|VF Corp. CEO Eric Wiseman|
Eric Wiseman, who earned his MBA from Wake Forest in 1988, gave attendees four pointers for success during his remarks Sunday evening.
"Never stop learning," Wiseman advised. "You will have a chance to pick up many tools along the way. Pick them up, learn how to use them, and never stop losing them."
Among his underlying themes: never stop learning, take risks, and be aware that success involves making priorities and choices.
"Take big risks with your careers," Wiseman said, discussing his own willingness to move his family around to move up through a prior job and, later, to take a position in VF's JanSport division.
"Taking personal risks will give you experiences that others won't get," Wiseman added. "Don't be afraid to be the one to raise your hand and say, 'Pick me, I'll do it.'"
|Dean Reinmund at Sunday's hooding ceremony|
Wiseman said he hit his stride at VF, "when I finally aligned my personal passion with my career." The Greensboro, N.C., company's ideals include loyalty and commitment, which in turn has led to closeness among members of VF's operating committee, fewer mistakes and a "higher level of personal integrity."
Wiseman also made it clear to this year's graduating class that balancing work and personal life is never about equilibrium. "Balance is not going to be 50-50 if you want excellence," he stated. "You always have to sacrifice something. There are real choices and real implications for those choices."
Finally, Wiseman implored students at Wait Chapel to find ways to give back to the community sooner rather than later. "Get involved where there is need," he said. "You will meet different people who will enrich your perspective."