Friday, July 06, 2007

The Graduation Ceremony

Yesterday was Graduation Day.

My day started with a visit to the Chateau. A must I guess for INSEAD Grads' visitors, as evidenced by the number of students I saw there with their guests.
Then we had a quick lunch at Chez Bernard (opposite the Chateau entrance) which was ok but for the rude service.
I expected a siesta break to make up for loss of proper sleep nights of past days, but it was impossible. We had to head to School, for the first ever Graduation Ceremony in School (actually, a marquee on the parking lot). I do think this is the best choice, though it sounds less appealing than previous graduations in Versailles or Paris. INSEAD is from Fonty, and my guests were really keen on visiting the School facilities.

The marquee was pretty impressive from inside though. It was a bit hot, but bearable. We had nice speeches from Dean Fatas, Dean Brown, our guest Speaker -who was astounding (BT CEO), and Tongai from Zimbabwe for the Students. He was awesome too, reminding us of good times and carpe diem. I still think though that Singapore was portrayed a bit too much as party hard... Then the Ford Prize for highest GPA was given to -a surprise to me- Robert the Brit. It confirmed my theory that the Brits were the biggest achiever group in School, and was great news as Robert embodies perfectly the ideal student: work hard, play hard.

My favourite speech was given from one my favourite Profs -Kevin Kaiser- because it was funny and touching. This guy is a real guru in all meanings. I do remember waking up at 8AM in P5, just to attend his classes for which I was not even registered!

Closing the ceremony was an INSEAD alumnus who had a great quote for parents too. Something like: "The MBA is an investment. And these students have learnt this year that investments are sunk costs. To the parents..."

Fellow MBAs I clapped for every one of you, on stage while you were receiving your degree from brothers Franky and Tonio. Because, as Tongai said, I wished I knew more of you, and more intensively -but that is just a beginning, and you can always reach me! And I do thank all those that clapped for me, but I suspect my super cool super successful shell necklace played a great part too!

In the end, the only thing missing was a proper release of energy. The promotion picture was not the best way to end. I honestly wanted to jump, throw my programme, shout, kiss every one... Just do something!

Anyway I'm sure there'll be some improvements for future intakes. I liked my Graduation Ceremony anyway. It'll be an ever-lasting memory.

Then the cocktail was a good opportunity to introduce parents to friends, and say bye to some -already. In the evening, a very good INSEAD friend of mine invited some people to restaurant in Barbizon, including parents. We had a great time. But, we were so tired that most of us skipped the Grad Party. In retrospect, that maddens me because there are so many people I wanted to say bye to. But then, these people know that I care for them...

I also did my "coming out" to my favourite professors, and the Deans. They responded very kindly.
This week-end I'll upload the last pictures, and then the baton will be given to July08 Bloggers.

My special gift: Kevin Kaiser's acceptance speech for Best Elective Professor with nominations of Randall and Pierre. Winner of Core was Igor Vaysman, with nominations of Enrico and Pascal.



At 4:24 PM , Anonymous Gabriel said...

Hahaha I'm glad you had a nice graduation. It was your day ;)


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