Heroes Wear Gowns: A Glimpse of Our Multifaceted Graduates of 2020
How they made it; inspirational stories, insights, reflections, and lessons from our most recent graduating class of January 2020.
One of the oldest yet most treasured traditions of commencements around the world is the commencement speeches, usually delivered by a representative of the graduating class. The final choice of the graduating class representative is principally based on a “competition”, where students submit their speeches and the top one is selected.
At the AUC School of Business, we wanted our graduates-to-be, to give voice to their sentiments and reflect on their four-year journeys. Each student (now graduate), had a story, and these were just some of the most inspirational:
Personal Evolution-From Student to Student President
“When I was asked to choose a place that resembles who I am, I couldn’t find a better place than here; Abdul Latif Jameel, the building where my school lies. This very place has witnessed how I have personally evolved. I even have a special memory attached to this place; it was where I took my picture for my very first elections on campus. I think it is safe to say that this building is a place that witnessed my growth, my failures before successes, my happiness and my most cherished memories.” -Nour Beshir ’20, Economics and Business Administration graduate and Business Association president (June 2018-January 2019)
Carrying the Memories Close-An All-Embracing Adventure
“To date, I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that my years at AUC are over. It has been a rollercoaster; my journey throughout the past four and a half years were exceptionally dynamic and I always had my hands full. The most enjoyable parts of it all were two aspects: witnessing my personal development, and the people I met along the way. Classmates have turned into family and professors have turned into mentors by the end of the journey, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. The different extracurricular activities I have engaged in, along with student competitions, and work-study programs, have all made my personality unfold in so many ways. AUC, and the AUC School of Business, in particular, is more of a home to me than an institution. My every ‘first day of classes’ used to include a visit to the department of management, and now my greatest achievements are also there. That’s where I will always belong, and it will always be my favorite!”-Nada Nafea ’20, Business Administration graduate
Work-Life Balance- NOT Mission Impossible!
"In my humble opinion, managing to maintain an adequate work-life balance is the key to a complete and fulfilling university experience. Joining different sports teams - including the American football and basketball teams - in addition to engaging in extracurricular activities, as well as competing in a number of academic competitions, have all enabled me to develop myself in ways that I never thought were possible. These experiences gave me a solid insight into what the real world is carrying for me and therefore made be better prepared for it. Finally, to graduate with highest honors on top of that was just one more blessing to count."-Omar Fadi ’20, Business Administration graduate
Reflections-Career Shifts and Untraditional Paths
"This fountain right here is what kept me sane from all the semester's craziness and where I took most of my life decisions. Whether I was feeling down or on cloud nine, being here was my favorite form of escapism. Here it comes, my graduation, and yet I still found myself coming here to decide on my career path. Here, this fountain witnessed my career shift before I even graduated. Marketing was such a perfect choice of major, but here is where I got inspired to pursue data analytics as my next step in life. Here, will always remain my favorite runaway as time passes."-Nada Walaa ’20, Business Administration graduate
Parting Words of Wisdom- A Diverse Experience!
“You know when they say, 'you never appreciate what you have until it’s gone?' That’s exactly how I feel at the moment. I remember all the times when I felt so eager to complete my studies, counting down the days until I graduate. When it finally happened, however, I found myself not knowing how to feel. On one hand, I already miss every moment I’ve spent here in the last four years. But on the other hand, I am really excited to see what the post-grad life is carrying for me and witness all my dreams come to life, and above all, I feel more prepared than ever, and I largely owe this to my school. The AUC School of Business has given me countless opportunities to develop my personality. To say the least, it has given me the opportunity to study abroad and participate in multiple competitions; two things that have made me gain a lot of confidence, and for that alone, I’m forever grateful to this place.” -Tarek El-Kholy ‘20, Business Administration graduate
Finding Yourself-The Harmony Between Finance and Music
“For me, practicing business is not that different from playing music. Although my major in Business Administration, especially with a concentration in Finance, has taught me how to be analytical and base my decisions on facts and objectivity, it has also taught me that a huge part of being successful means having enough courage to express myself, speak my mind and to follow my intuition sometimes, and that is where my passion for music came in handy. I used music as a way to freely express my emotions and make artistic statements that helped me stand out. I played the piano and composed songs based on what I felt and what I was inspired by, and the more I played, the more I discovered myself and felt my personality being shaped. Throughout my journey, I felt grateful and proud of how I could make my two worlds collide, fulfilling both my heart and mind.”-Salma Khaled ’20, Business Administration and Music Technology graduate
Graduate to Graduate Advice-Change the World
“Of the ‘21st-century skills’ to master, I think public speaking might be the most difficult. Luckily, my school has presented me with countless opportunities to hone this particular talent. I was able to transform into an able public speaker, not only through course presentations but also through engaging in diverse co-curricular activities such as student conferences, competitions, and clubs.” This was what Youssef Sabek ‘20, Business Administration graduate, had to say.
On commencement day, Sabek, being the graduating class representative, directed a crucial piece of advice to himself and his fellow graduates, stating: “A lot of you will one day move up the ladders (whether it’s the corporate ladder or just the ladder of society) and become in a decision making position; if and when you get there – I ask that you become ethical decision-makers, I ask that you seek out responsible and climate-friendly decisions, and I ask that you treat future colleagues with dignity and compassion. This country and this region really need it”. Right after that, the graduating class were awarded their diplomas and turned their tassels before leaving to make their marks on the world.”
Commencement Day-January 29
This January, we are honored to have awarded master’s degrees to 18 candidates and bachelor’s degrees to 117 students.
Special recognition was dedicated to those who have further demonstrated particular achievement; 20 students graduating with honors, 24 students graduating with high honors, and 18 students graduating with highest honors.
Moving forward, we wish our heroes, that are destined to change the world, the Class of 2020, nothing but success in their feature endeavors and adventures.