Wittenborg Graduates Given Final Boost as they Step into Job Market

Wittenborg Graduates Given Final Boost as they Step into Job Market

Graduates from 20 Countries at Wittenborg's 2020 Winter Graduation Ceremony


As Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences' latest graduates stepped off the stage and into the labour market on Friday, degrees conferred, they were given a final moral boost in terms of their employability.

"You are a special category that employers are interested in," the keynote speaker at Wittenborg's 2020 Winter Graduation Ceremony, Rijn Platteel, told graduates. Platteel is the  regional chair of VNO-NCW, the largest employer organisation in the Netherlands. "You have international backgrounds and have already mastered intercultural relationships. These are skills I value more than your grade list."

He urged graduates not to value themselves only in terms of their degrees, but to look at the sum total of who they are. "We tend to see intelligence as only verbal, mathematical and spatial. Yet there are far more forms of intelligence. Musical, physical, interpersonal and intrapersonal. You are made up of so much more than just what you’ve read in books, what you’ve learned in formal education. Knowledge comes from real life, from applying knowledge in every part of your life. Knowledge is not only in your heads: you ingrained knowledge in your bodies. Knowledge comes from experience, it comes with living life.

"A degree tells me something about your aptitude for learning skills, that you showed discipline, that you have a basic toolbox. But I am far more interested in your other skills. What did you do besides study, what skills did you develop? Your soft skills, what values do you hold dear, what empowers you, what puts you down, how you’ve built your character. You may think that you know nothing, but what you really have been doing is mastering life. You are a rather special category we are interested in. You already mastered intercultural relationships. You have international backgrounds. These are skills that I value far more than your grade list."

About 39 students of 20 different nationalities graduated from Wittenborg this semester. At the ceremony on Friday, splendid in their traditional black ceremonial gowns and caps, they received their hard-earned diplomas in front of family, friends and academic staff. Among them were 7 MBAs, 4 who received Master of Science degrees, 4 from the Wittenborg Amsterdam campus who got EBAs in Entrepreneurship & SME Management, and 24 Bachelor degrees in International Business Administration.

Wittenborg's chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall, congratulated them in his speech saying that Wittenborg commits to doing everything it can to ensure that the value of their degrees increases day by day, thus strengthening the brand Wittenborg. "That brand has to say something to your future employers about the quality of your education." He urged graduates in turn to be successful. "That success will also rub off on us. The most important thing for us is to ensure your employability, which is why we are so pleased to have a representative of the VNO-NCW as our guest speaker today."

WUP 9/2/2020
by Anesca Smith
© Wittenborg University Press

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