Gathered on the Main Quadrangles to celebrate the result of an important choice in life, the University of Chicago’s Class of 2018 received advice on some of the decisions ahead.
As an economist Prof. Marianne Bertrand has devoted a great deal of thought and study to choice. In her Convocation address, she shared some advice on future decisions that graduates will make, including in the workplace.
“Yes, you have a choice,” said Bertrand, the Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at UChicago’s Booth School of Business. “You can exert voice—be an active agent for cultural change when you see this culture lacking at your place of employment. You can also vote with your feet and exit if the culture is not right and not fixable.”
Bertrand spoke before an estimated 9,000 family, friends and colleagues seated beneath a wet canopy of trees and umbrellas on the Main Quadrangles to celebrate the University’s 531st Convocation. The ceremony proceeded despite wet conditions, with more than 3,200 graduates receiving their degrees.
“It’s 90 back home, so we love this, actually,” said Santino Castillo, of Sacramento, California, who had traveled to see his son Alexander Portee receive his bachelor’s degree in biological science—the first college degree in the family.