Last week IMD’s June 2018 EMBA cohort commemorated the end of one chapter of their journey and the beginning of another with an elegant graduation ceremony at the Beau-Rivage Hotel in IMD’s home–Lausanne, Switzerland.

Joined by family, friends and IMD colleagues who accompanied them along the way, the 56 accomplished executives with 27 nationalities who represent 26 industries, received their diplomas and heard key note speeches from IMD Professor and Dean of the Program Stefan Michel as well as the valedictorian, Marc Ehrensperger and Hanne De Mora, accomplished board member.

Stefan Michel opened and presided over the ceremony. “While our graduates receive recognition today for their academic achievements, we all know this is a team effort,” he said thanking the families and friends of the EMBAs for their critical support throughout the intensive program. Professor Michel also thanked the many other faculty and support staff who were essential in delivering an experience-of a-lifetime including the numerous trips to different markets around the world: China, India, Kenya, Silicon Valley, Vietnam and Brazil. 

“Several of you mentioned that the discovery expeditions were one of the most important parts of the learning journey,” Stefan Michel said.

“How is this class different from other classes? You demonstrated convincingly to me that a positive attitude, a willingness to help each other and mutual encouragement goes a long way.”

“You are all more interested and more interesting than when you started this program,” he concluded.

Next up came Keynote speaker Hanne de Mora, Co-Founder and Chairperson of a-connect and a Board Member at AB Volvo, Sandvik, IMD and who was previously a Partner at McKinsey. Drawing on her long and successful career, she discussed the importance of people continuously renewing themselves. “My advice to you is to continue your learning journey. Promise me you’ll renew yourself on the job. Push yourself out of your comfort zone.”

Stefan Michel announced Marc Ehrensperger as the IMD EMBA Class of June 2018 valedictorian, selected by faculty and peers to address the ceremony. “The decision to do this program was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. We all worked hard toward to this degree. It was a huge undertaking on top of our jobs and families,” Marc said. “On behalf of all the EMBA 2018 graduates, I want to express the gratitude that we feel and thank the faculty for helping shape us into the confident EMBA graduates we are today.”  He said that Stefan Michel and the rest of IMD’s faculty deserve an Oscar for teaching excellence which prompted a long and rowdy standing ovation. “The friendships we’ve made will last a lifetime,” he added.

With a word of gratitude and best wishes Stefan Michel closed the ceremony which was followed by a reception.

“Thank you for the journey and congratulations for your major achievement.”