Harry Potter style – graduation at the university

After having finished the dissertation, gotten the famous letter with the message that you are able to call yourself Henley MBA you are invited to the award ceremony in UK.

A big day that I will always remember as see as one the most significant days in my life

I remember the vacuum after having received the confirmation letter. I was very happy and at the same time feeling restless since I did not know what to do with all my spare time.

The first couple of weekends I was feeling that something was missing and that I should study or at least read something. I actually felt guilty when spending time with my wife doing nothing but enjoying life. A strange, but somehow nice feeling.


The award graduation ceremony 

The award ceremony was held at the university in UK and I was very lucky to have my family with me. My wife and both my parents and the parents of my wife joined me. I was very happy that they all decided to travel to the UK and celebrate this special day with me.

We arrived in London the night before the ceremony, checked in at our hotel and had a nice dinner before we went to bed early to be fresh for the next day. Henley Business School arranged transportation from central London to the university.

It was very nice that we did not have to worry about anything. All was taken care of by the university

Once we arrived at the university we got registered, got our ropes and hats and spent some time outside talking to our fellow students and the professors. Luckily the weather was very nice and we could walk around in the beautiful garden of the university.

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After having consumed a few cups of coffee, eaten around 20 biscuits and small cakes, we were told to enter the big tent in rows standing next to some of the other students from different parts of the world. I was standing next to a fellow student from South Africa and it was very nice talking to him about how he experienced the education and what he has gotten out of it. Always interesting to talk to new people from another part of the world.

When we entered the big tent, we sad down and waited a few moments. Then the music started playing and all the professors from the university entered and we all stood up. It was a very formal and special thing.

It was such a special feeling watching these very important and very serious people entering the tent walking in a row

I was really feeling proud to be in this company. I felt kind of honoured and was very happy about the situation, despites the fact that the temperature rose to at least 40 degrees in the tent and with my business suit under my academic customs, I was sweating like a pig.


What went through my mind in the tent

We waited a bit more, approached the Dean of the university and got our diplomas and then sat down again. A great feeling, but nothing special or interesting for you as a reader I think. The perhaps more interesting things is about what went through my head when I sad waiting to be called up to receive my diploma.


First of all I was thankful for being there and especially when I saw my wife and my dad in the tents also, I felt very happy. Happy because I could see that they were both proud of me. It was kind of an emotional moment sitting in that tent. I think it is quite usual to think of the people that are sacrificing things so that you can achieve and accomplish results.

I was feeling humbled and feeling like I really needed to give something back

Somehow I felt I was forced, but also compelled to use the skills and knowledge from my education because of my family since they have sacrificed things so that I could do it. Nothing is possible without the backup from your loved ones I think.

Enriched and part of something bigger

I also felt enriched and thought of some of the subjects that I enjoyed and now have acquired useful skills from. I thought of “Managing Processes and Systems” that I really was exited about and have used since then. I felt enriched because of my general knowledge about my current understanding of the connection between the main elements in company.

The alumni group and the enormous network of Henley made me feel part of something bigger

I felt like part of a big group and also at the same time responsible. Responsible for the members of the group – if someone from the alumni group asks for my advise or point of view I feel compelled to help this person.

Money and wealth

The funny thing is that I actually did not think of money, wealth or at my possibilities of increasing my salary at a new job. That might be strange, but it really wasn´t money or tangible things that went through my mind when sitting in that tent. Of course I might, within the next couple of years, work on increasing my salary and I have also rewarded myself with a present for finishing the MBA.

The river cruise

Once we had our picture taken we were invited to a river cruise on the Thames with a 2-course meal. It was a very nice and informal tradition that made of all laugh and have a great time.

My overall outcome of the Henley MBA

When sitting in the bus on the way back to London I was taking a small break and reflected upon the overall outcome of the MBA. This education has honestly changed my life and the way I see my self and is without a doubt the best investment that I hade ever made.

I have never reflected upon my own behaviour and the way others experience me. In fact I have never reflected that much about my career and the different things that has happened since I started my first real job in 2005.

I have acquired a lot of useful technical skills from various courses, especially Managing Processes and Systems, as already mentioned, that I have not worked that much with before, but the biggest benefits has definitely been the personal and leadership development journey that has been extremely rewarding to me.

The first Personal Development assignment done after the first workshop at Henley in September 2013 I stated that I was also “over-optimistic” and I also, at that time, might lose interest in things once initial enthusiasm has passed. I needed to work on these weaknesses.

Now I think that I have acquired a lot more confidence in myself and my personal capabilities that have made me believe in that I have the skills to meet the deadlines of the things that I have to accomplish

This has definitely made me calmer and less impatient that has then made me allow myself time to go more into depth with things and I do not feel that I tend to loose interest in things to the same extend anymore. We returned to London and spent a few days shopping and having fun in the city with great food and drinks. So all in all it was great days in great company and I really felt like this has been a trip that I will never forget and a very happy memory.

Summary and recommendations 

The summary and the recommendation for the article is very easy; do yourself a favour and make sure that you travel to London and attend the award ceremony (at least if you have finished the Henley MBA…).

It is a great ending to a long journey and a very special day

Make a trip out of it and invite your family. It felt great that I could have my family with me since they have all been part of the journey and supported me for three years of studying. I hope that you found my articles interesting are maybe would like to consider enrolling for an MBA yourself.