I want to welcome each of you to the Swiss School of Management. SSM is a private institution of higher learning that not only meets the standards of today’s professional world, but exceeds them. The Swiss School of Management stands for much more than excellence in business education; it combines broad theoretical knowledge with implementation in the marketplace and real-life situations.

A Wall Street legend who recently passed away, offered a great piece of advice to college grads. I would like to share with all of you his thoughts:

John Angelo, the 74-year-old New Yorker who led $25 billion investment firm Angelo Gordon & Co., died Friday, January 1, after a struggle with cancer.

He cofounded Angelo Gordon and led the firm for 27 years, and also served on the board of directors at auction house Sotheby’s.

Angelo returned to his alma mater, St. Lawrence University in New York, to give a commencement speech. There, he explained to graduates what he learned in his decades on Wall Street.

Doing what you love is part of it, he explained. But, a big part of doing what you love is making sure you’re good enough at something that you love to do it. He said:

“The truth is we tend to enjoy what we are good at. I promise you, that each of you has a skill or talent that is unique, that nobody else has. Pursue what you are good at; discover what you do better than anyone else. And if you do that, you will discover what you love. And once you dig in to the thing you love and are good at, the future will come more easily and obstacles will fall away.

Do not be afraid to fail. If you don’t fail you haven’t taken chances. But when you do fail learn from it. And if you fall at least fall forward closer to your goal.

Never give up on yourselves, never. Life can bring difficult times, but remember that coming from St. Lawrence is a crucial asset for you. Stay in touch with your friends; seek each other out as the years roll on and help each other. Remember that in this country the sky is the limit.”

Angelo, over the first few years of his career working on the bond floor of the New York Stock Exchange, figured out a few things about himself that he says schools can’t teach. He said:

1. I learned the language of finance

2. I learned to speak quickly

3. I could make mathematical decisions quickly

4. I learned that I could multitask

These are not things that are taught to you in college or business school. But these are the skill set of a trader in the last half of the 20th century. I never knew I had these skills.

Last but not least, Angelo had one great piece of wisdom that applies to both newly minted grads and seasoned vets:

“The harder you work, the luckier you get.”

Our goal at SSM is to nurture leaders who can inspire others, demonstrate outstanding skills, and work in multi-cultural environments. At the Swiss School of Management, you will learn among a truly international student body as our students come from all over the world. We are proud of this diversity because it adds to your learning experience. Employers especially value a student who is adapt for a diverse workplace. Our second goal is to prepare you for the future. In today’s competitive world nobody however skilled or talented, becomes a success by themselves.

Studying at the Swiss School of Management is challenging, however, the rewards are tremendous. In addition to acquiring new knowledge and new ideas, our student network is global. Many of your classmates will become part of the growing SSM alumni.

I am certain that you will find your experience here inspiring and enjoyable and I wish you all the best and success in your studies and future careers.

I am looking forward to personally welcome you at Swiss School of Management in beautiful Rome in Italy.

Massimiliano Bracalé, PhD, MBA, Dipl.B.W. HF
Founding President