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Home » Michael R. Bloomberg’s Speech at Harvard Business School (Transcript)

Michael R. Bloomberg’s Speech at Harvard Business School (Transcript)

Read the full text of Michael R. Bloomberg’s Commencement Speech to the MBA Class of 2019, Harvard Business School.


Michael R. Bloomberg – Co-founder of Bloomberg L.P.

Good afternoon. Thank you, Dan, for the introduction. And you really don’t have to call me Mayor Bloomberg. Mr. Bloomberg will be just fine. Thank you.         

And let me also thank Nitin for the honor of addressing you. I didn’t have much choice when he called. He didn’t ask me to come. He told me I was coming.

Let me begin with the most important words I can say today. Congratulations to the distinguished graduates of the great class of 2019. It was only 53 years ago that I was in your shoes. So I know you’ve had an amazing experience here.

You have mastered the case method during your time on campus and the art of asking tough questions like:

Why don’t the printers ever work here?

Why on earth do they use the case method to teach accounting? Who thought of that?

And the toughest question of all: How many people does it take to finish a scorpion bowl at Hong Kong?

For the record, the correct answer there is more than one.

HBS really does have a special place in my heart. Not only did I graduate from here but so did my daughter Emma. My foundation teamed up with the B School and the K School to create a morale Merrill Leadership Program run by Professor Abdullah.

And my father, who died a year before I was accepted to HBS, has his name on the building that stands behind Baker, an honor that would have thrilled him. He and my mother raised my sister and me just five miles from here in Medford, Massachusetts. And that was convenient because I never would have made it through the B School without my mother nearby. She typed all my papers.

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