Many New England College of Business students have dreamed about graduation for months and, in some cases, years. On May 20, 2017, around 300 of these students, earning NECB online business degrees, realized their dream at the Back Bay Events Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
“If it was easy, everyone would do it,” said Michelle Cully, founder, owner and president of Xpressman Trucking & Courier and the 2017 New England College of Business commencement speaker. She shared her inspiring story with the audience.
Cully has owned Xpressman Trucking & Courier since 1993, but her road to success was not a smooth one. At age 23, she was lost and broken. And that’s when she decided to start a company.
“It became my mission and I never looked back,” she said.
And despite many setbacks, today, Cully has over 100 employees and drivers. She owns her own 33,000-square-foot warehouse building. And while she used to operate out of her parents’ laundry room, she now serves customers coast to coast.
“I want you to ask yourself – ‘What can I be? How far can I go? How can I change my path?’” she said. “In earning your degree, I bet there were times that it would have been easy to give up, to not show up and to give in. But you are here. And like me, you pressed on.”
Having never attended undergraduate school herself, the business college commencement ceremony was the first college graduation Cully ever attended. At the end of her speech, she was awarded an honorary doctor of commerce degree from NECB.
As she closed her speech, she offered words of encouragement to the graduates: “Be courageous. Work hard, and never say, ‘I can’t.’”
Cully’s speech was followed by speeches from graduates of NECB’s online business degree programs. Starry Poe and Caitlin Mancuso, who both received their online MBA, began by thanking the people who helped them along the way, and noted the importance of investing in yourself.
“Without challenge, there is no success. The investment was well worth it,” said Poe.
Mancuso added: “Regardless of trials and tribulations, persevere. You will not disappoint anyone, and you will succeed.”
Next up was Kevin Goehring, who graduated with a bachelor of science in business administration. He spoke about being discouraged to attend college when he was younger and the experience of going to school later in life. Thanks to his new online business administration degree from NECB, Goehring is the newest full-time professor at Sacramento City College’s aviation program – a position he was not eligible for in the past.
“The opportunities that once slipped through my fingers have been grasped, thanks to this investment,” he said.
But he cautioned that, though they may be graduating, this should not be the end of the road: “The worst thing we could do today is to say we have finished learning. Today is a day of celebration, but tomorrow is a day for setting new goals. Commit today to being a lifelong learner.”
Congratulations to the New England College of Business Class of 2017!