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Chrysler Group's Sergio Marchionne Addresses Graduates at Oakland University Commencement Ceremony
April 26, 2013 , Rochester, Mich. -

Chrysler Group LLC's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne addressed more than 3,000 students, faculty and family at Oakland University’s doctoral and master’s graduation ceremony held at Oakland University’s athletic center in Rochester, Mich.

Chrysler Group has a longstanding relationship with the University as more than 1,100 Oakland alumni work at Chrysler Group, including about 370 who have been hired since 2010.

Marchionne told the group of 400 plus graduates, "Grads I am not breaking any news when I say that you are going into a world that is somewhat less than perfect. It is a world that is both complex and constantly changing.”

“But where the will exists, there's always an opportunity to build a better future. If we have the imagination, the power to dream of a future as we want it, then we also have the responsibility of realizing that dream. This is a responsibility that requires courage, resolve, vision, and an enormous investment of personal energy. I believe that responsibility is one of the most powerful forces we as individuals have at our disposal."

Marchionne also talked about the qualities of a leader, “I am confident that many of you have the capability to be leaders, he added. The true value of a leader is not measured by what he has gained during his career but rather by what he has given. It is not in what you accomplish today, but in the legacy you leave behind. A leader must be able to look beyond the walls of the office to contribute to a community beyond themselves – in their local town, their country and the world.”

He continued, “We have a duty to commit to what we are able to do, to dedicate our individual skills and talents, to unite the best of society and work together to achieve higher objectives.”

Marchionne touched on the importance of choosing the right career or organization to work for, “It’s crucial that you find an organization that encourages you to develop and exploit your abilities to the fullest. It’s not just a question of a pay check. If you end up being paid well in a place that won’t give you an opportunity to grow as a person, it will be a boring experience. But if you join an organization that allows you to test yourself to the fullest, then you have a chance of experiencing something special, something that will alter the way you see and experience life.”

He concluded with some simple advice for the graduates about staying true to oneself.

“Don’t let anyone else define you. Seek your own path, map it out, follow it, redraw it as many time as you want; but always do so because it is truly where you want to go. And most importantly, in whatever you do, be insanely passionate about it.”
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