Loyola Magazine

Driving meaningful change

A 2006 graduate writes of his Jesuit education as a driving force in his life and career

During my Jesuit high school experience at St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey, I was first exposed to the concept of living a life for and with others. I was taught to always have a grateful heart. I learned to be interested: interested in others, in helping the poor and suffering, and interested in ideas and in implementing ideas that can help drive change.

This experience took on greater meaning in practice at Loyola in Baltimore. My Jesuit education at Loyola opened my eyes to a global world that needs people doing the real work of helping others. I studied the humanities deeply. I studied abroad. I forged life-long friendships, and I met the love of my life. I learned how to learn, especially in the ability to communicate and thinking critically. In our less than circumspect times, I learned to always remember to have fun.

These are skills that are imperative in our hyper-connected world.

The toughest decisions I face professionally, in my work with Cisco, are around leading and managing change. Change comes with uncertainty, ambiguity, and adversity. It can be very difficult. At times, it can be scary. Change also drives self-discovery and growth to enable our wildest dreams.

At Cisco, we are changing the way the world lives, works, plays, and learns by enabling the global community to harness the full power and potential of the Internet. Every day, I put my Jesuit education to work by listening closely to customers, applying my critical thinking skills, and communicating clearly to help solve their toughest business problems. The ability to listen is most important, as it is only through engagement that we can achieve understanding and enable mutual success. In business, this is the real work of learning to meet people where they are and seeing things through. This takes time. This is the work of the Jesuits and the Jesuit mission.

Change is disruptive, but it’s unstoppable.

I can thank the Jesuits for helping me to prepare—and I can thank them by helping to live their ideals with integrity.

The Ignatian mindset enables me to live a life with purpose and meaning. It enables me to live a life with my heart on fire, the same way Jesus inspired the travelers on the road to Emmaus in Luke’s Gospel.

Originally from New Jersey, Nick Hamilton, ’06, earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Loyola. He works in technology as a Client Services Manager for Cisco Systems and lives in Baltimore with his wife, a fellow Loyola graduate.