Putting Together a Virtual Graduation - Behind the Scenes with Wittenborg's Event Manager

Putting Together a Virtual Graduation - Behind the Scenes with Wittenborg's Event Manager

All Systems Go as Wittenborg Prepares for First Fully Online Graduation Ceremony

On Friday Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences will hold the first fully online graduation ceremony in its entire history. We caught up with the institution's events manager, Nadia Zaman, who has organised four graduation ceremonies at Wittenborg, about the challenges of putting together this one.

Among Wittenborg's latest graduates, 33% indicated that they would wait for the summer graduation ceremony in July, holding out hope that they will be able to attend the ceremony in person.    

Hi Nadia, how is it going with the preparations?

Everything is pretty much on schedule, despite a few tight deadlines. Last summer we had a hybrid ceremony – some students attended in person, adhering to COVID-19 safety measures, while others graduated virtually. It was a good trial run for this one.

I can imagine it must be quite stressful?

Organising an event is always stressful, especially with so many parties involved (laughs).

How do students and their loved ones "attend" the ceremony?

They receive a Zoom link to the event which can then be shared with their friends and family. Prior, though, they have to complete a questionnaire, RSVP for the event and send us a photo. During the event we have a guest speaker, speeches from lecturers as well as students who want to share some thoughts.

Which is easier: organising an in-person graduation ceremony or a virtual one?

It is both easier and harder to host an entirely virtual graduation ceremony. Easier in terms of flexibility with arranging speech recordings and no hands-on work such as preparing graduation gowns and event space. On the other hand, more pre-planning and scheduling needs to be done and the timeline is shorter as the event has to be completely prepared prior to the event date.

WUP 3/2/2021
by Anesca Smith
©WUAS Press