By Office of Public Affairs
May 20th, 2022 — AIT resumed its in-person graduation ceremony after over two years of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One hundred eighty-three students from 20 different countries graduated at this 137th graduation ceremony on 20 May 2022, and more than 75% of them attended this joyous occasion with their loved ones at AIT Conference Center. Most of the 25% absentee graduates could not be at AIT due to COVID travel difficulties, and all those who could not participate in person were recognized with their photos. The ceremony was also broadcasted live.
AIT President Dr. Eden Woon said he firmly believes the graduates are now ready to face the challenges of the real world. He mentioned how life at AIT and the world is steadily coming out of the pandemic and slowly returning to normal. But the Graduates will find that the world may never look like 2019 again and how they look at life and career needs to change with the lasting impact of the pandemic. Laying out today’s overwhelming problems, such as anti-globalization, geopolitical tension, and climate change crisis, he emphasized that since the graduates have mastered a difficult AIT Degree Program in a very stressed time, they have developed capabilities to help deal with the challenges. “AIT is confident that you will succeed in tackling many challenges of this troubling world,” President Woon proclaimed. He concluded his speech with encouragement to the graduates and said, “With your AIT education and the support of your friends and parents, you are now ready!”
With the growing importance of technology and innovation today, AIT invited one of the most prominent figures in the global industry, Mr. Jean-Pascal Tricoire, the Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, to share his life experiences and lessons learned over his career. Ranked 48th in one of the top 100 “Best-Performing CEOs in the World 2019” by Harvard Business Review (HBR), Mr. Tricoire shared how he invested his professional career in finding the balance between progress and sustainability in the midst of technology and innovation. He highlighted the most critical aspect is an emphasis on people. “Your most important business during your life will be about people, and the most important decision choices you will make, again and again, will be about people,” Mr. Tricoire spoke from his experience. Expecting AIT graduates to take responsibility as leaders in the world, he said, “you are entering this next chapter of your life, where you will be taking responsibility in a world that needs new leaders. We need to make this planet prosperous and sustainable for all.”
“Make it fun; life is tough enough; create a positive environment. It is never just about technology, but the important matter is to understand the social and human dimensions of innovation,” Mr. Tricoire underscored.
Mr. Kai Tuorila, Counsellor for Trade and Investment at the Embassy of Finland in Bangkok, was an honorary alumnus speaker. He delivered a speech recalling his time at AIT back in the 90s (he graduated from SOM, class of 1993) — particularly the interaction in a diverse community and lifelong friendships he had established at AIT. “The time and money I invested in studying at AIT have been the best investment I’ve ever made,” Mr. Tuorila emphasized.
Mr. Tuorila emphasized that we live in an exciting time with all ongoing innovations. He concluded his speech by stating, “The knowledge and skills you have gained at AIT will allow you to be part of this exciting search and development for these future sustainable technologies.”
On behalf of all Doctoral graduates, Dr. Piyanun Ruangurai from SET shared the excitement of the new chapter in life. She said, “what comes next is just the beginning of another chapter. It is time to bring what we’ve learned to help other people or countries in every way we can.”
The most outstanding graduate, Mr. Sharad Aryal from the School of Engineering and Technology, urged his fellow graduates to celebrate this crucial moment of hard work and dedication that has brought all the graduates together. “Let’s be proud of who we have become and who we aim to be,” he concluded.
As tradition goes, here’s a look into how the graduates of batch 137th will remember AIT:
Ms. Anushma Shrestha, the most outstanding woman graduate from the School of Management (SOM)
“When I reflect on my two years at AIT, I feel the experience has taught me to become a better manager and a better person. Being an MBA student at the AIT School of Management has given me a solid foundation for working in a global environment and engendered creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving skills, which will shape my career. I will cherish the moments I have spent learning alongside talented professionals from over 20 countries with diverse backgrounds and industry experience, sharing their unique perspectives and approaches. After completing my internship at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as a part of my MBA degree, I plan to work as a Media and Communications Specialist in the sustainable development sector and hopefully lead my team someday.”
Ms. Aashiyana Adhikari, a Master’s graduate from Gender and Development Studies (GDS) SERD
“I will remember AIT as a place that taught me how to appreciate little things in life. My journey at AIT started amidst the pandemic where it was impossible to travel to campus, and we had to take online classes when we could travel; there were COVID-19 measures that we had to follow a 14-day quarantine, among others. It was physically and mentally challenging, but that was just the beginning, the constant surge of COVID made living everyday life quite difficult, but it felt safe staying inside AIT. AIT was not just a campus to us; the faculty, admin, and staff made us feel like it was our home away from home. Thus, I will always remember AIT as a place where I felt safe even when the pandemic chaos was going around.”
“Running on the lushly green streets, getting late-night snacks from Seven-Eleven, surviving exams and assignments by sneaking gallons of coffee into the library, and finding people here who I could call family are all the things I treasure and will continue to cherish about AIT.”
“I intend to continue my education after graduation. Still, I am open to changes in my life at this time because the pandemic has taught us all how unpredictable life is. AIT has taught me to be resilient to life changes and embrace things with open arms.”
Ms. Sirikorn Chatsanguthai, the most outstanding SOM graduate
“AIT is full of lifetime memories and experiences. The nature scenery of the school is one of the favorite things I like about AIT. It helps to calm me down whenever deadlines are pushing. I also love how the school supports and encourages students to participate in case of competitions to expand their horizons and put theoretical knowledge into practice. Although we are still in the COVID era, studying at AIT is possible with hybrid teaching. Whether in-person or online class, we can learn efficiently and get to know friends from diverse backgrounds and cultures”.
Mr. Sharad Aryal, the most outstanding graduate from the School of Engineering and Technology (SET)
“I will forever cherish AIT as a place where I spent the two most beautiful years of my life. AIT provided me with the opportunity to learn and grow. There are plenty of things that make time spent at AIT memorable. The moments I will remember most from AIT are the morning coffee with friends, bean bags in the library, occasional get-togethers, late-night strolls, laughter with friends, and learning with professors. Being awarded as the most outstanding graduate and the opportunity provided to share my experiences at AIT during the graduation ceremony is the highlight of my Master’s journey. I plan to return to AIT as a researcher and continue my learning and growth along with AIT”.