For many students, commencement is a final moment of reflection. It’s time to examine all that you’ve accomplished and all that lies ahead. Kendall’s student commencement speaker is no exception. Originally from Kazakhstan, Zhanna Diyarova earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business and will leave Kendall to become a brand ambassador at the flagship Tiffany’s store in New York.
Her speech allowed her to reflect on all the opportunities Kendall offered her and share a few important pieces of advice with fellow graduates:
We’re all connected; take care of your universe. The Language and Culture Seminar she took not only helped her immerse herself in the city of Chicago and American culture, it also helped her realize every person is connected. “We have classmates from all over. We talked about how life began. Life is made up of atoms, which are traceable to the stars. When you think about it, we are all part of the universe. Take care of it and everyone in it.”
Focus on the positive and learn from the negative. If you’re part of a disagreement, “don’t blame yourself,” she explains. “Instead, learn from the experience, accept it, and keep going. Keep in mind that the universe inside of you listens. If you appreciate yourself, who knows? Maybe tomorrow will be a better day and your dreams will come true.”
Find your inner self. “Today is a loud, fast-moving place. It can be hard to be yourself,” she says. “Cultivate your own opinions by taking time to understand each issue. Spend five to 10 minutes a day to think things over. Try really hard to listen to yourself. It’s ok to accept other opinions, but consider what you think first.”
Never stop exploring. At Kendall, every class pushed me to my limit in a good way—all those papers, ice breaking exercises, and group projects,” she says. “I realized that what Kendall tried to do was push me to discover myself. I found my strengths. Now, I’m not afraid to try things or push myself to the limits.”
Diyarova plans to take her own advice very seriously. As a Tiffany’s brand ambassador, she connects customers to sales associates, helps them learn what they want most, and overall acts as one of the first faces customers see. As she gains experience, she hopes to earn a position in the marketing department to help research current trends about fashion, train staff, and continue to improve an already sterling brand. “At Kendall, I found my passion,” she says. “Just as I did with my instructors, I plan to learn all I can from everyone in this industry.”