“MSU students are brought together by Spartan pride, but being a part of Broad takes it a step further. Broad has created a tight-knit community by connecting students through hard work, friendships and real-life experiences,” said Alexa Avendt, graduating senior in marketing and Broad College of Business fall 2020 commencement speaker.

Alexa Avendt (B.A. Marketing ’20) will inspire her classmates to pursue their dreams at the virtual commencement ceremony on Dec. 19.

Avendt will virtually send off her fellow undergraduate classmates on Dec. 19 by recognizing the various challenges that the members of her class have overcome during their time at MSU and remind them that because of their perseverance, they will accomplish anything that life throws at them in the professional world.

“This is a huge honor and an amazing experience,” she said. “It gives me a chance to speak to my peers that I haven’t gotten the chance to meet. Unfortunately, I will not be able to see my fellow graduates’ faces or see their reactions, but I know that on the day of commencement, we will all be connected.”

Connection is a major component of Avendt’s speech as the pandemic has left campus quiet. Collaboration and community are two major benefits of the Broad curriculum, and Avendt’s speech will touch on the big family that Broad is.

“Being a part of this amazing school has allowed me to create connections and friendships that will last a lifetime. It has provided me with the ability and knowledge to hold myself to a higher standard and be able to walk tall in Spartan pride,” she said.

Outside of Broad, Avendt is graduating as the vice president of STARS, MSU’s chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which raises money for children in Michigan by hosting various events and fundraisers. She is also a member of Delight, an on-campus all-girls ministry.

Avendt has her future mapped out, and after graduation, she will be working at Jackson National, a life insurance company headquartered in Lansing and New York.

“I work at Jackson National right now as a part-time Strategic Support Associate,” she said. “After graduation, I hope to find a full-time position with the company. There is no specific position yet, but I am focused on the company’s growing communications/marketing/sales departments.”

As one graduating class leaves Broad, another is entering and could use advice from all-star students. For Avendt, succeeding as a Broad Spartan is about teamwork.

“The Eli Broad College of Business is not all about competing for the best GPA or getting the most interviews from the career fair,” she said. “Broad is about creating connections and finding your passions.”

Avendt also urged new students to step out of their comfort zones, even when it feels impossible.

“I have had the chance to meet so many new people who I have learned from and grown with. Through the endless resources and encouraging community, students within Broad are not your competition but your family. Stay focused on finding what makes your passions into a career,” she added.

Although the Class of 2020 will end their undergraduate careers amid a pandemic, they are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to make strides in whatever their future endeavors look like.

“Our graduating Class of 2020 has created the perfect recipe of how to be a Spartan and will pass on our green and white traditions for generations to come,” Avendt said.

Graduation is a bittersweet moment for students and faculty, but Spartan spirit will be with the Class of 2020 forever.