Entrepreneur Frank Islam shares his success story at George Mason University School of Management’s convocation. Aziz Haniffa reports
In yet another first for the Indian-American community, Aligarh University alumnus Frank Islam —a leading Washington, DC entrepreneur and investor — last month delivered the commencement address to the School of Management of George Mason University.
The 2013 convocation was also the first to include students receiving degrees in management of secure information systems and online executive master’s in business administration programs.
On delivering the convocation address to one of the best management colleges in Virginia, Islam told India Abroad, “I was so humbled and honored and it was an opportunity to tell the graduating students my success story. I always believed in America and the American Dream.”
He added that he told the graduating class that this was a land of opportunity and there were no barriers to success in the country.
“My story shows the inclusiveness and openness and the quality of America. Those are the values and strengths that we can, as Indian Americans truly and proudly embrace and I was so privileged that I could tell them my story and my deep desire to give back to our community and our country,” Islam said. “I hope in some small way I was able to inspire them so that they too could pursue their dream, but I made clear that starting businesses is all about taking risks, being focused, being passionate and being totally committed.”
Islam said that the underlying message was about confronting uncertainty with optimism, ingenuity, and creativity. “It’s about getting out of comfort zones and venturing into new horizons and experiencing new environments,” he said.
Islam said that he had been invited to deliver the commencement address because he was a member of Dean Jorge Haddock’s advisory council.
“I have endowed scholarships at GMU and I know these scholarships will have a strong impact on the lives of students and that I find so fulfilling and rewarding because when I give money for a scholarship program, I strongly believe I am investing in the future,” he said.