Career

Michael Bloomberg: ‘An Open Mind Is the Most Valuable Asset You Can Possess’

May 2, 2016

Watch Michael Bloomberg's University of Michigan commencement speech

Michael Bloomberg has experienced many career turns—he’s started his own companies, served as the 108th mayor of New York City and almost ran for President. So fittingly, during his commencement address at the University of Michigan, he encouraged graduates to stay open-minded as they start their own careers. “An open mind is the most valuable asset you can possess,” he said.

“We have an economy based on information: Acquire the knowledge, apply the analytics, use your creativity,” said Bloomberg, who also reminded graduates that their greatest achievements “will owe an awful lot to the people around you. If there’s a secret to success beyond hard work and good luck, it’s that the more we say ‘we’ and the less we say ‘I’, the further we go.”

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He encouraged graduates to also support and lift up those with whom they work: “Never hesitate to stand up for the rights of others who express their views and exercise their rights,” he said.

You can watch the full speech above.

Watch more than 2016 commencement speeches:

Anne-Marie Slaughter: ‘Care Is as Important as Career’

Barack Obama: ‘Passion Is Vital, But You’ve Got to Have a Strategy’

Condoleezza Rice to Grads: ‘Don’t Let Anyone Else Define Your Passion’

Cory Booker to Grads: ‘Tell Your Truth’

Darren Walker to Grads: ‘Stand For Something’

Earl Lewis: ‘Never Confuse The Attainement of an Education with What It Means to Be Educated’

Eboo Patel to Wake Forest Grads: ‘The Only Shame Is in Stagnation’

Hoda Kotb: ‘You’re the Sum Total of the Five People You Spend the Most Time With’

J.K. Simmons to Grads: ‘Live in the Moment’

Jane Goodall to Grads: ‘Remember to Live to Your True Human Potential’

Jill Bolte Taylor: ‘We Have the Power to Choose Who We Want to Be’

Lin-Manuel Miranda to Grads: ‘Your Stories Are Essential’

Madeleine Albright: ‘Everyone Must Participate in Solving Shared Problems’

Michael Bloomberg: ‘An Open Mind Is the Most Valuable Asset You Can Possess’

Michelle Obama to Grads: ‘Excellence Is the Most Powerful Answer You Can Give’

Obama to Grads: Building Walls Is ‘A Betrayal of Who We Are’

Russell Wilson: ‘Go Make It Happen’

Sheryl Sandberg: ‘Finding Gratitude and Appreciation Is Key to Resilience’

Vivek Murthy: ‘Live a Connected Life’

William Foege to Grads: ‘Every Day We Edit Our Obituaries’