Dream and Hustle

Congratulations and Message to the Latino Class of 2024

Monday, May 20, 2024

Congratulations to the Latinos and Latinas in the class of 2024. You deserve it, and I’m proud of you.

What makes me single out this group is the sacrifice and opportunity, a story that must be acknowledged. As an African-American, I was one of the first generation of college graduates where my ancestors worked with their hands, moved up North, and worked to create a better future for their children to grow up.

Now I see you Latino and Latina graduates at that exact moment where I once was and how pivotal it was to the family and the future legacy.

Your parents are proud of you; they gave part of their lives to see you achieve this significant accomplishment. Even if they were not there, look deeper to understand not only your parents but your older ancestors made sacrifices and stayed true to the future generation that brought you here today. Let’s acknowledge them for the path that was created for you to be at this moment.

This is the time to talk about how to move after graduation as a Latino and Latina in this world.

The first advice I want to give you is do not assimilate, seek validation and acceptance or try to fit in the American White Privilege system. This is what African-Americans have done and it has never worked out well for them. Observe my African-American people; they are chasing get rich schemes, bragging about being “the first” appointed or validated by another group and don’t have any real power on the global stage.

Instead, I strongly recommend you follow the pattern of other groups, such as Nigerians and Indians, and follow these simple steps. First, I want you in Information Technology as a graduate and I want you working on a technology platform such as Salesforce, Cloudbees, Atlassian, and more.

The goal, the smart goal is you and your future spouse get certified in these technologies and you both make $150,000 and you stack your paper, don’t talk to me about your degree unless you in post-graduate school for a high-level profession such as a doctor or lawyer.

Get your money up hard – that is the priority, not your college degree major. Get certified in a business enterprise platform and save your money. Because the next step is important.

Start saving and investing in a retirement account—let that be your nest egg. Also, invest in ETFs, but don’t go crazy—pick the best fields you are interested in. I average 7% on ETFs, and that’s more than enough to make me happy.

In about 5-6 years, you and your spouse should have a million dollars if you stick to the plan. This is where I need you to be smart – do not splurge, not even on real estate. Look at my African-American people driving around in Range Rovers and Mercedes as soon as they get a little money. Don’t be like them. Save your money because your next goal is to now pursue real opportunities in this changing landscape.

Here is the landscape – I have met a growing number of Latinos all over the map, from Dubai to Tokyo, setting up business dealings and taking advantage of the global landscape. There are massive new opportunities to start a global empire. I want you to prepare for this in the next 5-6 years. Focus on international dealings and leverage your position as the new kid on the block who can change the world.

The biggest opportunity is what I just described – business enterprise platforms. This is the entrepreneurial future and will open doors worldwide.

Let me sum up what I said – focus on market demand, not what your degree says. The market demand is enterprise business platforms that can scale worldwide and pay a lot. Save up your money and get into that industry after a couple of years.

Here is what you need to understand: the degree is not essential – having money saved up and the freedom to move as you wish is the real goal. You will have plenty of time in your mid-30s to mid-50s to start a career that you wish; that’s what they don’t tell you.

I hope this advice serves you well. Congratulations on being part of the class of 2024, and I hope you think differently in this changing and promising landscape.   

Contributor

Ed Dunn

From Chicago West Side to Worldwide