Tim Cook says new grads should seek fulfillment, that is in their careers

Apple CEO Tim Cook has career advice for recent college grads – and it’s not about working competitors.

Instead, it’s about making a career – and a life – out of what drives you. Speaking at Gallaudet University’s commencement ceremony in Washington DC on Friday, Cook said he believes young people can have meaningful careers if they are guided by values, ethics or causes that motivate them to make the difference.

“I recognize that running a business and leading a good life are not the same thing, but I know in my heart that staying true to who you are and what you believe in is one of the most important choices you can make. do,” Cook said in his speech, which was translated into American Sign Language. “It will help you build better relationships. It will help you find more satisfaction in your work.”

It’s a lesson, said the tech titan, that he’s learned from his 24 years at Apple. By prioritizing his own beliefs – particularly around sustainability, privacy and accessibility – he has developed strategies to lead the business while feeling personally fulfilled in his life outside of the office.

In fact, Cook – who joined Apple in 1998 and became CEO in 2011 – said a “sense of purpose” was what initially drew him to the company.

“Our goal has always been to create technology that enriches people’s lives,” Cook said. “That’s why we work hard to make technology accessible to everyone, why we fight to protect the fundamental right to privacy, and why we constantly innovate to help protect the environment and leave the world a better place than we know it. ‘ve found.”

Cook’s focus on accessibility likely resonated with Friday’s audience. Gallaudet University is “the only university in the world where deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing students live and learn bilingually in American Sign Language and English,” according to the school’s website. And it’s not the first time the university and Apple have collaborated: a 2020 initiative gave all students and faculty at the school MacBook Pros or iPad Pros. Last year, an all-deaf team worked with the company to create Apple Map Guides to highlight businesses and organizations that support the deaf community.

On Global Accessibility Awareness Day in May 2021, the company launched new services and apps for deaf and hard of hearing users, such as an interpreter service that allows customers to communicate with AppleCare and retailer representatives. using sign language.

At the time, Cook made his intentions clear with a tweet, saying “everyone should have the tools they need to change the world.”

The sentiment appears to have prefigured Cook’s commencement speech, where the CEO concluded the speech by wishing the graduates luck, fulfillment and direction in their careers ahead.

“As you imagine your future and the winding path ahead of you, remember that the question you need to ask yourself is not what will happen, but who will I be when it does?” said Cook. “I hope you will be good stewards of the planet we inhabit and join in the fight to make it better, more equal, more accessible.”

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