Nearly 600 students from graduate programs at Rutgers Business School celebrated the completion of their studies during a convocation ceremony May 20 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Robert Falzon, chief financial officer at Prudential Financial and a Rutgers University alumus, delivered a commencement address resonating with advice, insight and humor. "The fact that you have completed your graduate degree speaks volumes about you,” Falzon told the graduating students. "It puts you in the Top 9 percent of the U.S. population."

"It will make a difference in how people look at you and how you will perform," he said. "Be proud."

Falzon reflected on his own career, including the experience of having been fired from one part of Prudential’s business and then coming back to work his way into one of the company’s most senior posts.

In hindsight, he said the situation gave him an opportunity to expand his skills and made him grateful for the support of his wife and friends.

Falzon paused in his speech and asked the students dressed in caps and gowns to stand and look at their classmates on each side of them and turn around to see the guests who had crowded into the theater to celebrate their accomplishment. These are the individuals, he said, who will be your network and your source of support.

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Emails, texts and unintended consequences

Professor Terri Kurtzberg, an associate professor in the Department of Management and Global Business, is an expert in electronic communications, and specifically, how text messages and emails can impact such things as negotiations and group cooperation.

In research that spanned 15 years, Kurtzberg and her team explored the unintended and often unnoticed changes that can occur in decision-making, negotiations, ethics and trust when individuals rely on electronic devices to communicate.

Watch the video to learn more:

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