Partners at IESE Graduation

Partners at IESE Graduation

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Robert Ralph started this petition to IESE MBA Committee

Partners at IESE Graduation
A letter from the IESE Partners Club and the Class of 2021

Honourable MBA Committee,

As the end of our MBA Experience draws near, we are nostalgic about our experience and excited for what is next. It has been a transformative journey for students and families alike.

The Class of 2021 and our loved ones would like to ask that IESE reconsider its closing graduation to non-students. The impact partners and families have had on the community are countless, and we view graduation to belong to them as much as it does to students. Concretely, our request is to allow one cohabiting partner per student (and their children) to attend graduation.

We understand the substantial logistics involved and that the Committee has likely explored these before forming a decision. We humbly request you alter this decision based on family contributions to the IESE Experience and the low incremental risk of their attendance.

Outside IESE, partners left jobs to helplessly navigate Spanish bureaucracy to find work. They integrated into Spanish life while providing critical emotional support to students. They found new daycares for their children - or donated time to babysit for those of other students. They managed families and households while students read cases and searched for jobs. 

Moreover, many partners were leaders amongst IESE internal initiatives. They led the Families and Partners’ Club, were Presidents of IESE Social Clubs and co-captained sports teams. They spoke to hundreds of prospective students and partners, consistently emphasising the warm and welcoming community that was fostered at the school and they even conducted Admissions webinars to reinforce that message. Ultimately, they delivered on their end of the promise to be as much part of the IESE community as students.

We understand the impact of COVID-19 on the planning of graduation, and recognize that the risk of an outbreak must be managed. Partners and children live together with students, so having them on-campus does not introduce further transmission risk. We would welcome any discussion or counter-proposal in the hope that we can find common ground. 

Under the promise that partners were as much part of the IESE Community as students, loved ones uprooted their lives. Without husbands, wives, significant others and children in attendance, the IESE Graduation does not represent the end of our common journey. The current format proposed by the MBA Committee is not consistent with the joint experience outlined by IESE from the time we were admitted and throughout our time at IESE.

The students and partners undersigned kindly request you reconsider allowing one cohabiting partner per student (and their children) to attend graduation, and would be happy to sit together to create a revised proposal for the format of the Class Graduation.

Thanks very much for your consideration,

Adriane Provost - President of Families and Partners Club
Catherine Vera Alvarez - Student President, Class of 2021

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