It is widely recognised that life-long learning and professional development are important keys to creating healthy businesses and an effective work-force. The ESERP Business School celebrated its 2011 Graduation Ceremony earlier this month at the Palacio de Congresos in Barcelona, and it was clear that the school is making a great contribution to the cause of life-long learning. Around 200 students from the school’s centres in Barcelona, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca and Seville were joined by fellow graduates from Chile.
Different qualifications were marked by the different colour neck bands, including the Bachelor degrees, and Masters in Marketing and Publicity, and the MBA.
The ceremony was presided by the school’s General Director, Dr. José Daniel Barquero, and he was joined by senior figures from education including the maximum authority for Higher Education in Catalonia, which gave the required gravitas to the occasion. Speeches were made in responses to special awards given to individuals from a number of leading companies, including the Eroski retail cooperative group, the BBVA bank, and Harley Davidson, yes the bike makers. The Rector of Staffordshire University represented the many foreign institutions with which ESERP has contacts, and demonstrated yet again how little importance we Brits attach to speaking languages other than English.
A representative from the Ministry of Education delivered a message on behalf of the Minister, Sr Gabilondo, in response to a special award from ESERP.
I don’t expect the speakers had been told what to say, so it was significant that a common theme emerged as the evening passed. One after another the speakers emphasized the importance of persons and the special contribution that each individual can make in an organization.
I was grateful that the numerous Catalan speakers opted to speak in Castillian Spanish out of deference to the many non-Catalan speakers present. As Catalan is an official language in Barcelona, they could have insisted on using it throughout, so this concession was gracious of them, and much appreciated. This was especially important, as many of the graduates are drawn from outside Spain, including Italy, UK, Ecuador and Chile.
I felt the occasion ran very well.
The one thing that really surprised me was to count the persons on the platform party. I know, it’s a curious habit but I always count everyone almost wherever I am. Yes, on stage there were 20 persons and 19 of them were men with only 1 woman. ESERP has many female students among its graduates, maybe the organizers could aim for a more balanced representation.
The average age of the graduates was mid to late 20’s, but I am glad to say there was a group of persons also receiving certificates in their 50’s. I looked out for these persons especially, just to make sure I was not the only one.
Thank you, ESERP, for inviting me to Barcelona to celebrate the completion of my MBA. The on-line course has been very flexible and stimulating, and I enjoyed the ceremony very much.