WHU | Logo

WHU’s MBA Class of 2023 Toss their Hats to the Skies

Over 170 students from WHU’s MBA programs celebrate with family and friends at Düsseldorf’s Congress Center

The 2023 cohorts of the Global Online MBA, the Full-Time MBA (I and II), and the Part-Time MBA programs at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management comprise 179 students collectively—and each of them had something to smile about on April 26, 2024. That day, dressed in traditional academic regalia, the students in attendance took the stage at the Congress Center in Düsseldorf to receive their degrees. And to bring a significant chapter of their lives to a celebratory close.

Following a musical introduction, Professor Christian AndresDean of WHU, addressed his audience, a room of family, friends, and colleagues. In his speech, he praised the students for having completed the program under unique conditions. “You, unlike previous generations, had the challenge of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. But the hard work paid off.” He noted that the students now belonged to a community that has contributed to the school’s success ever since its founding 40 years prior. And it is the school’s core values—excellence, community, cosmopoliteness, and entrepreneurship—that drive them. He continued, “These values are what the school’s founders had in mind when they conceived WHU,” a school ranked #1 in Germany today. Completing their program at WHU, he is assured, will help the graduates contribute and change things for the better, and he encouraged them to “go out and embrace the future with the same enthusiasm, determination, and passion that brought you to this day.”

Professor Yuval Kalish, Academic Director of the Full-Time/Part-Time MBA Program and Christina Sontheim-Leven, herself an expert in innovative leadership strategies and personnel management, also emphasized the graduates’ rich experiences. Sontheim-Leven offered the students an additional piece of advice for their future path in life: “There is no master plan for a successful career, but I believe that courage and humility are the two virtues that are not only the basis for professional success, but also for a fulfilled life.” 

Janina Krause, the Part-Time MBA class speaker, noted how “the diverse and international community” at WHU enriched her life. “I’ve learned so much from the many different perspectives here, which has helped me in my own personal development.”

Before the students moved their tassels from right to left, signifying the end of their MBA journey, they gave high praise to Professor Stefan Spinler, Professor Lutz Kaufmann, Professor Christian Andres, and Professor Garen B. Markarian, bestowing each with the annual Best Teacher Award. This year, Burcu Arslan (PTMBA 2023) received the In Praxi Outstanding Thesis Award, which the alumni present to graduates for their exceptional and socially relevant theses.

Sarah Fink, a graduate of the school’s Part-Time MBA Program, spoke of the bittersweet feeling having reached such a milestone. “I’m looking at this day through one eye that is smiling and another that is crying,” she confessed. “I’m thinking back to all the great times and the friendships I made here.”

The future, though uncertain for all, is bright for these professionals. And with the continued support of the school and its community, there is no limit to what they will achieve.

WHU | Logo