#MSMGRADUATION18: Bringing value to society
Over 100 students from across the world received their much-awaited Master in Management, Master of Business Administration and DBA degrees during the Graduation Ceremony of Maastricht School of Management on 20 September 2018. About 50 of them travelled from the school’s partnership programs in Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Germany, Romania, Kuwait, Vietnam, the United States and Yemen, to attend the special event in Maastricht, often accompanied by close family members.
“I am very excited,” said the spouse of an MBA graduate from MSM’s partner institute in Cairo, Egypt. “The past 2,5 years have been very intensive, and today I feel so happy that my husband is finally graduating. I came here to witness this beautiful moment. I am so proud that he challenged himself and stayed committed to the program, in spite of having a full-time job next to it.”
Another spouse, whose husband followed the MBA program at the Kuwait Maastricht Business School said, “The program was very intensive and it was a big challenge for him to combine his full-time job, his studies and the time he could spend with our two young daughters. Luckily the atmosphere in the program was very friendly and he enjoyed the experience of studying together with people from Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. It all worked well and it was all worth it!”
Due to the high number of graduates and guests this year, the Graduation Ceremony was held at the prestigious Maastricht Congress Centre MECC, at walking distance from MSM. The sun was shining bright and there was a cheerful smile on everyone’s face when the students arrived in their elegant black caps and gowns.
“One of our goals at Maastricht School of Management has always been to change the world,” said Mr. Oliver Olson in his role as Master of Ceremony as he welcomed the audience in the large auditorium. “We are an education institute so we get to be idealistic. This is where it starts and this is where we want to inspire our students to give them the feeling that they can really make a difference.”
Mr. Meinhard Gans, MSM CEO a.i., officially opened MSM’s Graduation Ceremony by highlighting the importance of strong leadership in a world characterized by change: “Change is here, sometimes disruptive. You represent the generation of future leaders and managers facing this change and you will need all the competencies, skills, moral values and entrepreneurial mindset that you have acquired at MSM to bring social good in each of your societies.”
Mr. Gans praised MSM’s successes in the past year, emphasizing the significant development ofthe school’s cooperation with Maastricht University and the MBA program’s rise in the Eduniversal rankingamong the 10 best MBA programs in Western Europe.
Speaking next, Mr. Paul R. Mbugua, Managing Director of Eclectics International Ltd. and Founder of Atlantis Holding Group, gave an inspiring account of his life and successful professional career in the Fintech industry in Africa. “I established my path as a struggler,” he said. “I must have a reason for everything I do. I am a strong optimist and I go for the challenges.”
Describing his business priorities and motivations, Mr. Mbugua said: “Africa’s challenges are unique and require unique solutions. I believe that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals I chose to focus on three: food, quality education and financial inclusion through technology. The key is to do what keeps you challenged and to have no peace until you succeed.”
His advice resonated deeply with the audience, and his words were relayed with the day’s hashtag #MSMGraduation18 on Twitter: “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
After a beautiful musical intermezzo by the Maastricht Society of Music quartet, the time came for the long awaited moment of the handing over of the degrees and student of the year awards. Over 100 students climbed on the stage in turn to receive their diploma from the hands of the dean and academic coordinator, under the applause of the audience.
During the reception that followed the ceremony, Master in Management graduate Mariia Kirichenko enthusiastically described what her year at MSM had meant for her personal growth: “I have never had such a learning experience, where I felt continuously motivated and challenged. I learned the importance of opening up and taking risks in everything you do. MSM pushed me to push my limits in many ways and I am very thankful to the passionate and dedicated teachers that I have met at MSM. In my opinion, this is what makes the school so special.”
Mariia, who earned her Master in Management degree with distinction, also received the Best Master in Management Student of the Year award for her outstanding academic achievements and exemplary participation in student and community activities, both at MSM and within the international community in Maastricht throughout the year. “I’ve been helping out in the organization of the Meet and Greet events of the Expat Holland Desk, and joined many local social networks such as Internations, Toastmasters and PhD Improv. I also visited all the border cities, by car, train and bus, and visited many live music concerts and theatre plays.”
Like several of her classmates, Mariia has already found a job and plans to stay a little longer in the Netherlands: “MSM’s career services were of great help to me and my fellow students in searching for jobs and in improving our job interview skills.”
The students and their families said that the international experience offered at MSM was the school’s biggest asset. “It was a very good experience for my son to be one year away from home in such a reputable management school as MSM in Maastricht,” said the mother of a graduate from Indonesia. Teasing him a little, she added: “He was a bit spoiled back home but now he has become independent. He can cook for himself and he can go anywhere without my help. He enjoyed learning from teachers and other students from all over the world. Thanks to his MBA diploma and this international experience, he has already found a job in a multinational firm in Jakarta.”
As we congratulate all MSM Graduates of 2018 once again on obtaining their degrees, we wish them a fulfilling life ahead and hope that they will be inspired by Dean a.i. Ms. Katalin Kovacs’ closing words at the ceremony: “Stay true to yourself. Choose a path that is close to your heart and makes you happy. Create something of lasting value to society.”
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