaited, as if I was the one getting wed. And no, it’s not because I find myself so anxious to arrive at this moment too someday, but rather because I find myself so overjoyed to be here with this indescribable manner of man today! Most beloved uncle, like I’ve said I’m not sure what to say about you, but I’ll do my very best to speak words that I hope would at least reflect the tip of the iceberg of the awesomeness that you embody. I assure you people, that was no hyperbole; this man really is that awesome! He has been a genuine friend, magnificent mentor, and noble role model for me, as well as a father figure, and real life hero.
Dear Uncle, I want you to know that I have the utmost respect for you. I appreciate the kindness you have always shown me throughout my years. I know I may never be able to repay you for it all, but by God I’ll do my best to be my best so that I may make you proud; and so that I may be able to in turn help you like you’ve helped me, in whatever way, big or small. I say that from the bottom of my heart!
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sure I’m not the sole proprietor of these sentiments toward my uncle. Those who know him well know he is loving, soft spoken, friendly, sociable, kind, and open-minded. He is a man with many admirable qualities – he embraces diversity, he is intelligent, stylish, flexible, likes to engage in and sustain interesting discussions, and loves to have a good time from time to time, as he is very fond of choral music. He is undoubtedly a man of exquisite taste, as evidenced by the ravishing beauty of his beloved blushing bride sitting lovingly by his side. Oh and what a woman!
Uncle, here’s one of my favorite quotes I must share with you, especially on this day, “Be careful who you marry, 90% of your happiness depends on it.” No pressure! You know, when I first read that quote I was quite alarmed! I thought, “Wow, 90%” is a very high percentage!” It was almost daunting! But upon reflecting further I figured it made much sense, when one considers that marriage defies both logic and mathematics, since it suggests that 1+1=1, not 2. Therefore, I’m going to up the ante today and say that 100% of your happiness after the day you marry depends on who you marry. With that said, as I stand here and look at your beautiful wife, radiating her lovely smile, I have no doubt that you are already happier than most men.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would be remissed if I did not also properly articulate the character traits of this virtuous woman, traits I am sure are what attracted my uncle beyond the obvious. She is strict, composed, orderly, very organized, friendly, caring, respectful, and most importantly, God fearing! Oh and by the way, she like her husband is quite stylish! All of these traits give me great confidence that she will be the sturdy backbone to my uncle, and with him will build a successful, organized home and family. It is clear that you two make each other happy. Beloved uncle, my final words to you and your bride today are rather simple and straightforward, “Happy wife, happy life!”
I love you! We love you! God bless you two! Gratitude and Godspeed!
3. Professional Biography (for fashion website; Summer 2013):
“Below is the full version of the bio I did. It has a little more info that I didn’t think I needed n this bio – but it may give you some insight into the work I’ve done. I really don’t like the title thing because I do so much. I’ve been asked to write for fashion tips for blogs, host events, I’ve directed videos lol. I just want my bio to show that because of these work experiences and networking – people respect my vision and call me for creative collaborations in all kinds of fields; art, fashion, music, entertainment, etc. Another thing is my culture as a Jamaican American has deeply contributed to my appreciation for art and other cultures. (This may be t.m.i. but it could also be a buffer in the bio. I appreciate your time Kenny).”
After Initial Work: “I love the Bio! There are a few sentences I took out just because it’s less relevant to the site it’s going on. The bio is actually for a website on an event I will be hosting (the event is a mixer for women. It’ll be geared towards wellness and some fashion). I wanted to add in a little to the bio about how people contact me to work with them on many different kinds of projects (i.e hosting, directing, producing) because of my “eye” for what sells, how to sell it, and the fact that targeted consumers/customers usually take to things I like or support. Fashion is of course my passion but it has also led me to opportunities in other creative fields. I also wanted not an ending, but a wrap or closing at the end of the bio. I know my story isn’t finished – but the end of the bio seems like it stops abruptly. Any suggestions? If any of this makes sense lol. Let me know what you think about the parts I took out and if it flows.”
One look at Keagan Noelle would suffice for any onlooker to know this woman was made for the fashion industry. A young American woman of Jamaican origins, she embodies the “art” in “earth” and expresses herself accordingly, embracing all cultures and living in all the fullness of life. After graduating from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations, Keagan knew she had to find a way to fulfill another dream – realize her passion for fashion and assert her creativity professionally.
Therefore, she resorted to putting herself in the right places, connecting with the right people, and learning by actually doing. She took fashion courses at a local community college to learn sketching, garment construction, and the business basics of the industry. She started in retail and worked her way up to visual merchandising for Nordstrom, and Lacoste. She interned with modeling agencies, styled for numerous fashion shows in Houston, and did much pro bono work to get her feet in the door of the fashion industry.
Today, Keagan wears many hats. She works full time at Academy Sports & Outdoors’ commercial photo studio in Houston, TX. Beyond her 8 to 5 workday, she is also a creative director, photo shoot producer, and wardrobe & product stylist. Nine years of hands-on, bottom-to-the-top experience have taught her how to adapt to the ever-changing, image-obsessed fashion industry, and she is putting together a formidable rap sheet. Her work in the local fashion industry, her relationship with some of the city’s top fashion insiders, and her eye for what sells have resulted in a constant growth of her clientele.
All of this progress notwithstanding, Keagan knows that in spite of her successes her journey is only just beginning in earnest. “I’ve made mistakes, but the learning experience has been priceless.”
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