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WGU Graduate Speaker, Madhuri Vegaraju

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Madhuri Vegaraju
Western Governors University
<p>WGU Graduate Madhuri Vegaraju spoke at the WGU Bachelor's Commencement in Seattle, Washinton.</p> <p>Madhuri Vegaraju earned her Bachelor of Science, Health Informatics degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Madhuri Vegaraju: Hello, everyone. How are you doing? [Cheers] Good afternoon, honorable guests, faculty members, family, friends, and fellow graduates. Congratulations, we did it. [Applause] </p> <p>Looking back a few years, I believed I had the knowledge and skills to perform my job. I don't need a degree. I already have an exciting career and life. What would a certificate add? I was wrong. Let me tell you why.</p> <p>After my associate's degree in electronics, I taught myself programming because I loved coding and got a job as a developer. I progressed well in my career and the current solutions that I'm currently building have a direct impact on healthcare delivery. And I'm very proud of that.</p> <p>Although I noticed that in spite of my knowledge and skill, I was having difficulty communicating confidently and contributing during discussions. I realized working with my peers with higher degrees was stressing me out. I also felt my self-esteem and confidence gradually dwindling.</p> <p>The lack of confidence started to impact the quality of work. That was a warning. I had two options. One, to just give up on me. Or two, take action to improve. I chose to improve. And so did you all.</p> <p>I thought a degree may help getting back my confidence. So I started my search for online degrees and nothing was appealing. Either the schedule was very difficult to meet or very expensive that it would leave a huge hole in my bank account. I wasn't ready for that. That's when I learned about WGU through a Facebook ad. See, Facebook addiction is not so bad after all. [Laughter] </p> <p>WGU's competency-based curriculum excited me. The option to set my own pace, my own schedule, and pay per term excited me. That's exactly what I wanted. I pursued health informatics degree program because it had the direct potential to help me perform better in my current job. Everything I learned through this program had real-world relevance to the job. And I think that's awesome. Seeing the value of the program, MCG Health, has decided to pay for my education in full. [Applause] </p> <p>This newfound knowledge almost immediately helped me better cater to my business needs. And definitely brought back my confidence. This journey also helped me embrace writing. I never liked writing. Even writing an email was a very strenuous task for me. Thankfully this encouragement came with a lot of support from my mentors, who proofed my papers number of times and very patiently helped me improve. Thank you very much for that. </p> <p>My oldest son used to review my papers occasionally. And now he says, "Your writing has improved quite a lot, Mom," and that is a proud moment. He's right there. And we both graduated in the same year. [Applause] </p> <p>This degree not directly, but also gave me my most awaited promotion as a software architect, and I'm proud to say that I'm the first female architect at my company [Applause]</p> <p>It wasn't easy, as you all know. We had all spent late nights. There were several obstacles, challenges, and frustrations along the way. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support from the faculty, and my colleagues who helped me through this journey. I want a special shout out to my two great mentors, student mentors, [Rainey Toulbert?] and [Rainey Smith?]. [Applause] And all my coach mentors who worked very hard for my success and supported me through this journey. It almost felt like I'm their only student. They were always available for me.</p> <p>My family, my husband and my two wonderful boys, and my parents from India, are my greatest strength. They push me forward and supported me in all my craziness. Love you guys. [Applause] I'm sure my mom and dad are watching me live now from India. It's 3:00 a.m. in the morning. My colleagues and friends cheered me for my every little success and helped me keep move forward. Thank you very much for that. </p> <p>What a journey this has been. I learned to work smart, not hard. I now know how to organize my priorities and get them all done effectively. This experience also taught me to focus on excellence and success is inevitable. I learned to face the challenges and by accepting them as opportunities, they help us grow. So accept the challenges more. I learned failure happens only when you do not learn from your mistakes. We all pushed a little harder to meet our goals. I, like many of you, learned the value of patience and persistence. Of course, watching Task Stream has taught us the patience and persistence of course. </p> <p>What a feat it was to earn my bachelor's degree in two years all while performing my full-time demanding job, handling two demanding teenagers, helping an ambitious husband make movies as a hobby, and I'm still not done. I'm going to go for my master's very soon with WGU. [Applause] </p> <p>In closing, good things come to those who believe. Better things come to those who are patient. Best things come to those who never give up. This is the best thing that happened to me and to us because we did not give up. Congratulations again. Keep rocking. Thank you. [Applause] </p>
Western Governors University
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Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)