"Work to maintain balance in your life," was the most important recommendation of all from Al Carey, PepsiCos senior vice president of sales and retail strategies and keynote speaker at the Smith School graduation ceremony.
"Don't get me wrong - a successful career can be exhilarating, although I'd warn you that it won't ever be as great as you imagined, particularly if you're missing other important aspects of your life; such as family, friends, and other interests," said Carey. "I've never heard any executive at any point in their career say, 'I feel like I've spent too much time with my family.'"
Nearly 1,000 Smith School students joined their families and friends in celebration at the school's spring graduation, Wednesday, May 23, 2001. Approximately 660 students applied for bachelor's degrees, more than 320 for master's degrees, and five for Ph.Ds.
"What an exciting time for all of you, as you begin your new careers, and particularly since you're graduating from an institution that is perhaps more on the rise than any business school in the U.S.," said Carey in his opening remarks.
Carey directs global sales for Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay, and Tropicana as well as long-term sales strategies with the corporation retailers. He also leads PepsiCos "Power of One" initiative, leveraging the combined strength of the corporations beverage and snack divisions worldwide. A 1974 University of Maryland graduate with a B.A. in government, Carey is chairman of the Smith Schools Campaign Leadership Committee. Last month, Carey received the Smith School's Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Carey enlightened graduates with five "non-textbook lessons" for professional and personal success: have confidence and use common sense, have patience, get a frontline mentor, think like a salesperson, and maintain balance.
He said that everyone is always selling, so thinking like a salesperson is imperative. "I thought I knew a lot about selling until I heard author Deepak Chopra speak at a conference and gave a new perspective on a selling mindset. He said the secret to success in any negotiation or transaction is asking the following question: 'How can I help you get what you want?'"
Margaret Lassack, a double major in international business and economics and recipient of the Deans' Graduate of Distinction Award, and Jennifer Darling, a business major and recipient of this year's Finance Award, also addressed graduates.
All University of Maryland graduates gathered in Cole Student Activities Building on Thursday, May 24 for the campus convocation. Maryland Governor Parris Glendening was the guest speaker.