On the other hand, it is a day of joy given that we have finally come to the end of the journey we began 14 months ago. Today's event is the reason why each and every one of us has been here for the past 14 month. Therefore it is a time to celebrate our achievement.
In May 2006, when we, cohort 4, commenced our studies, today was a far away dream. The thought of graduation itself was still extremely distant - there was no light at the end of the EMBA tunnel, only the beginning of a journey to a destination about which we were still unsure.
We have great diversity in the group. Diverse in terms of gender (we have all the women from Iceland), age (26 to 48), experience, employment type (private, family, and corporation) and even unemployed member(s), political views (from support for Bush to French liberalism), 12 nationalities and sexual orientation ... WE'VE GOT IT COVERED!
When we all first met at the end of May 2006, we did not know what to expect and what we would gain and lose on our journey. Therefore, I will now share the microphone with Ghosson, who will guide you through the experiences that have made today possible.
Ghosson: Thank you Martin. This school is exceptional in giving the students a truly international point of view not only in business. Traveling to several places, we have learnt to open our minds. So now let us compare our assumptions with the reality.
Traveling with SouthWest airlines in the US gave us the opportunity to see, how employee empowerment works in reality and how customer service expectations differ among people and nations.
Visiting WTO in Geneva helped us to understand the state of affairs of international negotiations. Can you imagine 20 years ago people from the East, the far East and the very far East and the West sitting around the table with two African people, who are explaining to us why Russia and US cannot agree with each other in Doha round
Exploring Beijing and Shanghai proved to us that China is a global player we have to take into account; some of us discovered the world of not only foot massage and pre-Olympic fever but also their exceptional customer service.
Drawing our travels to a close in Moscow we were reminded that knowing the history (of a place) can help us to understand that even the most distant and unknown of things can be great if you make the effort to explore them. Seeing the ballet, visiting museums, dining in a casino are experiences that we will not forget.
Thanks the diversity of our origins we have enough locations for reunions to last us several years, let us hope we meet in some of them and continue broaden our horizons.
At the very beginning Beth Stoops gave us the most advanced English training and pushed us out of our comfort zone by teaching "Advanced Business Communications". We got to know that the right answer in most of the cases is - IT DEPENDS. In combination with the course called the "Communicating and Negotiating in a Multicultural World" taught by Denis Leclerc, taught us that "you become