Yara’s valedictorian speech June 2022

At the business school graduation in June 2022, Yara Khoshnaw from IBL was chosesn as one of the valedictorians to give a speech. Here is her speech in full. Thank you Yara and we wish you all the best for your career.

Dear graduates, guests and all of Metropolia staff  

My name is Yara and finally I can say that I am now an IBL-BBA graduate student! It’s been a long journey, but it’s definitely been worthy of one. I am very honoured and happy to be here in front of you all. Today feels special because we are finally celebrating a graduation ceremony in person after over two years. For that alone I feel very grateful. I have to say when I was writing this speech, I didn’t know where to start because there’s so much to say and so much has happened. COVID, working remotely and the devastating situation in Ukraine.

But I did know that my goal was to talk about the good times and the positive times because I feel that we all deserve that. There are so many amazing stories to be told. So many of us have experienced working abroad or studying abroad through Metropolia Business School. This came with its own challenges since we were in a new country with new people and sometimes even a new language. IBL and EBA students get to experience different cultures through Metropolia Business School’s different degree programs. MBS represents people of many Cultures and backgrounds and is all the richer for it.

My personal favourite moment in this school is our meaningful and rather funny conversations with my classmates in the school library and during lunch. Our lessons would often end at 2 in the afternoon, but we all went home at 9 at night. Sometimes the school guard had to escort us out of this building. Or sometimes we would use this very auditorium to practice our speech for the noble peace prize or best winning actor speech for the Oscars. Many of us here are lucky to say that we have established friendships that can’t be replaced. Friendships were built within these walls, friendships which will last a lifetime. Hopefully

Looking at my fellow graduates in the audience today, I can hope nothing but the best for them in their future careers. I am sure I’m not the only one who can say that we had both good and challenging times in MBS but most importantly we all learned. We know better. That’s what matters. Some of us might have found our purpose in life, and some of us are still figuring it out. As long as you are trying to be a better version of yourself – then you are progressing each day.

On that note I would like to thank all of our teachers for their hard work. It has not been easy especially with COVID. Changing the curriculum to fit the standards of remote work was a challenge in its own. I believe teachers should receive a lot more recognition for their work because they are the ones who wear superhero capes which we don’t always notice. They are the backbone of our society. The teachers in the IBL and EBA program have proven their strength during challenging times.

So well done everyone! Considering the lack of contact and dealing with the covid lockdown during our studies, especially when writing our thesis. Everyone has done a really good job. I know it was not easy but just know that teachers and you know you have done the best you could with everything you got. I must give my thesis supervisor Michael Keaney a special thank you. He guided me and inspired me to write a thesis that matters. For those who don’t know, I wrote my thesis about the situation in Yemen. A devastating situation that is still ongoing today. Mr. Keaney allowed me to express myself in the best way I could. I will forever be grateful to have a such professor who cares about his students’ needs and interests. And of course I also have to thank Louise Stansfield who always goes the extra mile to make international students feel welcomed and at home. As a student in this school, you can always rely on Miss Louise. She pushes you to be the best you.

Thank you to all the admin staff, from library, to study coordinators, lunch staff and of course all of our teachers.

Business school can offer you a great base to lean on but ultimately, it’s you who decides what road to take to lead you to the right path. Therefore, I would like to end my speech with – you attract what you are – be good and good will follow. Chase your dreams even if they go against the odds. Without trying and without asking – you never know what might be waiting for you on the other side of the wall.


Thank you.