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With Cap and Gown on Screen

Graduates of ESB Business School meet online for a virtual graduation ceremony

by Katrin Reil and Sven Rottner

After the successful first round last autumn, it was time for a second go on Saturday. Around 250 graduates of the ESB Business School at Reutlingen University celebrated their graduation despite the pandemic - but this time online. Once again, the graduates met via video conference. They raised a toast in front of their screens, to make their graduation speeches and swap ideas for career prospects.

The graduates were both happy and sad as they looked back on their time as students - just as they would have been at a big graduation ceremony at the Reutlingen Stadthalle. In the nine degree programme events held this weekend, the students heard speeches, looked again at pictures and films from their studies, and shared memories.

Robert Friedmann, Chairman of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group, was the guest speaker. In his video message, he advised the graduates of ESB Business School to always go the extra mile and carefully select the right company. Professor Hendrik Brumme, President of Reutlingen University, Professor Christoph Binder, Dean of ESB Business School, and many graduates also had their say in the official graduation film.

The graduation ceremony’s online format allowed each degree programme to give its event an individual touch. Graduates from several programmes, for example, had summarized impressions of the past semesters in the form of short videos and took a look back at these memories. Particularly in the smaller degree programmes, the graduates themselves took the floor to talk about their plans for the future.

A number of study programmes also had former ESB Business School graduates as guests at their events. They too congratulated the freshly graduated alumni on the successful conclusion of their studies, and took the opportunity to look back on their own time at ESB Business School and to give the graduates valuable tips for their future career paths.

Unfortunately, graduation certificates could not be presented live at the virtual graduation ceremony. However, at many of the events, the names of the graduates were solemnly read aloud.

Following the official programme, some of the online events continued - just as people usually celebrate after the ceremony. Before that, however, there was one more important item on the agenda - the traditional hat toss - as usual, heralded by Professor Christoph Binder, although this time it was by video. He doffed his doctoral cap to the graduates, saying “This cohort has managed brilliantly under extraordinary circumstances. We very much hope that we will soon be able to say goodbye in person. But at least online, we were still able to pass on the message to our new alumni that they will always be a part of the ESB family.”