On Friday, October 27, 2017, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management said farewell to 135 graduates at their Graduation Ceremony in Frankfurt’s Paulskirche. This year’s second Graduation Ceremony celebrated the achievements of students on the Bachelor of Arts in Finance & Management program and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program, including program variants Business Administration and Management, Philosophy & Economics. Two graduates were awarded their doctorates.
Professor Dr Udo Steffens, President of Frankfurt School, welcomed the guests attending the event and thanked the students for their hard work. “Today, we are all here in Frankfurt’s historic Paulskirche to honour you, dear graduates. Showing impressive ambition and passion, you have successfully completed your degree courses – I congratulate you!”
He reserved a special mention for Bachelor of Arts graduates who completed their degrees at the business school’s study centres in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart. “Many of you who studied for your part-time degrees not in Frankfurt, but at one of Frankfurt School’s four other study centres, have had to travel considerable distances. I would like to give you special thanks for your efforts. Even though you weren’t in Frankfurt very often, you nevertheless completed your degree courses with the same enthusiasm and ambition as those who attended their courses in Frankfurt itself. This reflects the special spirit and mindset that characterises Frankfurt School. Perhaps some of you will continue your education at our new campus, which celebrated its official opening ceremony yesterday.”
Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann congratulated the graduates on behalf of the city: “Like the City of Frankfurt itself, Frankfurt School stands for an open-minded, international attitude. Globalization is firmly anchored in our city’s history. Frankfurt School is part of this self-perception – without this institution, our city would be an emptier place, which is why I was delighted when the new campus was officially opened yesterday. Now that you have graduated, take this attitude with you into your working and private lives – here in Frankfurt or elsewhere in the world.”
The laudatory address was delivered by Jochen Klösges, Chief Executive Officer of E. R. Capital Holding and alumnus of Frankfurt School. He warmly congratulated the students on their successful graduation. “Although many years have passed, as a Frankfurt School alumnus I can easily put myself in your shoes – which is why today is a very special day for me as well,” said Jochen Klösges.
In his speech, the former Frankfurt School student emphasised how important it is for graduates to spend the next few years at work cultivating their curiosity, open-mindedness and creativity: “Because of digitalization, we are all facing enormous challenges which are also opportunities. Be alert and open-minded – the world is spinning faster than ever. With your degree from Frankfurt School, you have the best possible prerequisite for shaping your own destiny,” he concluded.
In his view, it is particularly important to look “outside one’s own comfort zone”, which is why his decision to move out of the finance industry and join the customer-facing side of a medium-sized firm did him so much good personally. He advised financial institutions to do the same: “If banks employed more people who had already worked in other industries, they would give themselves more opportunities for growth.”
After the laudatory address, Professor Dr Wolfgang Reittinger, Professor of Management Practice in Private Wealth Management at Frankfurt School, congratulated the year’s top three graduates (all on the Bachelor of Arts programme). First place went to Kathrin Weiß, second to Carsten Thomsen and third to Tim Kellermanns.
Subsequently Professor Steffens and Professor Dr Michael Grote, Vide President Academic Affairs at Frankfurt School, presented all the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science graduates with their degree certificates.
Professor Dr Jörn-Henrik Thun, Associate Dean Executive Education and Professor of Operations Strategy at Frankfurt School, congratulated his doctoral candidate Cathrin Jordan, who wrote her thesis on behavioural economics.
In turn, Professor Dr Falko Fecht, DZ Bank Professor of Financial Economics at Frankfurt School, congratulated Calebe de Roure on his newly awarded doctorate; his thesis was on financial stability and monetary policy.
Robert Schwaab, student spokesperson for the Bachelor of Arts degree course, gave a student’s perspective on the last few semesters. In his speech, he underlined in particular the challenge of combining a degree course with a full-time job: “After successfully training as bankers, we decided to study for a Bachelor of Arts in Finance & Management degree in just four semesters while continuing to work full-time. This sounded very tempting, especially in view of the subsequent career opportunities. But many of us quickly realised just how challenging it was to attend seminars at weekends and keep up our studies. Even so, we motivated each other – and were given huge amounts of support by our families.” The students’ joint stay abroad at the Institute of Banking in Dublin would remain one of his fondest memories.
Dr. Heike Brost, Head of Degree Programmes & Executive Education at Frankfurt School, introduced the Frankfurt School alumni network: “A short while ago, your graduation still lay in the distant future. Now you have become members of the family of Frankfurt School alumni and are warmly invited to join a network of more than 43,000 extraordinary individuals. Through the network, you will stay connected to us and receive regular updates on current events. This will give you many opportunities to extend your own personal networks.”
Finally, Professor Steffens invited all those present to a joint reception in the Paulskirche foyer.