A message from a graduate

Written on July 17, 2013 by Vani Nadarajah in News

A graduate from our very first Cohort, Alaba Dayo-Payne recently traveled back to Madrid to represent her class at the graduation of the Class of 2013. She returned to Madrid just one after her own graduation. Here are some of her thoughts, one year on…

Welcome Back


As an alumna from the 1st Cohort of the IE Brown EMBA, it had not only been a year since I had graduated, but also a year since I had been back to Madrid.  There was a sense of excitement about seeing IE’s Segovia campus again, this time to fully appreciate its beauty through the eyes of a visitor and not as a participant.  As anyone can testify, the Segovia campus is a beautiful place and a very classy venue for a graduation.

I was the unofficial representative of the Class of 2012 and unlike some of my classmates I had never met any of the 2013 graduates, so it was heart-warming to witness their joy and excitement, together with that of their families, at they came to realize that their EMBA experience was all over.

I was awash with memories of my own graduation, of my classmates (who I miss dreadfully) and  of faculty throughout the ceremony, hearing familiar phrases such as Socrates, “You know nothing”.  In addition to seeing and catching up with various faculty members, what also made it special was catching up with the program team’s Vani, Ulrike, and Halley – who each were part of my journey from application to graduation and who were great means of support through the highs and lows, and who no doubt saw me at my best and my worst.


To the class of 2013:

I use the term ‘Welcome Back’ because this is the phrase on completion of the MBA that was stated by my family and friends – ‘welcome back’ from a time:

  • when your commitment was to others and your weekends were not your own, snatching bits of time-out before dashing off to prepare your coursework or have meetings with your team mates.
  • where they sought to lessen your burden by trying not to place any or additional pressures on you

It was a joy to meet some of you, bear witness to the end of one phase of your life and the commencement of the next phase.  In addition to your classmates, there are others who have gone before you and who have been waiting until the completion of your studies to be able to get to know you better.  It will probably take time to adjust to your new routine but enjoy it and enjoy everyone around you who supported you when it mattered.

To the class of 2014:

Your journey has just begun.  Some of you may have already met others from previous Cohorts, however, we trust that you will embrace the opportunity and experience you have undertaken and realise that there are now 50 IE Brown EMBA alumni for you to connect with, who will gladly support you when you need us.  Always remember – leverage your strengths as a team.

In conclusion, I would like to share a message I reflected upon towards the end of my program:

Dear MBA,

The end is fast approaching and although it feels imminent, there is still a lot to be done.  I would like to thank you for pushing me beyond my limits.  You have shown me that I can exist on very few hours of sleep andwork concurrently with a desktop, laptop and iPAD without batting an eye.  I am capable of combining a full-time job with up to 40 hours of study a week and I am more efficient with every bit of spare time (what I term “small spaces”) that I have. 

I got to spend time in Providence (yep – I finally got to see the museum on the final day of my last residential in Providence) and Madrid.  We got to have an absolutely beautiful graduation – the culmination of all our hard sweat – not just my classmates and I, but the faculty as well.

You have introduced me to a bunch of awesome people – both students and faculty and I will never forget this experience.

 Thank you.


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