Alumni Reflections on 2020: Ian Hennessy (MBA ’12)

Ian Hennessy head shot photo

Ian Hennessy (MBA ’12)

What has been most difficult for you throughout this past year?

I am surprised by how much I miss handshakes and high-fives.

What has been the most positive aspect of this past year for you, personally and/or professionally?

Until 2020, I’d woefully under-valued my network; hundreds of colleagues, partners, customers, classmates, and friends. Together, we’d invested months or even years building relationships with one another, only to put those relationship by the wayside. This year, I made reconnecting with my network a focus. The results were gratifying both professionally and personally, and going forward, I’ll continue to foster those relationship.

How have you grown, changed, and developed throughout 2020?

The comedian Chris Rock has a great story that echoed in my mind all year. Before becoming famous, Rock owned a jalopy that often broke down along the highway. When it did, he would try to flag down help, but no one ever stopped. It wasn’t until he started pushing the car himself, that other motorists would pull over to help. “If you want help, help yourself,” he said. For me, Rock’s anecdote was a daily reminder of grit and fortitude.

What lessons from 2020 will you take with you into the year(s) ahead?

I’ve been amazed by the innovation demonstrated by both individuals and businesses, rooted in perseverance. It’s ultimately given me hope for the future ahead of us.