Turns out rejection makes a great topic for graduation speeches.
In her speech at Wake Forest University this morning, ousted NYT Executive Editor Jill Abramson talked about rejection. She spoke of her father and how he’d stress that it wasn’t only the successes that were important in life, but how a person handles a setback. “What’s next for me?” she asked the students, after explaining that she’d been fired last week. “I don’t know. So I’m in the same boat as many of you. And like you, I’m a little scared, but also excited.”
Yahoo! News‘ Katie Couric also jumped on the rejection bandwagon Sunday in her commencement speech at Trinity College.
The Hartford Courant called her insights “salty.” Couric said she’d been rejected from Smith College, where her told older sisters were, what she described as, “superstars.”
The longtime newswoman recalled her first experience in front of the cameras for CNN. She was 23. She said the network president thought she was so awful on TV that he said he never wanted to see her on the air again.
She told the graduates that to be successful, you have to be okay with failure. “I have become an expert on that,” she told them, reflecting on her time as anchor of the CBS Evening News. She called the critics “harsh and unrelenting. … Some claimed I lacked gravitas, which I’ve decided is Latin for ‘testicles.'”