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Dimensional Perspectives

Dimensional Co-CEO and Chief Investment Officer Gerard O’Reilly delivered the commencement address to Fall 2018 graduates of the Master of Financial Engineering (MFE) program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

O’Reilly shared his observations on the power of education, the use and limitations of models, and the softer skills that are critical to real-world success—like empathy, communication, and collaboration.

On mentors:

“If you're interested in a topic, there's almost always somebody who knows more about that topic than you do. Find that person. Make yourself useful to that person. And they will be happy to teach you.”

On learning:

“Learning by doing is an incredibly efficient way to gain knowledge. You're only going to get out of a project what you put into it. Give it your all and you will learn more quickly.”

On models:

“We understand the world through models. And models are wonderful. They’re also false. Every last one of them. They're simplifications of reality. To teach you something, they have to be false.”

On communication:

“People think good ideas speak for themselves. They rarely do. If you can't communicate your ideas clearly and succinctly, you will not be able to influence other people.”

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