The class of 2019

357 graduates from all over the world celebrate their graduation from ESB Business School

By Katrin Reil

Internationality, responsibility and friendship were the key words at the graduation ceremony at ESB Business School, Reutlingen University on Saturday. At the event in the Reutlingen city hall, keynote speaker Hartmut Jenner, chairman of the board of Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG, Reutlingen’s mayor Thomas Keck as well as many representatives from the university and school shared their experiences with the graduates. With the traditional throwing of the academic hat up into the air the graduates then celebrated the official end of their studies. 

“You can be proud of yourselves and your degree at ESB Business School with which you will go out into the world“, said Professor Dr Petra Kluger, vice-president of Reutlingen University, welcoming the graduates as  well as their families who had travelled from near and far  to attend the ceremony. Students from 80 nations define the character of ESB Business School and create an international atmosphere on the Reutlingen campus.  

Reutlingen’s mayor Thomas Keck fittingly held his opening address in two languages, German and English. Although he was not quite sure what reasons had led each of those present to come to Reutlingen – friends and family, ESB’s reputation or the wish to study a particular subject. “But I hope,” says Keck “that many of the graduates will find their way into Reutlingen companies or start their own business here.”    

Keynote speaker Hartmut Jenner also made reference to ESB’s internationality: “Intercultural and practically relevant degree programmes like those at ESB Business School educate our high potentials in the economy.” In his address the chairman of the board at Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG continued with the second major thought of the evening - responsibility. “Leadership always means assuming responsibility for people. This is a manager‘s greatest, hardest and at the same time finest task. The most important basis along the way is to find a company whose team and business model convince you and whose values and corporate culture you agree with.”      

Student representatives Felix Oeding-Erdel and Katharina Düsel looked back at their time at ESB Business School. For them friendship was the most important concept in connection with their studies in Reutlingen: “In times of growing nationalism ESB is an example of how to build bridges instead of creating borders. It is our responsibility to carry this international spirit out into the world. We want to shape society according to ethical standards.”  

The V.I.M.A prize for special voluntary commitment went to several graduates: Katharina Düsel, Louisa Haas and Felix Seidel, all three from the BSc International Management Double Degree programme, received awards for the organisation of overnight accommodation. Christoph Rixe, from the BSc International Operations and Logistics Management programme, for his involvement in many student committees and bodies, including as head of the Student Network or as the ESB ambassador at schools.

During the graduation ceremony a change in the leadership of ESB Business School took place: Professor Dr Andreas Taschner, who as dean led ESB over the past three years, moderated the beginning of the ceremony. After the presentation of the certificates he handed over to his successor Professor Dr Christoph Binder. The ESB dean, who has been in office since Wednesday, paid tribute to the achievements of his predecessor, including the AACSB accreditation in summer which puts ESB  among the top 5% of all business schools in the world.