Dubai: Entrepreneur Donald Trump Junior, the eldest son of the US president, told hundreds of graduates of the 20th batch of the American University in Dubai, that hard work and passion can be utilised to surmount the most difficult of obstacles.

A total of 440 undergraduate and graduate students of over 100 nationalities received their US accredited degrees on Sunday from Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammad Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation. They also got the chance to listen to an inspirational speech by Trump Jr, who shared stories from his own experiences.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Trump Jr told the batch that sometimes they will need to step up and do the hard things outside their comfort zone, not because its right thing to do but because they can do better.

“Whether you will be successful at it or not, the fact is to take the risk in the first place and to have the will to put yourself out there and go against all odds,” he said.

Trump Jr was reflecting on his father’s passion and the risk he took as he ran for president. 

Find passion in yourself

“Find that passion in yourself and you will be unstoppable. Class of 2017 in the end hard work and passion can be used to overcome the most difficult of obstacles. You need to put yourself in the game and put your resources to work for good,” he said. “You don’t have all answers now, but you will learn. hard work is not always a glamorous thing, but if your passionate about choices and decisions you can make life fulfilling.”

“Looking back at what my father did in the past election and the risk he took, to me I’m far more impressed with the fact that he tried, than by the fact that he actually won,” he said.

Trump Jr also told the graduates that their journey of learning does not end here and that taking decisions that are not always the best for them can be an opportunity to realise what they actually want later in their lives.

“Live and experience your dreams, not the dreams of others, not the ones they have for you, he said. It’s OK to take risks and to go out and make mistakes, you will make them anyway.”

Trump Jr said he himself took certain decisions that allowed him to realise that some of the hobbies he was passionate about were not necessarily what he wanted to pursue as a career.

“Your journey of learning never really ends. The great thing about being young is that when you make your inevitable mistakes, you’ve got a lot of time to recover. Making your mistakes young, leaves you a lifetime to be able to fix them. These mistakes are true investments in yourself, if you’re truly looking to better yourself, they will have you learn and grow,” he said at the Dubai World Trade Centre, where the ceremony took place.

He added the same lesson should apply to dialogue and not accept facts without testing boundaries. He said it is often that narrative gets crafted by outside forces and it is accepted as facts without questioning.

“The way we receive information today, is algorithm based, that we only click on the things we want to see, or what someone believes we want to see and hear, we tend to surround ourselves with like-minded people, not taking advantage of the incredible diversity of thought that’s out there.”

He said that kind of binary thinking “doesn’t go well for progress, continuation and incredible never ending quest for knowledge. Openness to new ideas, give you more options to make something work and function as you grow. The ability to do this, in the end, will make you argue viewpoint more effectively.”

In his opening remarks, Elias Bu Saab, Executive Vice President at AUD called on the graduates to follow the example of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and to look ahead to build a world that reflects the success, understanding and happiness in Dubai.