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Crazy Random Wisdom

Bellevue resident and CEO of T-Mobile virtually counsels and gives back to our community and beyond

Each spring, schools and colleges across the country invite scholars, business leaders, politicians, celebrities and other well-known voices to dispense parting words of wisdom and advice to their graduating class. So it is no surprise that Mike Sievert, a Bellevue neighbor and recently appointed CEO of locally based T-Mobile was tapped to deliver a speech to the Class of 2020. But like everything else this year, typical commencement speeches and other graduation traditions are on pause, so the CEO, along with many other business luminaries, skipped the stage, and delivered his speech via podcast.

Sievert begins his broadcast by acknowledging how this is not the set of circumstances, or the world, of any graduate’s dream. “And frankly, it kind of sucks,” he said. Then he tells a personal story set right here in the Pacific Northwest that manages to elegantly weave together a water-logged stranger, the Dalai Lama, a cliche and the beauty and lessons that can be found in the crazy, the random, the uncertain and the scary.  All the things that flourish in our world right now.

Commencement 2020 is taking place on a global stage, er, screen. The usual traditions are getting a virtual twist, a technical tweak or a curbside option. And every generation; Boomers, Millenials, Gen X thru Z are crowding online platforms in search of connection. When T-Mobile went looking for more ways help preserve graduation traditions, they settled on TikTok. Because the company is solidly Gen Z, their debut on TikTok is a little less abrupt than stumbling across your average Grandparent (which is a thing).

Mike Sievert told Bellevue Lifestyle “Across the nation we’ve made sure 2020 graduates aren’t missing out on an important celebratory milestone – tossing their cap! We’ve given them a virtual way to do it through our #TossYourCap Challenge on TikTok and asked them to help us raise up to $200,000 for non-profit Jobs for Graduates. Our hope is that every action we take, whether in our backyard or across the country, makes a difference for someone. We want them to know that we are in this together – we are with you.”

Locally, T-Mobile invests in our city and works to be known as a good neighbor, not just that pretty magenta glow over Factoria.  In addition to helping to strengthen digital learning solutions across the country, more than 12,000 hotspots, including 500 for Bellevue students, have been distributed in Washington within the past three months. 

“Over these last few months, it’s really been humbling to see the courage of so many who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. In the midst of a lot of challenges and uncertainty, strength and resiliency have shone through -- and that has inspired T-Mobile to get even more creative about how we can give back to communities across the country that are so important to us.” Said Sievert. “Right here in our hometown we’ve partnered with the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club and Transwest to reallocate our fleet of magenta commuter shuttles to deliver meals and supplies to Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the county… 12,000 meals and counting!”

While this virus has upended the usual dream commencement scenario, Mike the CEO counsels the Class of 2020 to “Think about what fires you up. Go full speed speed into the things your’re passionate about, or things that just might become passions...Listen, you’re experiencing the crazy, and the random and the uncertain. You’ll likely change your perspective in many ways as a result of all this — we all will. You’ll reset, recharge —and now you’ll be ready to go full-steam ahead towards amazingness. And this world needs you to do exactly that.”

On TikTok and beyond.

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