So it finally happened last weekend in Helsinki, Finland: the ceremonial conferment of degrees at the Aalto University School of Business. (in our university, this ceremony takes place every five years, so basically everyone who got their degree [PhD or M.Sc.] during that time window could join the event)
To be honest, for a while I was a bit on the fence regarding participating in the ceremony. A simple calculation revealed that this event would cost hundreds of euros (flight tickets, doctoral hat, participation costs etc.), but in the end I decided to attend the ceremony. And it was so much fun!
It was an extremely intense long weekend (Thursday – Saturday), but absolutely worth it! Not only did I get to see my friends and colleagues, and meet new people, I also strongly felt that this was a some sort of initiation rite: now we recently defended doctorates are finally part of the academic community. Not sure if I could deal with wearing a penguin suit every day, which is why it is so wonderful to have these traditions to remind us that we academics are part of a bigger continuum.
I came back home to Tokyo yesterday, so I’m still recovering from the festivities, but definitely happy I did it. Now I’m just looking forward to the next ceremony in 2021 – would be nice to experience it all again, but then from a different point of view.
And now, please enjoy some pictures of questionable quality from the festivities. Thanks everybody for an amazing weekend! (might be uploading more pics – with better quality – later on)