Snap! Jacobs Graduation Speech

I was asked to speak on behalf of the inaugural Health Tech ‘17 graduating class at the Cornell Tech Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute Graduation Celebration hosted by the American Technion Society. I’ve included my remarks below as well as a video of the speech.


It is an honor to be able to speak in front of you today. I want to say thank you so much American Technion Society, Jacobs Institute staff and faculty, my sister and the rest of my family, and even most importantly my classmates and friends who have become family.

When I started reflecting on our time here as part of the inaugural Health Tech class, I realized that I could best describe the past two years through a very perfect and relevant metaphor: Snapchat.

Now hold on with me, I promise that this feature walkthrough will end up showing you how narrative complete we’ve become from the past two years.

To start, is the Snapchat Lenses that allow you to become any personality. Throughout our time together we’ve probably seen each other across the gambit from flower crowns to dancing bunnies to throwing up rainbow unicorns.When we first met we had no clue what sorts of amazing ideas, software, and friendships that would be produced.

In Snapchat, you can unlock Filters when exploring new times and places, and our experiences as health tech students over the past two years have let us unlock many, from:

  • Playing with EKGs in our medical literacy class
  • Participating in health tech hackathons
  • Buzzing about ideas for improvements after our Emergency Rooms observations
  • And of course our weekly trudges to the Upper East Side

We’ve added all of our adventures together to our Stories every single day. And the beauty of life (and of Snapchat) is that after 24 hours, you can start off with a clean slate. Every day is a new day, and as our time at Cornell Tech comes to expire we know tomorrow brings a whole new set of filters and lenses to play with.

But it’s not all ephemeral. If you’re feeling nostalgic, all you have to do is swipe up and all your Memories are there. When I visited the Technion campus this January getting to interact with our Israeli counterparts and run up and down the hills, I know I’ll be able to look back at my time in Haifa and in Chelsea with lessons learned on how to build great technical expertise and human relationships.

Now Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, just recently went through one of the world’s greatest IPOs this past March. Today’s graduation ceremony, for us, represents our own Initial Public Offering. Unattached to the comforts of Cornell Tech — the place we’ve called home for the past 2 years — we’re going to have figure it out on our own, but we are know now that we are armed with not one but two degrees from the Technion and Cornell and our everlasting friendships which makes us 1) definitely not over valued and 2) the newest and hottest stock on the market and I can’t wait to see us rise. Thank you.

If you enjoyed this speech, you may enjoy my remarks introducing the Cornell Tech 2016–2017 Faculty of the Year awards.