Ready to make a difference in the world

All books are read, all presentations delivered and papers submitted. No less than 38 graduates have reached the end of their masters’ studies. Never before in the 25-year history of MaastrichtMBA has the number of graduates been so high. Cheered on by family and friends, the class of 2023 graduates enters the Great Lecture Hall in a long line.


“A journey has come to an end”, Ron Jacobs, director of MaastrichtMBA, says. He reminds the soon to be alumni that they should not take their achievement for granted. He advises them to take the time to reflect on the MBA journey, on the lessons learnt, insights accumulated and memories collected. Jacobs: “Think of what you managed to pull off! Only a miniscule number of people make it to an executive MBA, finish it and graduate. This should come with a justified sense of self accomplishment and at the same time a great sense of responsibility to use the skills and competences to make a difference in the world.” He invites the graduates to take the front row seat for the rest of their career and life. “Because what better gift could you have been given then the ability to create meaningful impact together.”

An intellectual and mental challenge

Dr. Boris Blumberg, Executive Director UMIO welcomes the graduates and their loved-ones to this festive ceremony. “It’s one of those days where you only see happy faces”, he says. “First of all, the happy faces of the graduates. It’s done! In some of the faces you will also see signs of proudness. These are usually the parents and friends. In some happy faces you also see signs of relief. These are usually the partners and spouses. Which is completely understandable.” Blumberg underlines that the MBA-programme is quite an endeavor, demanding not only perseverance and dedication from the student, but from partners and family too. He then turns to the graduates and says: “You have really achieved something. The MBA is not just an intellectual challenge but also a mental one. Moving forward in your new role requires changes, embracing new believes and convictions and letting go of old ones. I hope our paths will cross again. God’s speed.”

From the brain to the heart

Then the moment everyone is been waiting for, the official graduation ceremony. One by one the graduates were called on stage to receive their MBA certificate from Boris Blumberg, and the statue from Ron Jacobs. After receiving their certificate, they moved the tassel on their graduation caps from the right to the left side. The movement of the tassel represents movement from the brain to the heart, Boris Blumberg explained. Cameras clicked and every alumnus/a was loudly applauded for his or her great achievement.


Graduates speech

After the ceremony alumni Fernanda Montiel and Martijn Antzoulatos delivered the graduates speech. They called on the brand-new alumni to step out of their comfort zone every day, to keep working on themselves and to stay true to their values. The world leads authentic leaders who are willing and capable to take action. Continuously working on yourself makes you a leader who can inspire, care and act. Don’t get discouraged, as there is always a way up if you stay committed to your purpose. Fernanda and Martijn concluded by thanking the UMIO leadership and staff for the great journey.

Students of the year

Last but not least Prof. Marielle Heijltjes, Dean school of Business and Economics, was called to the stage for the student of the year announcement. The student of the year is a moment of honour for the highest academic aachievement. Martijn Antzoulatos was called Student of the Year of the On Campus programme. Martijn concluded the On-Campus MBA track in two years with an 8,46 average! Student of the Year of the Online MBA is entrepreneur Jenny van der Wijst. She concluded the Online MBA track also in 2 years with the highest average score ever: 8,76!


The official ceremony ended with the traditional group portrait and the throwing in the air of the graduation caps.



This article presents a recap of the 2023 MaastrichtMBA Graduation Day. MaastrichtMBA is an executive modular part-time MBA programme and exist of two tracks: an on-campus and online track.  The programme has a Triple Crown accreditation and is aimed for professionals with at least 5 years of working experience.

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