In honor of graduation season, CNBC Make It is rolling out the speeches and advice that America's leaders are most excited to share with the Class of 2017. Follow along using the hashtag #MakeItNewGrads.
Steve Levitan, co-creator and executive producer of ABC's Emmy-winning comedy "Modern Family," is known for his sometimes brutal honesty. True to form, his graduation speech at the University of Wisconsin-Madison started with frank and unconventional advice.
He told graduates, "I'm supposed to impart wisdom. This is where I tell you a bunch of clichés like 'follow your dreams' and 'be yourself.' But I'm not going to say that, because I don't know your dream. Your dream may be stupid. Your dream may be to open a DVD store or sell Jell-O art. Those are bad dreams. Don't do it!
"And if you were anything like my freshman roommate, maybe you shouldn't be yourself. Anybody else would be better!"
So instead of repeating trite, or even potentially harmful, ideas, Levitan shared some wry, heartfelt stories about his journey from University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate to a television legend.
Based on his experiences, here are his top five most important pieces of advice for anyone just starting out and looking to get ahead in the working world.