We are currently living in uncertain times where the COVID-19 pandemic has hit most of us. Education around the globe mainly switched online depriving students to fully enjoy their on-campus experience. Usually, after four to five years of learning, studying, meeting people, interning for companies and studying abroad, students from their class gather all together along with their families and friends for one-of-a-kind event: The Graduation Ceremony. At IE University, the 2020 ceremony was held in a “liquid way” with special guests coming from different backgrounds in order to entertain graduates and attendees in a virtual manner .
On July 17th, IE University held for the first time its online graduation. Special guests such as Santiago Iñiguez (President of IE University), Pablo Isla (Inditex’s executive chairman), Mosiri Cabezas (IE alumnus and CDO at IKEA Spain) followed by the deans of IE’s five schools gave speeches while Steve Aoki mixed for the IE community and Dani Garcia (3 Michelin stars) shared a cooking masterclass.
The university emphasized its image as a “liquid institution”, offering additional activities that could not have taken place if the ceremony was held in-person. Some examples of those activities could be the Fortnite tournament and the Escape room activity. Last Friday’s event was highly shared on social media and feedback was positive.
According to WhichMBA.net’s Managing Editor, this served as an “eye-catching” event, “trying to give students the same or even stronger experience to reward their hard work in the past years on study and put an iconic mark on 2020”
While this event was celebrated by the IE community as a whole, the diploma delivery celebration only applied to graduate students. According to a Class of 2020 graduating student, “since master students attended classes for a length of nine months, they will probably go back to their home country or work in a different place while undergraduate students stayed four to five years in the country and probably developed stronger connections with the country. IE will ship official diplomas to their undergraduate students via mail.
Most undergraduate students “were happy to wait” until the spring to experience a physical graduation ceremony. However, some graduate and undergraduate students expressed disappointment with IE’s 200 euro fee for diplomas. Their anger with IE is misplaced, however, as this fee originates from the Spanish Government.
The spread of the coronavirus challenged most of us. IE took quick actions and offered to its students a new kind of learning environment followed by a unique graduation ceremony.