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Winter graduation at AU Herning - This is a beginning, not an end.

On Friday 30 January, family, friends, lecturers and business executives turned up at AU Herning to celebrate the 133 graduates, who had just earned their degrees in engineering, business administration and management.

[Translate to English:] GMM-studerende modtager diplom ved vinterdimissionen 2015.
[Translate to English:] Vinterdimittender ved AU Herning fik overrakt deres diplomer ved en ceremoni den 30. januar 2015. Her ses GMM-dimittenderne, hvor 8 ud af 15 studerende havde fået et flot 12-tal til eksamen. Foto: BSS Kommunikation
[Translate to English:] Reception ved vinterdimissionen 2015
[Translate to English:] Chief Technology Officer Rene Balle ved KK Wind Solutions A/S holdt dimissionstale. Foto: BSS Kommunikation
[Translate to English:] Årets vinterdimittend Julia Pauli holdt festtale ved dimissionen.
[Translate to English:] Årets festtaler og vinterdimittend var Julia Pauli. Hun fik ros for sit bidrag til studiemiljøet og arbejde som studievejleder. Hun blev beskrevet som målrettet, opsøgende og inddragende i forhold til arbejdet med sin metorvirksomhed, og i det hele taget arbejdede hun seriøst og dedikeret med sin GMM-uddannelse. Foto: BSS Kommunikation
[Translate to English:] Prisvinder for bedste opgave på GMM-uddannelsen Johnny Oliviera Møller
[Translate to English:] Johnny Oliviera Møller (til højre) vandt prisen for bedste opgave på GMM-uddannelsen. Foto: BSS Kommunikation
[Translate to English:] Mennesker samlet til reception
[Translate to English:] Efter ceremonien var AU Herning vært ved en reception for dimittenderne og deres venner og familie. Foto: BSS Kommunikation

You wouldn’t think there was any connection between having a baby and graduating from university – nonetheless this was the comparison that Rene Balle, Chief Technology Officer at KK Wind Solutions, presented to the graduates at this year’s winter graduation at AU Herning.

“You wait around for nine months, and then you think it’s over when the child is finally born. But when you hold your newborn baby in your arms, you suddenly realise that this is only the beginning. It’s same with graduation. You think it’s the end of something when in fact it’s only the beginning of a lot of hard work, lots of fun and challenges.”

Rene Balle also shared his “8 rules for success” with the audience in the auditorium, and he claimed he was ready to hire a couple of engineers from AU Herning, who he found to be on a par with graduates from Stanford and Harvard.

“Your education can take you as far as you want to go,” he assured the graduates.

Opportunities for those with courage and willpower

There are many opportunities awaiting the 133 newly graduated engineers. Julia Pauli, who was elected winter graduate of the year, addressed this in her celebration speech, yet she also maintained a realistic stance:

“No one says it’s going to be easy for us to meet the demands of society. We will be facing lots of competition and changes everywhere we go. The only thing we can be sure of is that these challenges will not decrease in the years to come.”

Julia Pauli’s recommendation for her fellow students was to approach the world with a positive attitude, courage and willpower.

“A great way to end it”

After the speeches, the graduates from the various programmes received their diplomas and were congratulated by their director of studies and the head of AU Herning.

The department also presented awards to the students who had written this year’s best papers and to the graduate of the year. The ceremony ended with a song for the audience. Afterwards, the department hosted a reception for the graduates, their friends and families, thereby giving them a proper end to years of hard work.

“It’s a great way to end it. We have been studying together for 3½ years, and we have been looking forward to this day ever since we began our studies [...] And now the day has finally come, and we have all passed our exams and can finally call ourselves engineers,” says Johnny Oliviera Møller, who won the award for best paper on the GMM degree programme.

“It’s nice to get this reward. One thing is to get the reward of a good grade at the exam, another is to get recognition from the company you are affiliated with, who were present at the exam and throughout the entire process. They have really shown that they support the project and are happy with the results. And then to receive this award today, that’s really special, and I’m super happy.”

Like the other students on the GMM programme, Johnny has written his thesis in collaboration with a company. But not all bosses are as pleased as the managing director from Germany, who had driven 650 kilometres to attend Johnny’s oral exam. He earned a well-deserved 12 for his performance at the exam. Right now he is doing work for the company in Germany, and in a year’s time he plans to travel to South America and then continue his studies in England.