Brandeis International Business School

Graduates of Brandeis International Business School Urged to Pursue Their Passions, Honor Future Generations

Students from 22 countries earn graduate degrees in business, economics and finance

Brandeis International Business School (IBS) honored 195 graduates from the Class of 2018 at the school’s 24th annual diploma ceremony on Sunday, May 13.

Donning wide smiles and flowing black regalia, students from 22 countries received graduate diplomas in business, economics and finance as family, friends, faculty and staff celebrated their collective achievement inside the Levin Ballroom.

The ceremony, which marked the culmination of years of dedicated scholarship for the graduates, featured addresses by Brandeis IBS Interim Dean Peter Petri, Dean’s Medal recipient Kaushik Basu, Brandeis IBS Prof. Judith M. Dean, and student speaker Yilan Tang, MBA ‘18.

Recognizing the Class of 2018’s tremendous “human capital,” Petri urged the graduates to follow in the footsteps of the more than 3,000 Brandeis IBS alumni that came before them — many of whom are now global leaders in their respective fields.

“If we look into the future, the path before you is encouraging,” said Petri. “Today you are joining a worldwide alumni network. You now have the tools, like other graduates before you, to pursue what really matters in life: helping others and enjoying what you do. So as your journey as students comes to an end, we’re confident the next stage of your Brandeis experience will be filled with meaningful work and success.”

2018 Dean’s Medal

Following his remarks, Petri presented the 2018 Dean’s Medal to Basu, a Cornell University professor and former chief economist at the World Bank. Basu, reflecting on his experiences as both a researcher and policymaker, reminded the Class of 2018 that their chosen career paths in business, economics and finance come with great responsibility.

“Dear students, as you go out into the big wide world, into diverse careers and diverse personal lives, there will be good times and bad,” said Basu. “I must urge you not to forget your global responsibilities. When we do business and play the market we must have a self-enforced moral code, which comes from respect for other human beings, including future generations.”

Dean, a professor of international economics at Brandeis IBS, delivered this year’s faculty remarks. In her speech, she encouraged graduates to “make a difference in this world, not only through your academic training, but through a shared commitment to truth and justice.”

“As you step into your next adventure,” said Dean, “you have a chance to bring truth where there is misinformation and misunderstanding, to bring light instead of heat to contentious issues, and to help bring about just treatment of people in all countries.”

A close-knit community

As the student speaker, Tang shared three principles for a successful life that she learned from Senior Lecturer Brenda Anderson: Be humble. Be a good listener. And be brave. It was the third principle that brought Tang to Brandeis IBS.

Three years ago, Tang was working at a bank in China, when she turned down a promotion to pursue her dream of earning a MBA. Tang’s supervisor questioned her decision, but she knew deep down it was a risk worth taking.

“Everything happens for a reason,” Tang told her classmates. “I soon understood why I was so decisive in making the choices that led me to Brandeis.”

At Brandeis IBS, Tang joined a close-knit community of students and professors she now considers family. As her confidence grew, she realized her master’s degree was much more than a career-building investment. At Brandeis, Tang said she ultimately learned how to “pursue a more conscious and meaningful life” through business.

“This is the place where I learned success is not measured by how much money you make and how high your social status will be,” said Tang. “It’s much more about how much you know about yourself, what you are passionate about and how to push yourself to your limits and beyond.”

For full graduation coverage, visit our 2018 Brandeis IBS Commencement page.

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