We were delighted that Arden University Berlin recently hosted its first-ever graduation ceremony in the German Capital.
With the ceremony taking place at the iconic Spreespeicher, more than 70 graduates were in attendance, alongside their families, friends, and distinguished guests.
Across a day of unforgettable celebration we took the time to speak to a number of our incredible students.
Daniel Lainez was in good spirits outside the venue as guests began to arrive.
Daniel, who was graduating with an MSc in Project Management, came to Germany from Honduras to study, and revealed he was planning on making the most of the city’s nightlife later that evening to celebrate, before looking forward to his next step in employment, hopefully remaining in the German capital.
‘I’m relieved to be graduating today and feel ready to go to the job market. I’d love to here and get into project management. Berlin is really nice, it’s a lively city so I hope to stay here.’
Over by the registration booth, Wahidullah Mohebi, had also completed his MSc Project Management, having moved here from Afghanistan.
One of the first of our guests to arrive, Wahid had been impressed by his time at Arden Berlin and is optimistic he has the skills and knowledge now to work towards becoming a Senior Project Manager.
‘Today is a big day for me and I've been waiting for this for a long time. Unfortunately, my wife could not join me here today, but I’m trying to be happy without her here with me, and I’m going to enjoy the day with the rest of my friends.’
‘When I came to Arden and I saw the lecturers, the students, and the other administrative staff, I found the place very amazing. Next, I’m going to be focussing on getting to the next step of my career.’
Down the hall from registration, our graduates were starting to look the part, emerging from the fitting room in their caps and gowns. Near the gowning room – a mini procession in and of itself – was Joseph Njenga, who had recently completed an MA Business Administration with Finance. Joseph, a proud Kenyan, looked confident in his academic robes, which sat over the top of an eye-catching sparkly tuxedo.
‘It's been a great time studying with Arden University Berlin,’ he said. ‘New country, new culture: the experience was wonderful. Great lectures, great facilities and I'm happy.’
‘Graduating today is the most exciting moment of my life. To get a master's degree is a great honour.’
Just around the corner from all the gowning, our professional photographers were hard at work to ensure each of our graduates had a perfect graduation picture. Something which could stand the test of time and sit proudly on a parent’s/ grandparent’s fireplace. Posing for his iconic image was Harbir Singh – graduating wih a BA in Business (Marketing).
‘I'm over the moon today,’ he said. ‘I'm blessed to be graduating from university and I feel very lucky.’
‘I remember when I came here, I was nervous because I came all the way from India, and it's very difficult to come from one country to another. When I started to attend classes my teacher was so helpful though. If you want to study abroad, Arden is the best place.’
Out on the terrace, with fantastic views of the river Spree was Taha Hasan. Flanked by his two brothers, Taha was in a celebratory mood, and his MSc Engineering Management has prepared him for the future as he starts a new job.
‘I researched my programme, and this was the one which suited my career. I just got a job right after graduation as a process engineer at Tesla company. It feels like I'm on top of the word right now. Getting my degree, finding a job – I’m on cloud nine right now.’
Also out on the terrace were Juan Carlos Rodriguez (MSc Project Management), Maria Camila Saiz (MSc Data Analytics and Marketing) – friends at Arden who had met through work.
‘I really enjoyed my time with Arden,’ said Juan Carlos. ‘I learned a lot from all my teachers, and it’s helped me a lot with my job seeking as well. I've made a lot of good friends during my time here and it's a great achievement to be graduating today.’
For Maria, like many of our students, graduation was also a day to reflect on how far they’d come. The challenges they’d overcome, and the journey they’d taken across their time with the university.
‘For me, moving here was a hard experience at first, but the university was very helpful. They have workshops for assignments which were great. And once COVID was over, we got to meet new people, which was great. It’s such an honour to be here after all the hard work that we had.’
Back inside, we caught up with Devraj Gurung, who was graduating with a BA Business Management with Tourism. For some potential guests, the geographical logistics of a graduation ceremony so far from home would be off putting. Not so for Devraj’s father, however. He was one of a number of guests who had flown thousands of miles to be in attendance, coming all the way from Nipon in Japan to be there on his son’s special day.
‘I’m very excited to be graduating today,’ Devraj said. ‘I have already found myself implementing the strategies we learned in our course into my job,’
Devraj’s journey with Arden also looks set to be a longer one too, as he plans to continue his studies with a master’s degree in Data Analytics.
With 3pm approaching, and the ceremony’s start in sight, you could feel the sense of excitement building across the venue. As our speakers were warming up their vocal chords backstage, over in the ceremony hall, guests were beginning to take their seats, beaming with pride as they displayed their QR code tickets to our volunteers.
With just minutes to go before the ceremony started, Sandra Sahadev (MSc Engineering Management), her husband, and young child were all making their way down the corridor, eager to take their seats.
‘My course had multiple different subjects, so I got to learn a lot about the management side of engineering. I’m from a professional engineering background, so to know about the management background was really great. All the tutors were excellent, and the training really helped me to get a good job here.’
‘Graduating here is quite an emotional moment. A few years back, I was dreaming about doing a master's degree here. But for it to be happening now, and to be here with my family, obviously it is really emotional. I'm super proud. I have thanked my husband a lot for this. He has been really supportive, and also my kid, without her being supportive, this couldn't have happened.’
And then that was that – the doors to the hall were closed and the ceremony could begin. After all the hard work, the sacrifices, and the challenges our students had overcome, they were now at the end of a massive stage of their lives.
Clapping, cheering, and whooping for their classmates and peers; crossing the stage for their moment of triumph; and being publicly recognised for their incredible achievement - you could sense the significance of the day for all in attendance.
After the dust had settled, the reception room began to fill up again. Our graduates were invited to stay at the venue and continue the celebrations, and there they were: catching up with friends, taking photos against the backdrop of the Arden University Wings, and looking forward to what comes next.
Following the ceremony, Mohammed Habib Sulemana (MSc Project Management) was out on the terrace, surrounded by friends as the sun came out.
‘This is the best moment,’ he said. ‘Those who were able to make it today, they made my day. It's like a birthday.’
With the ceremony hall now empty, we spoke to Neha Anil Choudhary who had graduated MSc Data Analytics and Information Systems Management. She reflected on how far she’d come, as well as the shock she’d had when arriving in Berlin.
‘I come from the hottest city in India and when I moved here, it was winter. There was no one outside, and as soon as it was three o'clock it was dark outside. I was like, what do I do? I’d never been in such an environment.
‘To be graduating now though, I’m super happy. My family are super proud, and everyone is very excited. Throughout my journey, they supported me. Now, I’ve achieved what I was here for.’
To find out how you could soon be graduating from Arden University Berlin, visit our course pages today