MSM Graduation April 2022: celebrating achievements together again!


On 6 April 2022, MSM organized a Graduation Ceremony to celebrate graduates of the Master in Management, Full-time MBA, Executive MBA, Online MBA, MPhil and DBA programs. This was an additional ceremony to the one organized in December 2021, which could not be attended by all graduates, nor by family and friends due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

As such, Master of Ceremony Oliver Olson started the Ceremony with expressing how delighted he was to welcome not only the graduates in person, but also their family and friends, as well as MSM Faculty and Staff. With some travel limitations still in place, MSM also organized a livestream for the graduates, relatives and friends that could not join the ceremony at MSM.

On behalf of the MSM organization, CEO and Dean a.i. Meinhard Gans shared his deep respect for the graduates for their extraordinary achievement in successfully finalizing their study program under challenging conditions: “All of you started the program before or somewhere in the middle of the global Covid pandemic, necessitating a, at times unpredictable, rollercoaster ride of regular classroom-based teaching, combined with online and Zoom-based teaching during the lockdowns. We realize that it takes an extraordinary commitment to complete a program under these conditions.” He also highlighted the global learning journey the students enjoyed with many nationalities and cultures represented in the programs: “This multicultural dimension may have complicated your learning process in a way. However, we expect that, in the end, it has made it a unique and rewarding experience, that will benefit you for life, as a global citizen.”

It takes an extraordinary commitment to complete a program under these conditions

In his keynote speech, MSM MBA alumnus Alain Nkurikiye explained how his company Wajenzi is helping to bring African businesses to life. Alain is the founder and CEO of Wajenzi, an investment marketplace allowing start-ups in Africa to raise money from individuals and financial institutions in Europe. In his presentation, Alain highlighted four reasons why entrepreneurship is important for the economy. He explained the difference between necessity driven entrepreneurship and opportunity driven entrepreneurship. Diving further into the needs of African start-ups, he addressed the Wajenzi method of supporting African start-ups, and how Wajenzi in this way is contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Alain also briefly highlighted the fact that he is currently working together with MSM in capacity building projects in Burundi and Algeria.

After the keynote speech it was time for the highlight of the day – the awarding of the degrees and the student of the year awards. For the student of the year awards, the graduates of December were included in the nomination process, and now finally it was the moment of revealing the winners. Master of Ceremony Oliver Olson built up the tension by first highlighting the extraordinary achievement of the winners before mentioning their names: for the Master in Management the winner was Maryam Asadiyan, for the Full-time MBA the award went to Clinton van der Schyff, for the Executive MBA to Olga Mykhaylenko and for the Online MBA the winner was Megan Thompson! Unfortunately, not all winners could be present in person to collect the award, but hopefully they could witness their announcement via the livestream.

In her valedictory speech, Full-time MBA graduate Amrapali Thakur honored her classmates, referring to them as a ‘Strong Support System” being a source of inspiration and comfort during tough times: “While coping with the emotional distress of being away from our family and friends back home, we found our family and friends in each other – here in Maastricht.”

Executive MBA graduate Vinod Kumar highlighted the diversity in the classroom, consisting of different cultures, nationalities, ages, business sectors and job positions: “The diverse class environment was always leading to interesting discussions and many times challenging the teachers also. This diverse experience teaches and trains us to view the business from various angles and start thinking out of the box for the right solution.”

The only person you should compete with in life is yourself

Online MBA graduate and best Online MBA student of the year Megan Thompson reflected on the lessons learned while following the tight schedule of the Online MBA and at the same time working during lock downs. At the end of her speech, she also shared some valuable advice: “The only person you should compete with in life is yourself. Shared experiences and learning from others are just as important and potentially more valuable than reading every article on the reading list or writing a perfect essay. Help your colleagues – ask for advice – learn from the people around you – and the best results will come.”

With a sense of humor, Doctor of Business Administration graduate Meerna Mroueh explained the different meaning of the abbreviation DBA for her during her studies: Discipline, Battle and Antagonism – Discipline to meet her busy schedule, Battle to say no to many hobbies, friends and family and Antagonism for the well-meaning friends and relatives asking when she would be finished with her DBA and get a real job. Nevertheless, she would do it all again: “If you ask me if I would do it again, I will do it again! And to my fellow graduates, commit yourselves to creating reasons to accomplish any distinctive results you want because, trust me, you can.”

MSM Academic Director Dr. Stuart Dixon had the honor to close the Ceremony and to ‘dismiss’ the class. Before speaking the famous words “Class of 2021, you are dismissed”, he also expressed his appreciation for the achievements of the graduates amidst the difficult circumstances they faced during their studies.

After the official part it was time to mix and mingle with fellow graduates, family and friends, and MSM faculty and staff during the dinner reception.

Congratulations to all graduates and best student award winners!

We are looking forward to learning about their future achievements as MSM alumni.

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MSM Graduation 2020: A new generation of leaders for a changing world