As they donned their robes and poised for pictures, many of the Kellogg School of Management’s Class of 2013 summed up their feelings during Friday’s Convocation in a single word.
“Bittersweet,” said Sebastine Ujereh ‘13, who graduated from The MMM Program. “It’s exciting and, at the same time, you know your life is going to change very drastically.”
Many acknowledged that fact during a reception at the Donald P. Jacobs Center prior to Convocation. They were leaving an institution that had fostered their intellect, prepared them for the next stage of their careers and helped them forge lifelong friendships.
Now looking back, the graduates found themselves dealing with the reality of saying goodbye.
“I think the toughest part is leaving everyone,” said Sisi Shen ‘13, a Two-Year MBA graduate who plans on staying in the Chicago area to consult. “Nowhere else will you find 1,000 smart, like-minded people who want to learn.”
Inside Jacobs, Stuart Rosen ‘13 discussed robe etiquette with friends and fellow Two-Year grads Teresa Lo ‘13 and Fearon Melton ‘13. Rosen and Melton debated the proper way to drape the hood of their robes while Lo wondered if faculty or staff would have a problem with her cap. She embroidered the top of it with glitter that read: “Like A Boss ‘13.”
The conversation proved a poor distraction.
“We don’t want to admit we’re leaving,” said Rosen, 26, of Highland Park, Ill. “We’re a tight-knit group.”
While melancholy, many graduates were excited about their future plans. Fernando Rodrigo ‘13, a Two-Year student, was headed back to his hometown of Lima, Peru, to work for a private-equity firm.
With his brother, aunt and mother in town for Convocation, Rodrigo, 29, said he looked forward to returning home with his family.
“It was what I wanted to do, so I was fortunate to find an opportunity,” he said. “But I’m going to miss this very dearly.”
For others like Michelle Lipszyc ‘13, graduation came with a sense of relief. A student in The Part-Time MBA Program, Lipszyc juggled classes and a full-time job at Google, working in sales strategy. It didn’t help that she spent the last year planning her own wedding.
“That was a mistake,” she said before realizing her husband was seated next to her. “Not the wedding!”
Now, Lipszyc said, she can breathe easier. She’s headed to Ann Arbor to start a new position at Google.
“This has opened a lot of doors for her,” her mother, Diana, said of her graduate degree.
“I’m just relieved,” Lipszyc, 30, said.
More than 1,000 Full-Time, Part-Time and Ph.D. students graduated from the Kellogg School of Management on June 21. Here’s the breakdown.
Class of 2013:
- 1,018 students 670 Full-Time MBAs
- 314 Part-Time MBAs
- 16 who have completed the requirements for doctoral degrees (Phs.Ds.)
- 18 who have completed the requirements for our Masters of Science degree