On May 14, 2015, Benjamin Driggs, President of Honeywell Latin America, returned to his alma mater, the University of Arizona, and was awarded the dual honor of being the recipient of the Honor’s College Spirit of Inquiry Alumni Award and giving the keynote speech at the Honors College’s commencement ceremony. The award is given to an “Honors College graduate whose intellectual curiosity, commitment to life-long learning, and success in professional endeavors embody the spirit of inquiry and discovery fostered by The Honors College.”
Benjamin’s commencement speech, given almost 19 years to the day after he spoke in his own graduation as Student Association President, centered on the idea of taking advantage of unexpected opportunities. He illustrated the concept with his own profession experience, which has taken him from McKinsey Consulting in Los Angeles, to Phoenix and China with Honeywell Aerospace, and now Sao Paulo, Brazil as High Growth Regions (HGRs) President for Brazil and Latin America.
He attributes his success to being self-aware and staying true to the value of life-long inquiry. “Self-awareness is not something you hear a lot about as being a key to a happy life but the more I experience – the more I realize its importance. True inquiry and learning demands that we are acutely aware of own natural tendencies, weaknesses, and biases. If we get to know ourselves we will be much more effective in working with others to achieve our goals.”