Be Bold. Be Purple and Gold.

Richelle Konian's compelling UAlbany enthusiasm inspired the Class of 2018 at the School of Business commencement ceremony in May. When she was asked to deliver the commencement address she humbly wondered, "Why are they asking me? I'm an entrepreneur. I'm still figuring it out." 

Before Richelle Konian ‘95 wrote her speech for School of Business commencement, she asked friends what they remembered about their commencement speakers. They could not recall a word. Konian remembered hers and wanted to be sure that the Class of 2018 would too. So she dug into her career knowledge, a very deep well for a person who has run her own recruiting firm for 18 years and served more than 60,000 career seekers.

 "As I was writing the speech, I felt as if I was tracing the footsteps of my ancestors on my path at the University at Albany. One being my maternal great grandmother, who graduated from UAlbany when it was the was the New York State College for Teachers, and the other my paternal great grandmother who escaped the Armenian genocide with my grandfather who was an infant. They struggled for a 5-year journey hiding in oxcarts, and selling jewels sewn in a blanket, so we are told. Before finally settling in Hell's Kitchen via California, they had traveled through many parts of Asia, including Russia, China and Japan. My first office was in Hell's Kitchen (in the Film Center building), although I had no idea that was where my family settled in NYC," she said.

Konian hoped to inspire the graduating class as she had been inspired by her commencement speaker and her family. First, she hoped that the graduates would embrace globalization. She advised  “…the possibilities are endless in this highly interconnected globalized world. It starts with getting yourself in front of people, listening to their stories and telling your own unique story with conviction.”

Second, she wanted them to know that, even in unpredictable economic times, their world of opportunity is larger. “Social networking is now an effective means of business introductions and sharing relevant content; but personal meetings, building and sustaining your relationships is how business thrives. Cast your net wide in your networking efforts, since you never know exactly where the next great opportunity for you will be.”

Finally, Konian advised the Class of 2018 that they are now alumni of the University at Albany School of Business. “…the Business School at the University at Albany and its vast alumni network are a community willing to support you in your efforts as you navigate your career. These bonds that have united us together and shaped the standard of this institution must continue. Our challenge is to inspire and pass the torch to the next generation of business leaders.”
Read the full text of Konian’s remarks.
Watch the video.

UAlbany Provost Jim Stellar, Richelle Konian '95 and Dean Hany Shawky.

Richelle Konian ‘95 is the founder and CEO of Careers On The Move, boutique executive search firm she founded when she was just five years out of school. A noted career expert, she is often interviewed for television and print, has appeared on CBS Evening News, and has been quoted by CNBC, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, among others. Konian maintains a strong connection with the university. She serves as vice president of the UAlbany Alumni Association Board of Directors, and previously received the Young Alumni Award from the University at Albany Alumni Association. Konian is a long-time member of the School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board and a perennial panelist at Network NYC. She guides and supports the work of the School of Business, speaking to student groups and brainstorming with the school’s Office of Career Services.

Familiar Faces From Richelle Konian's 1995 Commencement

     Konian with Prof David Smith.                  Konian with late Assistant Dean John Levato