The academic accomplishments of WVU's full-time MBA class of 2013 were celebrated with a hooding ceremony on July 13 at the Erickson Alumni Center.
Dr. Gary Insch, associate dean of Graduate Programs, welcomed the graduates-to-be and their friends and families, congratulating them all on their accomplishments and wishing them well in their future pursuits.
Additionally, Dean Jose "Zito" Sartarelli shared with the graduates practical advice from his 30-year career as an international manager.
Gino DeRosa was the event's featured student speaker. He grew up in western Pennsylvania and has lived in Morgantown since 2002. He earned an undergraduate degree from WVU in 2008, worked as a substitute teacher and now manages the Boston Beanery, a Morgantown restaurant. He plans to pursue a career in the hospitality industry.
"More than a year ago, a group of 30 or so MBA hopefuls met in Room 128 at the College of Business and Economics and had no idea what they were about to get themselves into," he said. "We came from all walks of life from every corner of the globe."
"Now," he said, "these same individuals are prepared to enter their professional lives, having learned much and traveled the world." West Virginia University's 14-month MBA emphasizes teamwork and global learning. In fact, 44 percent of students in the program are international students from three continents. One family viewed the celebration via Skype from Qatar. Additionally, all domestic MBA students participate in a 10- to 14-day international trip in Europe or Asia.
"We all had the honor of sitting in on great lectures given by CEOs of multi-billion-dollar companies while being exposed to top-level executives from all over the globe," DeRosa said. "We visited several global companies and got to see how a company works on a day-to-day basis. This program has prepared us for our future as business professionals in a way I could have never imagined one year ago."
DeRosa thanked the MBA faculty, many of whom attended the event in academic regalia. "Our faculty showed us day in and day out that they were truly dedicated to our success," he said. "I'd also like to thank them for helping us realize that we can be fully functional with absolutely no sleep for 13 months straight."
Recipients of academic awards and scholarships were also recognized at the ceremony. Kristin Potts received the John D. May Award. The Brian Douglas Brick Memorial Scholarship went to Abigail Monson and Da Gui.