EDHEC Business School, one of the Financial Times Top 10 European Business Schools, recently hosted a series of graduation ceremonies following the French government’s decision to lift most COVID-imposed restrictions.
Indian students – 155 in total – from the classes of 2020 and 2021, who could not come together in previous years due to the pandemic, walked to the stage to receive their diplomas. Students’ families attended the graduation ceremonies in person and via Live Stream worldwide, including in India.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, EDHEC cancelled on-campus activities and moved course delivery online to mitigate infection. Graduation ceremonies were also impacted, and students who missed their graduations looked forward to the day when they could wear their graduation cap and gown and receive their diploma.
After France lifted mask mandates in March, EDHEC began hosting on-campus ceremonies for students who missed their original graduation date. This meant that students from the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 finally got the opportunity to mark the end of their studies at EDHEC with their professors and classmates.
“My brother was able to attend the ceremony with me, and it was amazing for both of us,” said Aditi Gupta, a member of the Class of 2020, who received her MSc in Corporate Finance from EDHEC. “The best part was when EDHEC professors and staff went up on stage, and we were able to thank them for all they did for us during our studies. They are the backbone of the school, and they made the journey smooth for us.”
Gupta’s parents, who could not attend the ceremony, watched a Live Stream of the event from their home in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Gupta’s extended family also joined the Live Stream to celebrate her achievements, including graduating cum laude and securing a position as Deputy Manager at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, India, where she works in the company’s Financial Advisory practice.
Harsh Vardhan from New Delhi, who officially graduated a year ago, celebrated his Masters in Management and Global MBA with friends and professors on campus in France. He is employed as a Brand Specialist with Amazon UK and is based in Manchester, UK.
“COVID-19 made everything unpredictable,” he said. “So, when the original ceremony was cancelled, I was not surprised. But it was a surreal and emotional moment for me to eventually attend the graduation ceremony with my friends and classmates. They came from around the world to revisit the unforgettable memories we created at EDHEC.”
Families in attendance were impressed by the large amphitheatre and the long ramp built for the ceremony. Giant video screens provided an unhindered view of graduates’ happy faces. Parents watching the Live Stream from India felt proud of their children.
“My parents had tears in their eyes,” said Vardhan, who is. “They are so proud of me for graduating from one of the best schools in the world. All their years of hard work and dedication in raising me into a responsible professional paid off, and they could see it with their own eyes.”