Graduation 2023

Graduation 2023
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On December 9th, the graduation ceremony occurred at the Grimaldi Forum in the prestigious Salle des Princes. Family and friends came in large numbers to congratulate their graduates.

Dressed in the usual black caps and gowns, these three hundred graduating students from sixty-two nationalities climbed on stage to collect this symbolic piece of paper—the happy epilogue of several years of study and the long-awaited debut on the job market.

Friendship and Diversity Shine at Graduation Ceremony

Embracing Friendship

Throughout their academic journey, these young individuals formed bonds that transcended cultural and social barriers. IUM blossomed with friendships forged in classrooms, nourished by student associations, and solidified through late-night study sessions. These connections provided support, encouragement, and a sense of belonging, making the challenges of academic life more bearable and the triumphs even sweeter.

Throughout our time here, we’ve grown together, not just as classmates but as a family with a shared vision for the future. Our bonds were forged in the fires of group projects, discussions, and collaborations, strengthening not just in shared dreams but in the collective action we took.

Morgan Rhys

Bachelor student

The friendships we cultivated, the laughter, and even the occasional shared stress were the building blocks of a network that extends far beyond the classroom. And if we ever need a contact in the industry, we’ve probably got a classmate on every continent.


MSc in Finance student

Celebrating Diversity

Diversity wasn’t just a word thrown around in speeches but a tangible reality woven into the very fabric of the graduating class. From different ethnicities, backgrounds, and life experiences, each individual brought unique perspectives and talents to the table. This vibrant mosaic enriched the learning environment, fostering understanding, respect, and inclusivity.

In conclusion, let us march forward with the strength of our diversity and the unity forged in the crucible of our shared experience. 
My friends remember that our differences are not dividers; they are the threads that weave the fabric of our collective strength.


MBA student

Keynote Speech

This year, the ceremony started with a powerful speech by Mr. Ward, whom IUM invited to be the keynote speaker of the ceremony.

The challenge will be to bridge the distance between the rigidity of the system we have built and the way nature works…and the good news is, you have the ability and tools to help us do so…the challenge is your momentum!

Matteo Ward

Co-Founder at WRÅD

Matteo Ward is CEO and co-founder of WRÅD, a design studio focused on sustainable development. WRÅD’s research and development of innovative products were awarded the Best of the Best Product Design RedDot Award and were included by the Italian ADI (Associazione Disegno Industriale) in the ADI Design Index 2019. Prior to WRÅD, Matteo worked for Abercrombie and Fitch as Sr. Manager and co-chair of the A&F Stores Diversity and Inclusion Council. Matteo is also the VP of Fashion Revolution Italia, an academic lecturer, and a public speaker. He recently co-authored and hosted JUNK, a docu-series on the impact of fast fashion worldwide, co-produced by Sky Italia and Will Media.


Valedictorian Awards sponsored by Monaco Asset Management 

For each degree program, the class Valedictorian is the student who has obtained the highest grade average at graduation.

Striving for excellence is the meaning of the Latin motto inscribed in the seal of IUM – Semper ad altum. We wish to praise these students, particularly for their sustained efforts and excellent academic results. 

The valedictorian prizes have been awarded to Elena-Sophie GRÄSER, Bachelor program, Florian PAQUET-GONZALES, MSc in Finance, Maxime GARZIGLIA, MSc in International Management, Arianna ZARAFSHAR, MSc in Marketing, Anastacia PARKIN, MSc in Sports Business Management, Ana ALTMAN, MSc in Luxury Management, Dominique CHOQUETTE, MBA program, for the class of 2023.

Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by the Conseil National 

IUM fosters and encourages an entrepreneurial spirit and initiatives across all its programs through various activities.  We created this award to recognize students who have successfully developed a business idea and actively contribute to impactful innovation.

IIie Pana, an MBA graduate, is a serial entrepreneur who initiated a manufacturing venture in Romania and has now transitioned to developing a cutting-edge digital concept. His current endeavor involves crafting a software tool aimed at optimizing business efficiency and organization, measuring every job.  

CSR Impact Award sponsored by Michael Bouchard, MBA Alumnus

The CSR Impact Award is given to the student who contributed actively in their own way to making a positive impact inside and outside IUM.

Clara KHIEL, MSc in Luxury Management graduate, was the president of the IUM Charity Club for the Academic Year 2021-2022. She organized food distribution in the French Riviera for those in need in association with Saint Vincent de Paul. She organized a fundraising as well to help rebuild a school in Haiti following the earthquake that took place in August 2021. Thank you, Clara, for your example, and we hope you will inspire others. 

Thesis Award sponsored by the Conseil National 

The Best Thesis Award goes to Dr. Jiayi Ji for her thesis on ”The Role of Directional Purpose in Creating Meaningful Work: How Can Employees Circumvent Burnout?”.
Her work extends our understanding of employee resilience and offers practical insights for managing workplace stress.

Research of the Year

The Researcher of the Year award goes to Prof. Annalisa Tarquini for her dedication to impactful research in luxury spending motivations and the superyacht industry

Professor of the Year

The Professor of the Year award goes to Prof. Patrice Sargenti for his exceptional teaching quality and dedication to implementing innovative asynchronous pedagogical enhancement of both engagement and learning outcomes

Tassle Ritual

The Tassle Ritual is probably the most solemn and emotional moment of the graduation ceremony since it ends a chapter and opens a new one; it signifies their entry into the IUM community of graduates! 

The ceremony ended with the traditional “hats in the air” picture, and in small, impromptu gatherings and heartfelt farewells, the depth of their connections resonated.

Let’s celebrate!

But the true celebration occurred after the ceremony with a glass of champagne with families and friends! 

Tears of joy and sadness mingled as they acknowledged the bittersweet nature of this momentous occasion. They were leaving behind a cherished chapter of their lives but taking with them the invaluable lessons learned and the unwavering support of their friends.

As the graduates embark on their individual journeys, they carry within them the indelible mark of their shared experience. The memory of their friendships forged and the lessons learned from their diverse community will continue to guide them, reminding them that true success lies not only in individual achievement but also in the strength and beauty of our collective tapestry.

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Updated 11 December 2023