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This I Believe

This I Believe was a 1950s radio program, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. Each day, Americans gathered by their radios to hear compelling essays from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, and Harry Truman as well as corporate leaders, cab drivers, scientists, and secretaries—anyone able to distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they lived. These essayists’ words brought comfort and inspiration to a country worried about the Cold War, McCarthyism, and racial division. The radio program was revived on National Public Radio (NPR) in 2005. Our values can impact the world. The Stern Leadership Development Team was curious to learn more about the values and beliefs of the leaders in the NYU Stern community…so we asked:

I believe that it doesn’t matter whether nice guys finish first or last, they enjoy the “race” a lot more and ultimately that’s the only thing you can count on anyway. I believe that data matter more than opinions, but that doesn’t mean that opinions don’t matter. Finally, I constantly remind myself of the insight, from social psychology, that nothing is as important as you think it is at the moment that you are thinking about it (including yourself!).

-Steven Blader, NYU Stern Professor

I believe in improving people’s standards of living and quality of life. Ultimately I want to achieve a freer America and a freer world, where everybody will be able to pursue their dreams. Individuals and families would benefit by having more opportunities and leisure time. The United States would benefit by having a stronger economy better able to sustain the nation’s historical role as a beacon of freedom for all peoples. Finally, the world would benefit through lifting millions of people out of poverty, enabling a vast new majority to “dream big.”

-Mike Chahinian, Associate, Citi

The best way to learn and progress in life is to surround myself with people who are righteous, more qualified and experienced than me. These are people whom I can look-up to on a day-to-day basis as I make efforts to reach my ultimate goals. Doing this adds to my self-motivation and inspires me to do better every single day.

-Hersh Iyer, Sr. Product Manager, Amazon

I believe there are as many problems in all the systems making up this world as there are people gifted with the ability to solve those problems. In my own personal capacity, I therefore believe in justifying my presence in any system I become a part of through the value I add, and more importantly, enabling others to dream of and actively move towards their version of doing the same.

-Munashe Makava, Investment Banking Associate, Goldman Sachs

I believe in freedom. I believe that we have to defend the rights that we have because others die for them. I believe in karma in the way that you receive what you give. And I believe in the power of hard work, you can get whatever you want if you make enough of an effort.

-Jorge Fernandez-Cuervo, Associate, AQR Capital Management

I believe in kindness, respect, and integrity. Smile at strangers, genuinely, and hug people in your life, sincerely. Show appreciation and be grateful for the life you were given. Say “thank you” and do things for others without the intention of getting recognition.

-Lisa Caras, Business Analyst, Jones Dairy Farm

I believe that listening carefully helps you learn wisdom. That being continually curious keeps you young and vibrant. That thinking in systems helps you transcend an ordinary life and contribute more fully to societal challenges. I believe mutual love and respect for family and friends gives you the stable foundation from which you can explore and take risks. And I believe that one has to remember to enjoy the sparrow flying by on your walk to work and the chatter of the old men playing chess together contently in the park.

-Tensie Whelan, Director, Center for Sustainable Business

I strive to make the world a better place. First, by leveraging my greatest strengths — the ability to listen deeply, be empathic and give wise counsel — at home, in my community groups and at work. Second, through joyful play that connects me to others and helps us all thrive. At my local Headstart daycare center I experience love, laughter, silliness, frustration and joy on Friday mornings playing with the four- and five-year-olds… Hey, is it time to go to the playground?!

-Martha Patton, Career Center for Working Professionals Career Coach

I believe, ultimately, that the vast and overwhelming majority of us want the same things — love and belonging, laughter and comfort, community and camaraderie. And as difficult as working towards this for all of us can be, I believe in our resilience and determination to work towards those things together, and I believe in being an active part of that work as an educator and an advocate.

-Richard M Hendler, Clinical Associate Professor of Law in Business

I believe in entrepreneurship. Everyone should be self employed at some point in their professional lives–it puts everything about running a business in perspective. I believe in sharing knowledge–be a teacher. I believe the fundamental thing apply as time goes by. I believe everything goes better with wine and laughter.

-Jeffrey Carr, Clinical Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship

I believe that love cures pretty much everything. Illness, pain, resentment, sometimes war. The unconditional, overpowering kind of love. Fear is where we lose ourselves, but it’s never too late to return to love.

-Elizabeth Staines, LDP Class of 2018

I strongly believe that we should treat other people as we would like to be treated. I believe that all people should enjoy the same right (and access) to education, love, and prosperity. I believe in following the rules and laws that society sets forth, but I do not believe in blindly accepting the status quo. I believe that you should laugh every day. I believe in the primacy of relationships, whether with friends, family, or colleagues.

-James Kingham, Director, Career Coaching, NYU Stern Office of Career Development

I believe that we all have a specific purpose in the world. Our smallest contribution, whether at work or in personal life makes a difference to the society, either tangible or intangible. Some of us grow up in a protected and nurturing environment because the human society works together to aid us. Therefore, when we are in a position of relevance, we should extend the same courtesy so that our future generations have the same benefits as we had.

-Hem Chander, LDP Class of 2017

I believe in living every day with a purpose and surrounding myself with people that genuinely care about our relationship. I want to be loyal, understanding and disciplined in everything I do.

-Danny Breslauer, NYU Stern Class of 2017

I believe that humans are meaning-making machines. I believe that “reason” should be challenged on a daily basis. I believe the past is just a story, the future is a mystery and that the present is the only thing we have.

-Bart Rosenthal, LDP Class of 2017

I believe that everyone can accomplish something meaningful in life and that people should also spend time in supporting others to help them achieve their dreams.

-Ravi Dalal, LDP Class of 2017

I believe in books. I believe writing books makes us clearer thinkers and I believe that reading books makes us bigger thinkers. I believe our children and grandchildren would inherit a very different world from us tomorrow if we each read more today.

-Dolly Chugh, Associate Professor of Management and Organizations

Everything that happens, happens through people. The key is finding the right people and putting them in the right places. Jobs should be organized around people’s passions, interests and skills, not the work needed to be accomplished. People want to work and contribute, but be generally left alone to do the work in the manner they feel is best. The good manager develops trust with the employee and keeps their best interest in mind. The good manager is open to being told no and encourages respectful disagreement, yet provides a clear decision to be followed when the discussion ends. You should be able to bring your full personality to work and it should be embraced. The best idea means nothing if you can’t sell it. You do your best work when you don’t spend all your time there.

-Isser Gallogly, Assistant Dean, NYU Stern MBA Admissions

I believe that we’re all really the same deep down and that any perceived differences come from failing to take the time to get to know each other better. You fear what you don’t understand, and that often leads to hate, so I think we should all just try harder to understand one another.

Jason Dilmanian, LDP Class of 2016

I believe in the power of the collective. The point that if everyone did something positive, no matter how small, to empower their communities – the impact would still be enormous. Therefore, I like to think that if I can congratulate someone, encourage them or help them with something once a day – I am contributing to that greater good.

– Michaella Munyuzangabo, LDP Class of 2016

I believe in the vast potential in every one of us, and in the fact that we all use a small fraction of that potential. I came to Stern to step out of my comfort zone, and LDP is a large part of that. Working as a LAUNCH captain, paddle boating in the Red Sea and participating in the obstacle courses at West Point Military Academy have all been part of my Stern experience, and I grew through each and every one of them. I am grateful to LDP, and the Stern community for these amazing opportunities!

– Vijay Srinivas Nori, LDP Class of 2016

I believe that life is longer than we imagine, and sufficient to do and accomplish the things that matter most. The problem, however, is that we allow time to pass us by without even realizing it. We live in the future, because we can’t satisfy that need for something greater. We guard material possessions with our life, yet we freely give our most limited resource to people, activities, and habits that don’t align with our values. It took me a long time to discover that life is not too short, it was only that I was making it so. I believe that life can be just the right amount of time, if we do in fact treat time as our most precious resource. This requires more than an expertly organized google calendar, because even then, time tends to escape us…

– Becca Gardner, NYU Stern Class of 2015

I believe we have to shift the focus from I to We. In doing so, it gives us an opportunity to consider what connects us, learn about others, and understand how the past and present experiences of others affect our individual worldview. That is what makes our community strong – our focus on each other and ability to empathize with what others go through on a daily basis. It makes us a tighter community, closer classmates, and better colleagues. And ultimately, it makes us better people.

– Diana Hyde, Director, NYU Stern Office of Student Engagement & Langone Student