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America views learning differently

Former CEO of multibillion-dollar companies Willie Pietersen recalls the time when he became an American citizen and attended the event where his two US-educated children were awarded degrees. He says,

"Where I was raised in South Africa and also where I studied in the UK, these events are simply called “graduation.” The attendant idea is that this is the end of something. However, I was struck by the fact that in the US, this ceremony is called “commencement,” meaning the beginning (or at least the continuation) of something. I love this concept. It exactly captures the essence of learning as a lifelong journey."

Learning indeed should be a life-long journey. Make it cross-disciplinary learning and the advantages can be big. A personal illustration ... I enjoyed learning Physics between 1981 and 84. However, without the skills I learned from Intel's Stan Uffner in 1987, I could not have set up TCS' tech writing practice. Without the insights I learned at UC Berkeley in 1994-95, Cognizant would not have got its early competitive advantage from its India-first user interface design practice. Without the knowledge I learned at Columbia Business School in 2008, I may not have come up with a strategy translation method for use in software practice.

Keep learning – even from other disciplines!

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