Robert Benmosche is still putting the finishing touches on his commencement address of hope.
Robert Benmosche, the chief executive officer of insurer American International Group Inc, has some tough love for college students graduating in the aftermath of the financial crisis. “You have to accept the hand that’s been dealt you in life,” Benmosche said in an interview today with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television. “Don’t cry about it. Deal with it.” The CEO is scheduled to give a commencement address May 18 at New York State’s Alfred University, where he earned a degree in math and played football. College graduates have struggled to find jobs after the financial crisis sent the U.S. unemployment rate as high as 10 percent in 2009. Joblessness for recent college graduates, ages 20 to 29, was 12.6 percent in October 2011, a Bureau of Labor Statistics review last month showed. “They want me to talk to the students and give them a sense of encouragement, especially with the high unemployment,” said Benmosche, 68. “My advice will be, whatever opportunity comes your way, take it. Take it and treat it as if it’s the only one that’s coming your way, because that actually may be the truth.”