Like any other year, in Feburary 2021, the students graduating from the Esslingen MBA in International Industrial Management dressed up and gathered with friends, family, peers and staff to attend their graduation ceremony.
The notable and, for this year predictable, difference was that all of this happened behind screens - in bedrooms and on couches or kitchen tables in various corners of the globe.
The event, hosted by MBA Academic Director Dr. Michael Flad, consisted of two distinct parts. The first was the formal ceremony, which took the shape of a presentation featuring talks and introductions from Graduate School Dean Dr. Siegfried Zürn. Dr. Zürn talked passionately about the trials and tribulations of this past, inconceivable year, as well as praising the students for their hard work and tenacity in the face of such complicated circumstances.
"I’m glad that, even though the pandemic made it impossible for the graduates to gather together physically, we were still able to achieve at least some sense of community during this online ceremony," said Dr. Zürn. "We also plan to follow up with a physical summer event to celebrate all the graduates once more," he said.
During the event, we also heard from valued Alumni Association member Sergo Dreving, who congratulated the students on their passage into their future careers and talked a little about his experience since graduation.
Class Speakers Avani Rathod and Busra Yildiz were thanked for their tireless efforts, as were the Graduate School Student Ambassadors, who have been instrumental in assisting the smooth arrival of new international students.
A continued but silent applause formed the backdrop to the smiling and proud faces of each individual graduate as they turned on their camera and waved on the calling of their name.
The event then shifted over into social gathering platform 'Wonder,' where students new and old, as well as staff members, were able to meet and chat socially.
"All in all, it turned out to be quite a fun and successful event and we were really happy that we were able to put it on," commented Dr. Flad.