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Students and Alumni

Poole Student Ben Poovey Selected as University Commencement Student Speaker

Business administration major Ben Poovey will deliver remarks to his fellow graduates at the university's ceremony on Saturday, May 4.

Ben Poovey
NC State Poole College of Management business administration major Ben Poovey

Delivering a commencement speech is a daunting task, but for one resilient graduate, it’s the culmination of a journey filled with determination and growth. Ben Pooevy, a Poole College of Management student graduating with a bachelor of science in business administration with a finance concentration, will be giving the student commencement speech at the university’s ceremony on Saturday, May 4. 

Poovey’s story is not just about academic success, but also about overcoming setbacks and embracing opportunities.

For Poovey, preparation for his commencement speech involved more than just practicing in front of a mirror. Despite initially not realizing he could have a hard copy of his speech during the audition, Poovey memorized it. This dedication to delivering a heartfelt and authentic message underscores his commitment to making a meaningful impact on his peers.

When asked about his approach to crafting a speech that resonates with his peers, Poovey emphasized the importance of the shared human experience. Poovey’s speech reflects on his own journey of resilience after facing rejection from NC State initially, highlighting the universal themes of determination and overcoming adversity. By sharing a personal story, Poovey aims to inspire others to persevere in the face of challenges and pursue their dreams relentlessly. 

“The speech isn’t about me. It’s about experiences that everyone can relate to and everyone can enjoy and learn something from,” explained Poovey.

Ben Poovey (far right) with NC State Marching Band.

Poovey began his academic journey at UNC Charlotte after his initial rejection from NC State, however, he did not let the setback define his academic career. Upon transferring to NC State, Poovey immersed himself in various extracurricular activities and leadership roles, including being a section leader in the NC State Marching Band and leading teams in clubs like the international consulting club and the Business Analytics Honors Program. 

Each experience contributed to his personal and professional growth, shaping his perspective on education and broadening his horizons.

Navigating through academic challenges, such as starting with a reset GPA upon transferring, demonstrated resilience by maintaining a stellar academic record. Poovey’s determination to excel, fueled by the desire to prove himself after initially struggling with math, propelled him to achieve remarkable success academically and professionally. 

“Have a goal and no one can stop you. I had a goal at NC State and I wanted it badly enough that I went and got it,” shares Poovey, “and now I’m going to grad school, which is not something that I would have envisioned myself doing three years ago, I’m in this math-heavy field and I was no good at math. So, don’t let yourself be limited by what other people think.”

Looking ahead, Poovey plans to continue his academic journey by attending graduate school at the Institute for Advanced Analytics at NC State. Poovey’s advice for fellow graduates echoes his own journey. 

“Know what you want to do and do it,” says Poovey. “ I know it is a very cliche and probably commonly thought thing, but you truly can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it.”