During an inspiring and lively President’s Forum event on Monday, Feb. 28, the Board of Trustees Career Services Award was presented to Daniel L. Rosensweig ’83, president and CEO of Chegg and former HWS Trustee, for his commitment to the success Hobart and William Smith students.
“In virtually all of his positions, Dan has taken time to work with students and give back as an engaged alumnus,” said HWS President Mark D. Gearan, noting Rosensweig’s longstanding support of the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education. “He’s given of himself, sharing his professional expertise and his own journey, in service to Hobart and William Smith students.”
The presentation ceremony coincided with Rosensweig’s President’s Forum talk, “From Sherrill Hall to Silicon Valley,” in which he discussed his career trajectory and his approach to business that recently earned him Entrepreneur of the Year by TechAmerica and inclusion on the list of “The Silicon Valley 100” by Business Insider. As a leader in media communications and internet industries, Rosensweig joined Chegg when the web-based education resource company was in debt, and within his first year as CEO the company tripled its revenues. Today, Chegg remains as a strong company reporting multi-million dollar revenues.
To the standing-room only crowd that filled the Bartlett Theatre, he answered questions and encouraged students to take risks, be bold and have confidence in the value of their education.
“When I came here, it was the first step in a lifetime journey of learning, experiencing, growing and making mistakes. For a lot of you, your biggest fear is figuring out how to get from where you are now to where you’re going to end up. It’s unknown. But if you don’t put yourself in the game, you can’t play—and you can’t win if you don’t play,” Rosensweig said. “I look around this room and I promise you that in five years, a good portion of this room is going to be doing something brilliant.”
Following the talk several students reflected on the discussion.
“The best part of this President’s Forum was getting to know the person behind his Wikipedia page,” says Austin Gallegos ’17. “By attending a talk like Dan’s we get to learn life lessons. Dan pointed out that what he values and many successful people value is knowing what you are good at and doing that one thing.”
“At talks like these,” says Melissa Tyler ’18, “you are reminded of how a liberal arts education gives you skills for almost every field.”
Nicole Wright ’20 adds that she felt proud to be a part of the Hobart and William Smith community. “Seeing other people talk about their lives, and how HWS impacted them, makes me excited to see what I’ll be able to do with my own experience.”
Ian Tulloch’19 enjoyed Rosensweig’s candor. “I liked when he explained that no one ever has a straight shot to success and people must be prepared to face failure and have the grit to overcome and succeed.”
Before taking the top role at Chegg, Rosensweig served as President and CEO of Guitar Hero, COO of Yahoo!, President of CNET and CEO of ZDNET. More on Rosensweig can be found in his HWS Life of Consequence profile.