On Friday, November 11, 2016, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management said farewell to 79 graduates at this year’s third graduation ceremony which took place, once again, in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt’s city centre. The ceremony celebrated the achievements of students from three Post-Experience Master Programmes (Master of Mergers and Aquisitions, Master in Risk Management & Regulations and Master in Auditing), two Bachelor programmes (Bachelor in Business Administration and Bachelor in Business Studies for Professionals), and the doctoral programme.
The President of Frankfurt School, Professor Dr Udo Steffens, welcomed the guests and thanked the students for the commitment they had shown during their studies: “Frankfurt School continues to perform well in national and international rankings, and your hard work has helped drive the ongoing development of our business school.” He made special mention of the work and dedication of the graduates who had been involved in Frankfurt School’s student initiatives, thereby further enriching the lives of students at the business school.
On behalf of the City of Frankfurt, city councillor Dr Renate Sterzel congratulated and appealed to the students. “The City of Frankfurt is proud of you. But now it is also time to take responsibility: you must resist narrow-minded thinking and allow other ideas and intellectual traditions to influence your actions,” she said.
The laudatory address was delivered by Dietmar Schmid, Deputy Chairman of the Advisory Board of BHF-BANK AG and Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management Foundation. He started by thanking the graduates’ families, partners and friends, without whose support it would, he said, be difficult to successfully complete such demanding degree courses. He also highlighted his own ties to Frankfurt School. “Helping this institution to evolve and watching it grow has given me great joy,” he stated. Education is more than the mere transfer of knowledge, he continued. Businesses rely on individuals who are capable of innovating – who join in and are capable of guiding disruptive change. Especially in times like these, characterised by political uncertainties and disruptive developments such as digitisation, the very best minds are urgently needed to tackle the many challenges.
Dietmar Schmid exhorted the graduates to “bring passion to everything you do” – taking joy in your work spurs you to ever greater achievement. He also advised them to practise humility, suggesting a quote by French comedian Jacques Tati as a useful thought to reflect on as they embark on their professional careers: “Whoever considers himself too important for little jobs, is too little for important jobs.”
Frank Westhoff, Deputy Chair of the Frankfurt Institute of Risk Management and Regulation (FIRM) and member of the Executive Board of DZ BANK AG, presented the three top-scoring graduates on the Master in Risk Management & Regulation programme with the Risk Management Award. This year is the first time the award has been presented, and the three beneficiaries were Dr Stephan Nicklas, Dr Florian Rosswog and Tina Beyer.
Next, Professor Dr Udo Steffens, Professor Dr Michael H. Grote, Vice President Academic Affairs at Frankfurt School, and Professor Dr Andrea Beyer, Vice President of the University of Mainz – which organises the Master of Auditing programme jointly with Frankfurt School – presented the graduates with their degree certificates.
Professor Dr Myriam Bechtoldt, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Frankfurt School, and Professor Dr Jörg R. Werner, Head of the Accounting Department and Professor of Accounting at Frankfurt School, introduced the two doctoral students whose theses they had supervised, and presented them with their doctoral certificates.
Jannik Jensen, who was awarded a Bachelor degree in Business Studies for Professionals, and Nadine Kammerer, who graduated as a Master of Mergers & Acquisitions, then took the floor. They reflected on the time they had spent studying together with their fellow-students. “We learned to improvise, to use other people’s strengths, to prioritise, to take responsibility, and to manage” said Jannik Jensen. “But above all, to always argue in favour of one thing without arguing against the other.” In turn, Nadine Kammerer explained how valuable different backgrounds and approaches are, both for studying and for personal development.
Finally, in his capacity as President of Frankfurt School, Professor Steffens invited all the graduates and their guests to a reception in the rotunda of the Paulskirche, concluding the celebration with a very enjoyable get-together.