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19.10.2020

Click for Graduation

Graduates of ESB Business School celebrate their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees via video conference

By Katrin Reil

Ceremonial speeches, a final reunion with fellow students and the hat toss at the end are essential components of ESB Business School graduation ceremonies at Reutlingen University. Due to the situation created by the pandemic, the two ceremonies could not take place in Reutlingen's Stadthalle this year. Instead, around 600 graduates from around the world met last Saturday in a virtual setting.

In a total of ten parallel video conferences, professors at ESB Business School and their graduates together looked back on recent semesters. At the heart of the events was a pre-produced video in which many prominent ESB alumni such as Lionel Souque, CEO of REWE, and Kerstin Wagner, Head of Talent Acquisition at Deutsche Bahn, gave their thoughts. Andreas Haffner, Member of the Board at Porsche AG, who was originally invited to be the keynote speaker at the cancelled graduation ceremony back in spring, also expressed his congratulations via video, saying “I want to encourage you to find and pursue your personal dream. Not despite the current situation, but precisely because of it. I am already looking forward to your success stories.” 

After the central graduation video, ESB Business School's degree programmes set many individual accents. On a map of the world, participants could mark where they were listening to the graduation video; take an online quiz to prove their knowledge of ESB Business School, and of course share their memories of ESB with fellow students. One notably frequent subject was that of friendship. Once a part of the ESB family, always a part of the ESB family, was the message at all the events. And that message was all the more fitting as many of the graduates had gathered at home with their partners, parents and siblings in front of the screen - some of them even in gowns and wearing graduate caps.

In addition to the professors and staff of the individual study programmes, ESB graduates who have been in professional life for some time spoke at many of the conferences. They also welcomed the new alumni into their ranks, looked back on their own time at Reutlingen University and told how even today they still benefit from the content and values taught at ESB Business School.

Unfortunately, graduation certificates could not be presented live during the virtual graduation ceremonies. They were sent by mail in advance. However, at many of the events, the names of the graduates were read out, just they are at a regular graduation ceremony at the Reutlingen Stadthalle.

And the hat toss - always the climax of every ESB graduation ceremony? That too went ahead. Professor Christoph Binder, Dean of ESB Business School, officially declared the former students to be alumni. And the caps were thrown up in the air like they are every year; champagne corks popped, and there were celebrations – not just in Reutlingen this year, but also in Lisbon and Los Angeles, New York and Mumbai, some 600 of them, all around the world.

We would like to thank...

... the participants in the 2020 ESB Business School graduation video: Nikita Fahrenholz (IMX 2009), Philipp Greiner (IB 2014), Andreas Haffner, Franziska Ibele (IB 2015), Christoph Schell (IMX 1995), Lionel Souque (IMX 1993) and Kerstin Wagner (IMX 1992).
... our alumni who took part as guest speakers at the live conferences or who made video addresses: Christian Driller (IAT 2012), Isabel Grupp (IBD 2011), Franziska Ibele (IB 2015) and Laura Pröfrock (IMX 2018).
... the many graduates who spoke and/or provided video material for the event.