A Complete Virtual Experience
“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” — Tony Robbins.
All too soon, what seemed impossible at the start was brought to a befitting end for the March 2020 cohort of the Azubi Africa Training Programme.
On August 14th, 2020, the German-IBT and its partners; getINNOtized and Microsoft 4 Afrika put together a splendid remote graduation ceremony. Due to the limitations on public gatherings ( a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic), the event was hosted on Microsoft Teams. There were over 75 people participants; more than the 50 initially forecasted, and the event slated to run for an hour, surprisingly, lasted for exactly that.
However, before we go into the main event, let’s talk about the plan.
The Azubi Africa/German-IBT team drew an elaborate plan to host this event virtually and steer it to success. Prior to the ceremony, the idea was to create enough buzz around the e-Graduation. Hence the plan began; with a countdown video to build anticipation among the students. This was shared on all social media platforms and was re-created into a shorter version to be shared a week to the event as a reminder.
Following the countdown video was the creation and distribution of invite links. Over fifty (50) invites were sent in all; which included founders, guest speakers, students, facilitators, and the like. All this was made possible thanks to the functionality of Microsoft Teams.
Next on the plan was the preparation of a PowerPoint Presentation which would cover the visual landscape of the event, ensure a smoother delivery of activities and enhance time management. It displayed details like the agenda for the day, featured speakers, certificates of graduating students and the Azubi Trivia (which we would come to).
Thankfully, this was carried out as planned and we were able to present a clean, uniform set of slides which served the desired purpose.
One other interesting pre-event activity was an Azubi Africa Graduation landing page, uniquely built to inform our online audience about the ceremony. In addition to general information, the page featured students in a creative digital yearbook, where each graduating student got to share their final words and memories with their colleagues.
The team once again delivered splendidly on this — you can check it out yourself here.
Agenda of the Day
Once all pre-event activities were done, the day finally came. Beginning at 11 am GMT, the agenda rolled out as follows:
- Welcome/Purpose Address
- Azubi Trivia 1
- Founders’ Address
- Congregational Address
- Azubi Trivia 2
- Student Spotlight Address
- Confirmation of Degrees
- Azubi Trivia 3
- Announcement, Well-wishes & Departure
We started off by introducing the MC, who was in the person of Lily Edinam Botsyoe. The ever-eloquent and bubbly Lily spearheaded the entire event to perfection. Leading the way, she made sure each item on the agenda was implemented excellently and in a timely manner.
Then, we took a brief welcome address from the Dean of Students, Gideon Sackey, who highlighted the highs & lows of this year’s training program, applauding the March Batch for their resilience and willingness to succeed even amidst the uncertainties of the year.
Right after Gideon’s address, the audience was addressed by the program’s founders. Ulrich Busch, Benjamin Schunke and Kwame Osei-Tutu each took turns to enlighten participants with their words of encouragement, advice and commendation.
At this point, we had the first Azubi Trivia, a crafty way of engaging participants to win prizes. This was in three parts and each time, students were asked a question concerning the Azubi Africa programme. The first person to answer right, in the Teams chat, was rewarded with a prize.
Next, we heard from our guest speakers who were in the persons of Dr. Joseph Darmoe of the Ministry of Inner Cities and Zongo Development (MICZD) and Mr. Isaac Ponku of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Their speeches were brief but key to the event as they expressed pleasure for being a part of something phenomenal as this while leaving students with bits of advice too.
The top-performing students of the cohort were also on the bill to give speeches on their experience and success. Aminatu Yusif, Anita Blege and Kwabena Owusu Ansah each nourished the audience with inspiration for their peers, as well as gratitude for having had the opportunity to study in the first place.
“Efforts Don’t Disappoint”
Kwabena Owusu Ansah, Student Spotlight Speaker
Soon, we had our MC, Lily, confirm the degrees of each graduand from the Data Science track. Gideon took over to read out those of the Software Development track. The last trivia question was asked after this and the final winners were announced.
The ceremony was crowned with a delightful vote of thanks by Ms. Adea Natchiah Blay, a facilitator of the Azubi Africa programme.
The Azubi Africa e-Graduation was the first of its kind but we are proud to say that it was a successful event with many great moments to remember. We say congratulations to all who participated and a big thank you to all our sponsors whose benevolence have brought us this far.
We look forward to an even more successful June Cohort.
Below are some images (screenshots) from the Azubi Africa e-Graduation: