Copenhagen MBA graduation

Earning your stripes, robe and graduation hat: What I felt on MBA graduation day

My classmates challenged my thoughts, opened new perspectives, shared different experiences, and helped me through my difficulties. On MBA graduation day, we were all up there on the same stage, and I truly appreciated being there with them.

A shared journey

One year ago, in the middle of August, I had just arrived in Denmark and was excited to explore Copenhagen. Everything seemed so new, and I imagined how I would like being an MBA student at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). One year later, I was standing on stage, ready to graduate with my fellow 35 MBAs. Together, we had experienced multiple challenges, enjoyed lots of happiness, worked through the tough COVID-19 lock-down, and – finally! – successfully delivered our final MBA projects. We couldn’t have done it without each other. It was very much a shared journey and I think I speak for everyone when I write that we have all grown very much as individuals throughout the year.

Graduation during COVID-19

Early in the morning on MBA graduation day, we all gathered in CBS MBA building, chatting and joking. It seemed like a normal day, with MBA students gathering at business school. But we all knew that getting all of us together in one place seemed like an impossible feat ever since the onset of the COVID-19. We appreciated being around each other again, especially on this special day: Our MBA graduation day! Our physical graduation could only take place thanks to the efforts of the CBS MBA staff, who had planned the event meticulously in keeping with the existing regulations. Attendance was capped, we had to keep a safe distance from one another, and the ceremony was streamed so our friends and family could watch us graduate from home.

Stronger together

When the moment came for us to dress up in robes and put on graduation hats, we were full of happiness and joy. The ceremony begun and we started cheering for each other. One year ago, we had only just met. Now, we have been through this tough year together. We are not just classmates; we are friends; friends who supported each other through the COVID-19 lockdown, challenged each other through our final projects, and enjoyed each other’s company through the dark Danish winter. The most important part was that we all learned together. We learned new subjects, formed study groups, “fought” for study rooms and “played” simulated games. These experiences seemed so far away, because we haven’t been together in one place since the middle of March, yet very familiar. Even the COVID-19 lockdown couldn’t separate us! The world will not be the same after the corona-virus pandemic in 2020, and neither will we. We stood on that stage on graduation day, waiting for our names to be called, knowing that we had finally earned our MBA together and that we had becomes stronger together.

A memorable journey

As one of the 36 graduates in the Copenhagen MBA class of 2020, I felt so happy to be part of this group. On this memorable graduation day, so many feelings rushed out. Reflecting back on my personal journey, I learned a lot from each new subject and I expanded my business skills through discussions, case studies and real experiences by working with local companies. However, I felt that I have also developed myself as a person, not just in the classroom but also outside. My classmates challenged my thoughts, opened new perspectives, shared different experiences, and helped me through my difficulties. On MBA graduation day, we were all up there on the same stage, and I truly appreciated being there with them.

Now that we have reached this important milestone, I want to say that thank you to everyone who helped us get there. As MBA classmates, we supported each other all the way and we completed this challenging, memorable journey together. Hats off, Copenhagen MBA class of 2020! We did it!

Ning was born in Kaifeng, China, before moving to the US. She works in healthcare and chose CBS as part of an exploratory journey to broaden her business capabilities.