On Friday, May 3, 2019, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management bade a fond farewell to 72 new graduates at a graduation ceremony in Frankfurt’s Hotel Steigenberger. At the ceremony, students graduating from the Executive MBA and the MBA in International Healthcare Management received their certificates and celebrated with families, friends, professors and staff of the business school.
Professor Dr Nils Stieglitz, President of Frankfurt School, welcomed the graduates and their guests. “This is a proud day, for you and for Frankfurt School”, he said. However he also stressed the challenging times that lay ahead for the graduates. He reminded them that in an uncertain world, it was paramount to take over responsibility and that true leaders embraced ambiguity. But he was optimistic as “Studying at Frankfurt School should have equipped you with all the tools to deal with uncertainty. So this is still a time for optimists,” he concluded.
In her commencement address, Evelyne Freitag, Director and CFO DACH of Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH, pointed out the many different meanings of the German word “fertig”. “’Ich bin fertig’ can mean many things,” she said. “I’m finished with something, I’m ready, I’m beat. Today you are finished with your studies, but are you ready for the next steps?” she asked. Evelyne Freitag stressed the many challenges that today’s manager were facing in a VUCA world – a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. “In a world like this there will always be multiple answers to all your questions,” she said. This is why the graduates weren’t finished learning. It was therefore very handy, she explained, that they learned how to learn in their MBA programmes. “You will find that for many reasons, resilience and emotional intelligence do survive in a VUCA world,” she told them. To finish her speech, Evelyne Freitag offered three points of advice to the graduates. “Dare to care for people – focus on your clients, your patients and your teams!”, “Cooperate with patience and cultivate collaboration!” and “Get your journey inspired. Your career should match your life!”
After the commencement address, Professor Dr Nils Stieglitz, and Professor Dr Michael Grote, Vice President Academic Affairs, together with the Programme Directors Dr Markus Mädler and Annette Wright as well as Professor Dr Rainer Sibbel, Professor of International Healthcare Management at Frankfurt School, awarded the graduates with their certificates.
Mamdouh Alahmadi, graduate of the MBA in International Healthcare Management, and Rodney Rapson, graduate of the Executive MBA, let the audience participate in their journey at Frankfurt School with a reflection on their time as students.
Before inviting everyone to a celebratory dinner, Nils Stieglitz introduced the Frankfurt School alumni network. He emphasised the strong bond that FS Alumni still had with their alma mater after graduation.