EMBA Commencement Speaker: Dr. Simone Wildes, EMBA’24

May 20, 2024

Dr. Simone Wildes, EMBA'24, in graduation cap and gown

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished members of the Heller School faculty and staff, fellow graduates, friends and family, welcome!

As we gather here today, I am deeply honored to represent the 2024 EMBA physician cohort.

As I reflect back on our beginnings, it is astonishing to see how far we’ve come in the past 16 months. This journey has been transformative. It has pushed us to open our minds to new ideas and perspectives, and to develop skills that we never knew we possessed. Under the guidance of our exceptional faculty, we have grown exponentially. In particular, I would like to take this moment to recognize Dr. Jon Chilingerian (may his soul rest in peace) for the “fantastico” impact on the health care landscape.

I vividly remember our first classes filled with excitement and anticipation. We were learning financial accounting, systems thinking, marketing and strategy, relational coordination, national and state policy. We were all settling into our smaller cohorts, working on quality presentations and health innovation pitches. We had long hours and some disagreements along the way, but we made it. All the classes prompted us to reconsider our assumptions about the health care field and our potential impact within this space.

Now, as we stand at the culmination of this journey, a mere pit stop on our larger life journey, it is time to leverage our newfound skills to effect change. None of us could have done it without the unwavering support of our families, friends, and loved ones. They have been our pillars of strength, sacrificing their time and energy so that we could pursue our dream. To them we owe immense gratitude.

Let us embrace the challenges ahead with vigor and determination. Let us strive to leave an indelible mark on the world, using our knowledge and talents to create positive change in every endeavor we pursue.

Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” This quote kept me focused throughout the duration of my program. Many of us questioned how we were going to complete the program but today what seemed impossible at first is now done. We are done! We are ready to take on the fight for a more just health care system.

Thank you once again for being a part of this extraordinary program and community. Together, let us continue to learn, grow and make a difference.