KSBL Third Annual Commencement 2016 – Address by MBA Valedictorian Ali Salman

“Thank you.
Honorable Chief Guest, Mr. Chairman, Members of the Board of Governors and Board of Directors, Faculty, KSBL Management, Parents and of course MY FELLOW GRADUATES OF THE CLASS OF 2016, I cannot express in words the pride I feel to be amongst this group of inspiring people.

I was honored to be considered for this role and a touch overwhelmed. To stand here today and present our valedictorian speech is yet another in a long series of exceptional experiences I’ve had here at KSBL.
Today has prompted me to take a departure from the steady stream of case studies and assignments and step back to reflect on our time together.

Over two years ago we were all likely struggling to decide where, when, and how we might pursue this graduate study we call the Masters of Business Administration. Like you, I was looking for a top notch program, and to attain this, I knew that I needed to be surrounded by top notch faculty. Which KSBL has. But more importantly I knew that I needed to be surrounded by top notch students. Which KSBL has. I’m talking to you! I’ve witnessed your insightful comments, compelling arguments, impactful presentations. Kudos to all of you. You’ve truly earned those degrees in your hands.

One of the most fascinating pieces of advice that I have received comes from the Chairman of this institute, who says it quite religiously, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey, so enjoy while you are at it.”
I can look at the bigger picture today, and see all of this make sense. This journey has been absolutely worthwhile. This experience has some way or the other prepared us for the different destinations that we’ve reached, but it has also left us with some common memories that we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives.
Despite the competition within ourselves for grades and exams, studying together and helping each other out had been such a common practice. Having the discussion rooms flooded with people was such a common practice. We still relish this while working in our respective work destinations.

We were being told at our orientation ceremony, that life is going to be brutal for the next 2 years, and to be really honest, brutal was an understatement. But staying late at university, along with table tennis breaks in between, those chai sessions at Alamgir, those sending out of our assignments at 11:59 pm, because the deadline was at midnight, it all comes to my mind today, or especially during the days when I’m stuck with the end of the month closings, and the late sittings just makes me nostalgic to that time.

I remember at the beginning of each term, we’d show our frustration over being force fitted into different assignment groups. But now, when I look at this today, it was actually the best thing to have happened. With this continuous shuffling, we came to know each other and appreciated each other’s’ opinions and backgrounds. Some of us even got their life partners in the process.

The national level business challenges and competitions that were being associated with the LUMs and IBAs of the country like the CFA Challenge and the Battle of the Brains, and the most recent Aman Accelerator Challenge… Yeah, we won them. And didn’t we do it in some style.

The KSBL way, which has always had teamwork and empowerment at the heart of its philosophy led us to create a full-fledged competition, which has now become a part of our to-do lists every year. I’m talking about SiMerge ladies and Gentlemen. This year we did it with much more intensity, and the outcomes were terrific.
Today, I can say this on behalf of everyone with complete confidence, KSBL has become a part of our DNAs, and we will just look back at these two years with nothing but fondness.

All good things must come to an end, and since this is about to end, I don’t think I should be giving any life lessons, or share any advice, as obviously I don’t speak with any superior level of wisdom than any of you.
I just want to spend this airtime, thanking on behalf of the entire class all of those people who’ve been a part of this journey throughout. These beautiful people came in as painters and sculptors, casted their colors, shaped up our personalities, and made this picture for the batch of 2016 much more colorful and valuable.
I should start from the Chairman and the board of Governors, they envisioned all of this before anyone was even here. Thank you Mr. Hussain Dawood, Muneer Kamal Sb, and the board for your visionary leadership in running this institute.

Faculty, ladies and gentlemen, is a very important pillar that has been a part of this entire journey. Words won’t be enough to thank them, but I’ll try my best. My dear professors, we all have changed in these two years some way or the other. Whether it was your content, your communication, your style, even your movement. I’m pretty sure someone somewhere in the lecture room was role modeling you and picking up these small cues just to improve their personality.

Whether it was Dr. JG mesmerizing us with his level of analysis, or Dr. Zee making a technical course like accounting look so ridiculously easy. Whether it was Dr. Rehan charismatically broadening our perspective on global issues, or Dr. Athar simply winning our hearts with his personality. That in class banter and humor was an absolute delight to experience.

It is absolutely unfair not to highlight the key roles played by Dr. AKM, Dr. Rizwan, Dr. Farzad, Dr. Suresh Kumar, Dr. Faheem, Dr. Iqbal, Shariq Athar Rahman, and our CEO mentors. We assure you, that as we exit the doors of this state of the art campus with our respective degrees, every single one of us will carry a piece of each one of you.

It is completely unfair not to mention the ever so loving and caring Staff of KSBL. Ma’am Faiza and her concern for us all, or Shah Faisal’s smiling face marking our CPs, or Adeel bhai’s #MyKSBL, or Aqeel bhai’s swag during the examinations. These guys were the support system during our time here and, I on behalf of the entire class, would like to thank each and every person from every single department for their help and support. You have been the best support system anyone could have wished for.

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, it is also time to thank those who run the show from behind the curtains. Indeed every time we gathered in the classroom for the learning process, we were enabled to do so only because someone had made a comfortable bed for us to sleep last night. Or someone who had paid our last fee.

These are the often unsung, taken-for-granted part of our lives that we take very less time out to thank. Maybe because there are not enough words to thank them. So our class had a tradition whereby at the end of every course, in the last session, we used to rise and give a standing ovation to the outgoing faculty member for their contribution to us. Today my dear class fellows, let us extend this tradition to include these show runners from behind the curtains – our parents and family members.

May I please request, class of 2016, rise from your seats, look at them and give them an applause like nothing they have ever heard, because truly only words cannot do justice to what they do for us.

Ladies and gentlemen, I thank all of you and the KSBL Management for this top class education in the specific skills that will propel us on to the next stages of our lives, but more importantly I thank you for the universal skills that will serve us for everyday for the rest our lives. On this day, we celebrate this milestone, this foundation, this platform from which we launch ourselves towards our dreams. I say, here is to the journey, here is to the friendship, here is to the future, but most importantly here is to you, Karachi School of Business’s Graduating class of 2016”

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