Emotion, excitement and satisfaction were the words that best define the graduation ceremony of the Class of 2017-2018 at the Barcelona Campus of EAE Business School, held at the exceptional venue of Palau Sant Jordi. In total, more than 4,800 people attended, including relatives, students, lecturers, directors and professionals from the School, to celebrate the end of the students’ studies and the start of a new stage filled with professional challenges.
The ceremony was attended by Carlos Fernández, the Executive Vice-President of Grupo Planeta; Carlos Giménez, the General Director of Planeta Formación y Universidades; Francesc Vendrell, the General Secretary of the Advisory Board of Planeta Formación y Universidades; José Luis Fernández, the General Director of EAE Business School; Josep María Altarriba, the Dean of EAE Business School and Jorge Irigaray, the General Secretary of EAE Business School, as well as Program Directors and members of the School’s faculty.
In his introduction, Carlos Giménez, the General Director of Planeta Formación y Universidades, emphasized the role of the lecturers and the families, “without whose support, the academic year would be even harder”, before advising the graduating students to become the leaders of the future: “there is a constant need for training if we want to take the reins of our own future”.
Jaime Guardiola, Executive Director of Banco Sabadell, over 40 years in the financial sector
Next, the patron of the 2017-2018 Graduating Class of the Barcelona Campus, the Executive Director of Banco Sabadell, Jaime Guardiola, gave an emotive speech in which he remembered embarking on his professional career in the financial sector, spanning back over 40 years. Moreover, he listed some of the values that are applied at his institution, Banco Sabadell, which the students should embrace throughout their professional and personal lives. “You must be non-conformist, which is an essential trait for a changing world like ours. You also need the capacity to commit to the company, because that is important if you want to progress within it”.
Jaime Guardiola gave the students some advice about being effective: “determined people know how to optimize, they surround themselves with the best, they work well as part of a network and team”. He also advised them to be excellent in their work right from the first day, whatever task they are doing. “Strive to be genuine, to be yourself, and empathic, putting yourself in other people’s shoes”. Guardiola also explained that, in his institutions, they fully embrace the digital world without losing the human touch, “which is something that is not going to disappear.
The speeches of the student representatives
After the graduation sashes were presented to the 2,000 graduating students at EAE’s Barcelona Campus, who now form part of a community of more than 73,000 former students, executives and professionals working at companies, institutions and organizations in over 100 countries all over the world, they all got a surprise with a video in which they were congratulated by their families.
Then came one of the most eagerly awaited parts of the ceremony, the speeches by the students. The delegated representatives from various Masters gave very moving speeches about how EAE Business School has changed their lives. “In an ambiguous world like the one we live in, we have to be very clear about our values. Training enables us to go beyond our boundaries and gives us the power to transform ourselves”, said Eva Navarro, a Spanish student in the Master in Human Resources Management.
Andrés Paredes, a Columbian student on the Master in Corporate Communication Management, explained that he feels really at home in Barcelona, adding that today is a celebration of our achievements but also the start of lots of other things. Eva Nusser, a German student on the International MBA, thanked everybody for their support and emotionally recalled the start of the Master, everything they have learned and the values they have acquired. To finish off, the three former students emphasized the energy with which they face these new challenges.
Awards for lecturers and students
During this very special event, the School’s lecturers also had their moment in the spotlight, in recognition of the crucial role they play in the tuition. The first of this year’s awards went to Marc Bara, named as the Best Lecturer on Executive Programs, who said he was extremely satisfied to receive the accolade from the students, adding that it is the fact that the students are really demanding that drives the lecturers to improve every day. The Award for the Best Lecturer on Full Time Programs went to Fátima Vila, who said that it was a surprise and an honour. “There are so many great lecturers here, to win this is incredible”. Fátima emphasized how she has seen her students evolve and mature over the course of the program, because the change and grow a great deal as people.
Every effort deserved its rewards. With this in mind, EAE Business School also recognizes the everyday work of the students, with a special award being given to the student with the best overall report on the Bachelor Degree, who was Noemí Castro, in this case.
Recognition of international schools and companies
EAE Business School works with the best international schools to develop agreements between the students. On this occasion, an award for special recognition was given to a Babson College, the prestigious private higher education institution in Wellesley, Massachusetts in the United States. The award Was collected by Amir Reza, the Vice Provost for International and Multicultural Education at Babson College.
The next award was for the company that has recruited most students from EAE’s Barcelona Campus over the course of the academic year. The Top Recruiter Award went to Schneider Electric and was collected by Eva Roca, the company’s Talent Acquisition & Mobility Manager.
To bring the ceremony to a close, José Luis Fernandez, the General Director of EAE, mentioned that this academic year has been a special one for the School because it welcomed students from more than 100 different countries. In addition, it has launched the EAE LAB incubator for entrepreneurs. The General Director of EAE Business School highlighted that there are more than 200 research projects under way at the School, before underlining the fact that the business school is ranked in the top positions in national and international league tables.
To finish off, the students went out to the cocktail area to soak up the exclusive atmosphere of the hill of Montjuïc and taking part in the EAE Business School photo call. As the protagonists of the evening, the students were extremely happy. Luis Fernandez, a Venezuelan graduate of the IMBA, was very pleased to meet up with his friends again. “The Master at EAE in Barcelona was an incredible experience. We came from lots of different country and it was extremely enriching”. He is now working in a company and looking forward to the many challenges that lay ahead.
Jaume Santamaría, who has just finished the Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and Management, said that he began to have his doubts when he started at the university but, in the end, it all turned out really well. He would now like to continue training abroad. “EAE has opened up lots of doors for us at an international level. I have also considered doing a Master in EAE”. Meanwhile, Silvina Sánchez, a new graduate from the Master in Digital Marketing and Electronic Commerce, got emotional when remembering the sacrifices made, the great level of the lecturers and her classmates from various countries. Silvina plans to continue specializing in Digital Marketing.