‘You Will Always Have the University of New Haven to Fall Back On’
Emily Bogdanowicz ’23, ’24 MBA reflects on the many moments the Class of 2023 shared as Chargers, encouraging them to continue to share what they’ve learned and to set new goals for themselves.
May 17, 2023
By Emily Bogdanowicz ’23, ’24 MBA
For those who don't know me, “Hi!” I am Emily Bogdanowicz, I am a graduating sport management major from Baltimore, Maryland. I am a student-athlete on the women’s soccer team. A fun fact about me is that I did Irish dancing for more than 15 years. Now let's go around the room and if everyone could say their name, major, where they’re from, and a fun fact about you...I’m only kidding.
The past couple of years we have been doing these “ice breakers” at the beginning of every course, every semester, getting to know our fellow classmates and professors, repeating the same tale over and over. Well, now that tale will change. We will be entering the workforce soon and our fellow coworkers will be asking “Hi. Where are you from? Where did you go to school?”
Our narrative changes as we enter the next stage of our life. We have spent numerous years getting a quality education at the University of New Haven, which has prepared us as we begin to enter the workforce. We are the next generation of business executives, and the future forensic scientists and law enforcement professionals of the world. As we usher in this new era of our lives, we are left to reflect on the moments that got us this far.
I’m sure no one was expecting COVID to happen as we began our college careers. We were expecting to have freedom away from home, gain new friends from all over, and create memories that would last a lifetime. We may have still done those things, just six feet apart and with a mask on. We got an early spring break thinking this would blow over in a couple of weeks, but what we thought was a two-week vacation, turned into two years of masks on wherever you went, weekly COVID tests in the Beckerman Center or the German Club, and class sizes being reduced.
But look at the positive side, we are all sitting here right now because we pushed through the tough times. We got through the pandemic at a time in our lives when we were trying to figure out the rest of our lives.
‘We should all be proud’
There were also fun moments as well. Tailgating at football games, going to basketball games, and watching our female student-athletes thrive. Uniting as a university to support our student-athletes who do pretty dang good. We got to watch our football team win the conference and make it to playoffs in back-to-back years. This year, the basketball team made the Elite 8 for the first time in program history. Field hockey made it to playoffs in back-to-back years and was nationally ranked. All these moments helped unite the University community and gave us a common goal to cheer for.
There are also bittersweet moments, such as the quad flooding. What initially was pretty crazy when the lower levels of residence halls were filling up with water, turned into a swimming free-for-all outside of Bixler and Celentano. People were wading through the water, some going in head first. People were splashing around with friends, and some people were just trying to get back to their rooms to go to bed. It's memories like these that will last us a lifetime. And the rest of that lifetime begins today.
From this point forward you will be a college graduate. You will have the knowledge to enter your field and make a difference. Going forward you will always have the University of New Haven tied to your name. Go forth and make the school proud of your achievements. Become a superstar in your field, get buildings named after you, and have a meal named in your honor. Be the person to put the University of New Haven on the map as a perfect destination for young adults to jump-start their careers.
The University of New Haven provided numerous opportunities to get us to this point in your academic careers and soon-to-be professional careers, whether that looked like trips all over the country, taking advantage of studying abroad, or networking with professionals who the University brings in. We have been given the resources to excel in our fields. Now we get the chance to do just that. We should all be proud that we had the opportunity to take advantage of such a great education, and we must do the most with what we have learned going forward.
‘The insight and skills to be successful’
Years from now we may reflect back on our times here and think of all the memories we created with friends; the class we had at Charger Plaza that we had to walk in the rain for; or walking through the Maxcy Quad, knowing we had to avoid stepping on the seal if we wanted to graduate.
Luckily all of us did avoid it otherwise we wouldn’t be here today. Or you may think of going to the C-Store just to get the freshly baked cookies. No one can take these memories away from us. You will have stories for years to come about your college life and the impact that the University of New Haven made on you.
When in doubt you will always have the University of New Haven to fall back on. Just look around you. Who knows? The person next to you may end up helping you get your next job. You will always have the connections you have made here, which leads me to my next point. If you haven’t, connect with me on LinkedIn. You will be seeing my graduation post within the next couple of days.
But on a serious note, I want you all to go forth and share all the knowledge you have gained from your education here. We have the insight and skills to be successful. Don’t let anyone try and stop you. Set a goal for yourself and don't stop until you achieve it. Once you achieve that goal set another one. Don’t ever let yourself be complacent. Always strive for greatness, and excel doing what you came here to do.
And, finally, whenever someone questions you or your actions just ask them, “what about it?!?” Congratulations, Class of 2023!
Emily Bogdanowicz ’23, ’24 MBA, a new sport management grad who will begin her MBA at the University this fall, was a finalist to serve as a student speaker at Commencement. The content above is based on the speech she delivered as part of the competitive process to select the student Commencement speakers.