The following is a personal account of CKGSB’s recent event, written by CKGSB MBA student Derek Walpole (class of 2014).
On Saturday October 25th, a glaringly bright autumn afternoon, the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) held its Opening & Graduation Ceremony in the spectacular setting of the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, to celebrate the graduation of current students and welcome new students into the school.
MBA students from 2012, ‘13 and ‘14 gathered with EMBA, FMBA and DBA graduates to reminisce, network, congratulate each other and pose for ten thousand ‘selfies’. Inside the huge hall, attendees then waited for the ceremony to begin as a Hollywood-style trailer for CKGSB played in the background – a short film about our “New-Generation Business School”. It really was impressive and reminded us of how lucky we felt when we got accepted to the school. No time for sentimental feelings these days, though, as the assignments pile up!
CKGSB Professor of Strategy Brian Viard poses for a ‘selfie’ with CKGSB students
Associate Dean Teng Bingsheng started off proceedings with an inspirational welcome speech. This is the 12th year of graduates, an important cycle in Chinese culture, and our class has 12 months left now in our own cycle. It’s a strange feeling being aware of how great life is right now and wanting its rocket-fast pace to slow down. No need for 20-20 nostalgia or regrets. This is an important year in our lives, and a fun one.
CKGSB Dean, Dr. Xiang Bing, was then introduced and gave his highly motivational and altruistic keynote speech about the history, development and vision for CKGSB in China and the world. The former Secretary-General of the Boao Forum for Asia, Mr. Yongtu Long, followed and treated the audience to deep insights into the process and personal stories behind hugely important conferences and their influential outcomes, such as China entering the WTO. The main takeaway for me was that the influence that may come with graduating from CKGSB must be balanced with responsibility.
Graduate speeches and awards finished up the ceremony. There was a real sense of family and pride from the CKGSB trifecta of students, staff and alumni, and this day highlighted that no end. The ceremony evolved into a party as last year’s MBAs gathered with the 2014 students at CJ Food World for a serious feed of Italian food and wine. The night was hosted by two of this year’s students, Xiaoman and Johnny, who provided a relaxed, fun atmosphere to the party as the two year groups mingled. As I’m learning more and more with each social outing, singing inevitably followed from those with the right levels of talent and wine.
It was a fantastic day for all – graduates were given a well-earned send-off and new students were welcomed to the family. New friends were made and wisdom transferred. I think we all left the day with a deeper appreciation of what CKGSB is doing and striving to do, and a spirited sense of belonging and pride. With the school on the path to becoming a world leader and the great efforts of the staff and alumni, my classmates and I hope to make the most of this year and the years ahead to do our school and future CKGSB family members proud.
The author is second from the left.