Warm goodbye to Masters and MBA students during graduation ceremony
Last week we celebrated the graduation of 242 Masters students and 41 Executive MBA students. A delegation of some 65 Chinese BiMBA students flew in especially from Beijing to join their fellow students at the festive graduation ceremony in Ghent. In total 1,100 people attended the ceremony and reception afterwards in the garden of the Ghent campus, amongst which also family and close friends of the graduates. Apart from the personal handing over of the diplomas, special prizes were distributed for ‘Best Student’ and ‘Best In-company Project’. The ceremony was livened up with movies created by the students, giving an impression of their year at Vlerick Business School.
In her speech professor Marion Debruyne, who is Director of the Masters programmes at Vlerick, specifically addressed the male graduates, drawing their attention to the fact that only 16% of C-level positions in Fortune 500 companies is taken up by a woman. “Legendary investor Warren Buffett once stated that one of the reasons for his great success was that he was competing with only half of the population. I think you're all man enough to want to compete with the other half as well. And I have seen some very talented women in this group. But the only way we will be able to advance both men and women, is if we realise that we are not competing, but working together. Allowing you to have a career and the opportunity to invest in it. And allowing you to have a family and interests beyond work, and time to enjoy them. Balancing work and life is not a women's issue, it's everyone’s issue. And I have high hopes that you will be the generation to realise this.”
There were additional speeches by the Chairman Louis Verbeke, Dean Philippe Haspeslagh and Geert Fiers, General Manager of Vlerick Alumni.