MIR student's speech

"Dear Professors, distinguished guests, family, friends and fellow graduates,

it is an honour and privilege to address you today.

Before I begin my speech I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to personally thank my beautiful and supportive wife, Nisa; my parents; my sister; my brother-in-law; and my niece. It is their continued love and support that allows me to stand before you today.

On behalf of the MIR class of 2018, I would also like to thank ASERI Director, Professor Vittorio Emanuele Parsi; MIR Directors, Professor Roberto Zoboli and Professor Damiano Palano; our Program Assistant Melody Barbato for her exceptional professionalism, organizational skills and patience; receptionists, Nadia Moscato and Federica Basilio; all the Professors, project work supervisors and the rest of the ASERI staff. Their hard work and commitment to continued education brings us all here together today to celebrate this great occasion and experience, so let’s give them a great round of applause!

Well, we did it! Congratulations to all the graduating students!

To my fellow MIR students, I cannot believe that we are already here. In thinking back about this experience there are a few things that come to mind. The first and most important thing is literally one word: ‘aperitivo’. How many of those did we have together?

The second is the feeling of fear, anxiety and absolute despair that I felt in the first 5 minutes of Professor Colombo’s class. Then the feeling of relief I felt 5 minutes after when I saw that everyone else in class had the same look of fear on their face. And finally, the last thing that comes to mind is more of a question: did we do Professor Arango’s project correctly?

Jokes aside, what a great experience this great Master’s program has given us. If history and science have taught us anything, it is that the only way to travel back in time is through our memories, and this is definitely a memory that I will relive with much affection and emotion. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we are much wiser, more experienced, more educated and much more equipped, intellectually, than we were when we first started this program last January. Not only did we have the privilege of sitting through lectures by world renowned professors who conveyed to us such great knowledge and wisdom, but it was also we, the students, who made this such a great experience. There were classes we enjoyed, classes that we struggled through (as evidenced by the thousands of freak-out WhatsApp messages in our MIR group), exams that surprised us (Professor Dembinski’s Finance exam comes to mind) and simulations that brought out our best acting (Harim and Rogier get honourable mentions here).

Each one of us brought our own culture, language, experiences, and different, but valued, opinion.    

We were each graded individually, but together we succeeded.

We have become the MIR family and I wish each and every one of you all the best! Before I conclude, I want to leave you with a paraphrase of some of the best advice given to us by President Obama: when the arc of progress seems slow, remember: international relations is not the project of any one person. The single most powerful word in the world is the word 'We'. We the People. We the students. We the future leaders and professionals.


‘Yes, we can.’

Everyone say it with me: YES. WE. CAN.

Thank you and congratulations!"

Angelo Raimondo, former MIR student

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