Campus - 19.02.2018 - 00:00 

50 new Doctors

On 19 February 2018, the University of St.Gallen awarded 50 Doctor’s Degrees. In his address, President Thomas Bieger spoke about personal and social sustainability.

19 February 2018. At the Doctors’ Graduation Ceremony, President Thomas Bieger awarded 50 degree certificates:

  • 26 in Economic Sciences,
  • eleven in Social Sciences,
  • five in Law,
  • one in Political Science,
  • five degrees of a Doctor of Philosophy in Economics and Finance, and
  • two degree of a Doctor of Philosophy in Finance.

Opinions and points of view are in demand

"From now on, you'll have to do less research in depth," President Thomas Bieger reminded the new doctors. "You’ll be able to take a wide angle and deal with the integrated issues of life and society again." At a personal level, the definition of their own life/work balance style was at issue. Would they want to be available 24 hours a day in today’s digitised world and not miss anything? Or to clock off and go home even if colleagues were still working on projects? The important thing here would be to communicate their own style, too, and to look for an environment into which it could fit.

Besides the definition of their own values, the new doctors should also define the causes which they wanted to champion for the benefit of society. "Of course, your first concern will now be your career and perhaps starting a family," said Bieger. "But your job can also be more meaningful if you combine it with a higher cause." By way of an incentive, he mentioned the 16 sustainable development goals of the United Nations (UN). Something the new doctors would have to define for themselves was their attitude towards the question as to how society should deal with digitisation. He advised them to specify their position vis-à-vis this societal issue. "Society needs you – both as academics and as political beings with your opinions and points of view."

Values and Leadership
This year's guest speech at the award ceremony for PhD graduates was presented by Dr. Berislav Gašo, MOL Group's Executive Vice President of Exploration & Production. Dr. Gašo highlighted for the class of 2018 the importance of values and leadership in professional life and share some of his personal experiences. Demonstrating leadership remains the key to success. Leaders have to organize the teams to solve problems and not try to solve every problem themselves. To be accepted as a leader, one needs to build trust, inspire the teams and be able to create followership and set direction. Only if a leader lives by his or her values will others follow. Successful leaders are humble, self-reflective and always build on their professional values. Dr. Gašo shared with the graduates the four values, which have guided him in his career, and elaborate on some of the dilemmas and conflicts he faced to uphold them.

The musical background to the ceremony was provided by Riana Steinmann, Patrick Bianco and Claude Diallo.

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