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Congratulations to the Glion Class of June 2014! On Friday June 6th, we celebrated the graduation of nearly 310 students from the BBA & BA Hospitality, BSc, BBA & BA ESE, Postgraduate, MBA and Online MBA hospitality degree programs. The event was attended by over 600 faculty, family members and friends from around the world, in addition to the 1400 people who watched it streaming online.

Here’s my own take on what it’s like to face this final frontier.

When the Program Leader calls your name to receive your degree, the tension of walking on stage washes away. Your friends and family present at the ceremony applaud this long-awaited moment, proud for your achievement. There they are with their phones and cameras in one hand taking numerous photos, and tissues in the other just in case to wipe the tears of joy. I take this opportunity once again to thank all the people who were able to attend and congratulate all the students who made it to the finish line after a long marathon.

I did not get much sleep the night before and I do not think my friends did either. I was too excited and too overwhelmed to relax. I kept reminiscing of my time in Glion, from the key moments to even the smallest details. I was thinking back of when my mother and I first visited the campus, impressed to see the students wearing business dress code to class. I can safely say that was one of the rare moments in my life where I felt underdressed for an occasion.

But before I knew it, my alarm went off and graduation had arrived. Just like Day 1 at Glion, it was a beautiful morning; with the sun reflecting on the lake and the mountains in the background, the town of Montreux looked surreal. Looking back now, I was nervous like never before. In fact, in all my years at Glion, I had never cut myself once whilst shaving my beard, but what better occasion than on that day.

The Glion students looked “bellissimi”. The ladies had their hair and make-up done and wore elegant dresses. The gentlemen wore their finest suits, shoes nicely polished and their shirts ironed to perfection. To put it simply, picture a scene from the Great Gatsby.

The venue was undoubtedly a success thanks to the experience of Mrs. Schofield, Glion’s Head of Activities and Events, whose commitment and dedication to this day for the class 2014.1 was exemplary. For the first time, the graduation ceremony hosted all the programs offered at Glion, which also included our student body enrolled in the Online MBA program. And on top of that, the event was a greater success, as our Glion community on the London campus was present.

When Mr. Paul Chappel, Head of Academic Products and Innovation, invited me to the stage to deliver the valedictory address, I felt honored and privileged. It was an opportunity for me to reciprocate, with gratitude, the generosity that I received at Glion. Our sponsors have given us an education, which has already proven to be a success in the professional industry and our faculty members have always demonstrated a supportive educational environment. Yet to summarize my speech, it was an occasion for me to say “grazie” to the student body for the memories that we have created together and that we will cherish for the years to come. To capture the moment, I took my first (and last) #Selfie on stage with my fellow graduates in the background.

The venue concluded with a lovely reception. Pictures were being taken from left to right, the Champagne and canapés were flowing, and friends and families toasted to the graduates for their milestone achievement. Class of 2014.1 will be known as the high-caliber students with an international heritage who have added value to the history of this school and to each other. We are about to begin a new chapter in our lives, but I am certain that we will stay connected and cross paths at some point in the future. Carpe Diem.

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About the author

Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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