On Friday, May 5, 2017, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management bade a fond farewell to 276 new graduates at a graduation ceremony in Frankfurt’s Paulskirche. The ceremony, this year’s first, celebrated the achievements of students graduating from the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree course and the Post-Experience Master programmes (full-time and part-time MBA, Executive MBA and MBA in International Healthcare Management), as well as the doctoral programme.
The President of Frankfurt School, Professor Dr Udo Steffens, opened proceedings by welcoming guests and thanking the students for the commitment they had shown during their studies. “We are gathered here today to honour our graduates’ achievements. Yet it is not just their academic performance that makes me proud of them. As well as displaying excellence in their chosen subject areas, our students have shown themselves to be socially engaged individuals ready to support our community, as reflected in their crowdfunding campaign for the new campus and their participation in FS sports teams.”
In his address, Professor Dr Udo Steffens underscored the growing internationalisation of Frankfurt School. “As you can clearly see here, today, the proportion of international students on our courses and the size of Frankfurt School’s international network are both steadily growing. Joint ventures such as the Kinshasa EMBA are contributing to this international growth – something that is vitally important not just for us here at our business school, but for our country as a whole.”
Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann congratulated the new graduates on behalf of the City of Frankfurt. “I’m delighted to be here with you today. Your graduation is also a new beginning for each one of you. Frankfurt School has equipped you with considerable knowledge, and it is now up to you to put this knowledge into practice.” The Lord Mayor went on to appeal to the graduates to “take up your duties as responsible members of society and build bridges.”
Dr Jasmin Kölbl-Vogt, who sits on the Board of Directors of Citigroup Global Markets Deutschland AG and on Frankfurt School’s Advisory Board, gave the laudatory speech. She warmly congratulated the graduates on successfully completing their studies, emphasising that they should all be extremely proud of their achievements.
“All of you are now equipped with the tools you need for careers in the industry sectors of your choice. Businesses and banks in Germany and beyond need you, and I’m convinced that we’ll be hearing a great deal more about you and your professional achievements in the future,” she said. “Many graduates before you have demonstrated that Frankfurt School produces top-flight alumni – two FS alumni already feature in the prestigious Forbes rankings,” Dr Kölbl-Vogt continued.
Her own career was shaped by close collaboration with international teams, specialists from many different disciplines, and highly capable women and men. Summing up, Dr Kölbl-Vogt emphasised that diversity enriches our daily work, adding that she felt it was important to pass on these insights to the new graduates and encourage them to uphold these values. Despite the many challenges associated with a professional career, social engagement is essential, she said, as she urged her audience to find creative ways of championing diversity. “Please get involved and use your talents for the good of society as a whole, as well as for the Frankfurt School community,” she concluded.
Finally, Dr Kölbl-Vogt warmly thanked all the graduates’ supporters – parents, grandparents, siblings, partners and friends – without whose assistance it is very unlikely they would have been able to study for or complete their degrees.
On behalf of the Association of Credit Institutions in Frankfurt (IFK), Dr Jürgen Ziebe, Managing Director of both the IFK and the Banking Association of Hessen presented awards for academic excellence to the year’s top-scoring graduates. “It is my great pleasure to honour the outstanding achievements of Frankfurt School’s best graduates,” said Dr Ziebe. This year’s first prize went to a woman, Amelie Wenger, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Second prize went to Calvin Roth, Bachelor of Science in Management, Philosophy & Economics, and third prize to Christopher Muth, who graduated with an MBA. Dr Ziebe stressed that Germany relied on highly trained specialists and institutions like Frankfurt School to respond to rapidly changing trends. Thus, the business school acts as an essential catalyst and innovator for Frankfurt as one of Europe’s key financial centres.
Professor Dr Udo Steffens and Professor Dr Michael Grote, Vice President Academic Affairs and Professor of Corporate Finance at Frankfurt School, then presented the new graduates with their degree certificates.
Professor Dr Nils Stieglitz, Professor of Strategic Management at Frankfurt School, congratulated his doctoral candidate Mujaheed Shaikh, whose dissertation on health economics earned him a doctorate.
EMBA graduate Chafik El Kabali presented the traditional student review. Looking back over the time spent with his fellow students at Frankfurt School, he said: “When we started our course, graduation seemed very far away and somewhat unreal. Every day, we had to strive to improve so that we could achieve our goals. So now, let’s make use of our newly acquired knowledge to give something back.”
Dr Heike Brost, Head of Degree Programmes & Executive Education at Frankfurt School, introduced the Frankfurt School alumni network. “As of now, you are all FS alumni, and we cordially invite you to join our network of 43,000 graduates. This will enable you to extend your personal networks, make the most of new opportunities and attend a wide variety of events.”
Finally, Professor Dr Udo Steffens invited all the graduates and their guests to a reception in the Paulskirche foyer; this concluded the graduation ceremony. The musical accompaniment for the ceremony was provided by student music society FS Music.