ST. GEORGE — Members of the Dixie Applied Technology College graduating class of 2017 were admonished to always remember and acknowledge the underdogs of society as they embark on their careers.
Students and their families packed the auditorium for the school’s commencement event Wednesday.
Lindsey Smith, student of the year at both Dixie Applied Technology College and Utah College of Applied Technology, spoke at the commencement.
Smith received a standing ovation following her speech. During her time at the college, she designed an entire community for people with special needs and their families, including facilities for living, working and playing utilizing unique adaptations.
An invocation was offered by the Rev. Martin Picos of the St. George Catholic Church.
“May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you will work for justice, equality and peace,” Picos said in the prayer.
Keynote speaker Mitch Cloward, administrator of Dixie Regional Medical Center, offered graduates advice for success in the workplace.
When he was 21, Cloward said he decided to pursue a job in health care. He started as a housekeeper at a large hospital while attending college.
He said he was largely ignored by other hospital staff members and came to an important realization as he quietly performed his cleaning duties.
“I was determined and resolved to one day be the administrator of a large hospital and I made a promise to myself,” Cloward said. “I promised that I would never be too important to say hi to a housekeeper or anyone else.”
As he reflected on his journey from housekeeper to administrator, he shared his five principles of success in the workplace, including:
- Treat co-workers with respect.
- Carefully manage the relationship with your boss.
- Think like the customer.
- Act with integrity.
- Take care of yourself.
“I hope the principles I share tonight will help you on your journey, like it did me, on my journey from housekeeper to hospital administrator,” Cloward said. “The ideas are simple and practical and represent the best advice I can think to give you as you transition from your education to the workplace.
“None of us want to begin our work day by saying ‘Today I want to be average; today I want to be mediocre.’ Conversely, we should all go to work each day with a strong desire to be the very best at what we do.”
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