Liberia: ‘Be Open To Collaboration, Integration Of Other Disciplines – Deputy Finance Minister Tanneh  Brunson tells UL Graduates

MONROVIA – Deputy Finance Minister for Budget and Development Planning, Madam Tanneh G. Brunson, challenged graduates of the University of Liberia Business College to navigate the world by being open to collaboration and integrating other disciplines or systems outside of what they have learned.

By Henry Karmo

She served as the guest speaker at the 103rd Convocation Exercises of the A. Romeo Horton College of Business and Public Administration. During her speech, she urged the graduates to build relationships, emphasizing that relationships are everything as they strengthen one’s capacity to navigate through cultural, social, and economic diversities, thereby optimizing their position as team players.

“It’s all about who you know. Find people who challenge and inspire you to be successful and spend a lot of time with them. In other words, NETWORK! This will change your perspective on life. Be innovative, inquisitive, open yourself to continuous improvement, and never waver in your quest for knowledge. At my age, I am still learning, even from the younger ones. That, I think, is the fuel for professional growth!”

The Deputy Finance Minister also advised the graduates that sometimes, in their daily challenges, they overlook what is truly important. She highlighted the significance of saying “hello,” “please,” or “thank you,” congratulating others on their accomplishments, giving compliments, or performing random acts of kindness.

“People, regardless of their position, are important and are part of a system that brings everything together. Regardless of their hierarchical rank, people in any organization are vital links to its overall success. A fundamental aspect of life is listening, which enhances decision-making and fosters a culture of inclusivity and belonging. Always listen to others and consider their perspectives. Sometimes, seemingly silly ideas provide solutions to problems. So, listen to understand, and not just to respond or defend,” she added.

Furthermore, she challenged the graduates to be excited and passionate about discovering what brings them happiness. She encouraged them to strive for an intentional and purpose-driven life of leadership and truth, emphasizing service, integrity, transparency, hard work, good moral values, and love for their country. These motivations, according to her, should drive their ambitions.

According to the Deputy Finance Minister, the current generation, like hers, has the responsibility to push the boundaries forward for the sake of progress, advancement, and development. She emphasized that these responsibilities are not mere requests but rather commands that call for listening, observing, and taking action in the interest of personal growth, families, communities, and Liberia.

“I will now share some nuggets that have helped me along the way, not just throughout my academic and professional careers but also in my personal life. Through them, I hope that each person leaves here feeling inspired and motivated to continue pursuing their dreams beyond the confines of textbooks and classrooms at L.U.!”

The Deputy Finance Minister emphasized the importance, now more than ever, for young people to develop a broader range of skills and knowledge and apply them in ways that meet the demands of the evolving social and economic landscape.

“Memorizing facts, as you are probably accustomed to, is not as important. While academic skills remain paramount, they are no longer sufficient to foster thoughtful, productive, and engaged citizens. Skills like teamwork, critical thinking, innovation, and flexibility are needed to address complex global challenges such as climate change, health epidemics, cyber security, and sustainable development.”

She further explained that these cross-functional, multi-disciplinary skills are essential for collaborating with diverse groups to solve problems. Additionally, she stressed the significance of preparing for the new digital economy, which encompasses artificial intelligence (A.I.) and cryptocurrency. The Deputy Finance Minister noted that these advancements have real implications for the global economic sector, including job elimination due to automation, market volatility, lack of creativity, and privacy violations.