Christmas came early for IE master’s students, who graduated on Friday 18th of December. The graduation was held online and included a plethora of experienced speakers and alumni who took turns congratulating and addressing the now-graduates. Events such as a cooking masterclass or a live DJ session were also held online to give the ex-students a graduation ‘party’ in these trying times.

The event opened with the graduation ceremony, which was hosted by Carla Szemzo, an IE alumna. It included speeches of speakers from IE, such as Santiago Iñíguez, the president of IE university, or the deans of the students’ faculties. Certain alumni joined to congratulate the now-ex-students, such as Diana Morato, director of Deliveroo in Spain, or Adolfo Delibes, the co-founder of the company Rentchester, who awarded the Venture Lab Award to the winners.

The key speaker was Cady Coleman, a former NASA astronaut, who joined the graduation from Boston, Massachusetts. She shared some of her experiences, congratulated the graduates, and gave some inspiring words, like comparing their situation to being on top of a launchpad, ready for lift-off, without knowing exactly what will happen next, but with the excitement of being able to discover unknown things.

Then, the best student and best professor awards were given out to their respective winners. The last part of the broadcast was the handing out of the diplomas. A quick video of each graduate was shown along with their name to emulate the feeling of a face-to-face graduation.

After a brief pause, a mindfulness session was held by Mario Alonso Puig, the president of the center for health, well-being, and happiness, who explained the mechanisms behind uncertainty and how to overcome it, in order to “make life an adventure” thus “making it worth living”.

The following events were more participative. The first one was a virtual game consisting in solving puzzles and enigmas all over Europe. A cook-along session followed, in which Cristina Oria, a renowned Spanish chef, taught the graduates how to cook Spaghetti alle Vongole, a classic Italian dish. After the cooking masterclass, the students were treated to second one, in which they learnt the recipe to a new drink called the ‘IE Fizz’ from Diego Cabrera, the founder of a famous cocktail bar in Madrid.

The final part of the graduation was a live session of the famous DJ Carl Cox, who played a set of songs for the audience. This was the final event, the last time the graduates will all be sharing an experience all together.

“Today, you become the children of yesterday”, said one of the videos shown during the event. The graduation was another step to become adults, and it was a trying time to do so. Most people would agree it was a strange year, and an even stranger one to graduate. The event captured that perfectly with this line: “It was a tough year, but we made it”.

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