Google exec is 1st Pinoy valedictorian of prestigious business school
Epi Fabonan III (The Philippine Star) - February 2, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A Filipino executive working for Google has brought another rare distinction for the country.

Just recently, Rudi Ramin, Google’s brand solution expert for Asia-Pacific, became the first Filipino to graduate valedictorian at the prestigious Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD), or the European Institute of Business Administration.

The 35-year old Ramin was the only Filipino among 157 individuals from 47 nations to comprise the Global Executive MBA Class of 2014 at INSEAD’s Singapore campus. Before taking up his MBA at the institute, Ramin graduated magna cum laude with a degree in BS Accountancy at the University of Santo Tomas. He was also awarded Most Outstanding Accounting Student of the Philippines.

His academic standing, and later on his perseverance and dedication to his profession, led him to work for Unilever in Manila and Singapore. He has also previously worked at Kraft Foods Singapore, before working for Google, also in Singapore.

During the INSEAD graduation ceremonies held at the NUS Cultural Center in Singapore, Ramin recounted in his valedictory speech the challenges of being the only Filipino enrolled in the course.

He shared, “I felt like a kid on his first day of school. My mom, my wife and my nine-year old son, Zach, held my hand as we entered the campus. I was feeling a bit shy and out of place. I was the only Filipino in the Asia section and there was a collection of people from different countries, speaking languages I could not understand and doing jobs I didn’t even know existed. My son worried for me. When I came home, he asked, ‘Daddy, did you make any friends?’”

In his speech, he also recounted the tough act of balancing his MBA, careers, family relationship, and hobbies, telling the audience about times he had to take an overnight flight to Singapore, Abu Dhabi or Fontainebleau on a Friday and go straight to school to endure nine hours of financial accounting. He was profuse in acknowledging the efforts of family and friends for patiently supporting his pursuit of a dream and for putting up with his shortcomings while he went through the highly rigorous, life-changing program.

“To our families and friends, thank you for giving us space and time to complete this degree. We are sharing this achievement with you,” Ramin said in gratitude.

In the closing remarks of his valedictory speech, Ramin described his experience as the initial step toward the realization of his dreams, inspiring his fellow graduates to follow in his lead in pursuing their individual aspirations.

“We dream to give our families a better future. We dream to lead our organizations and make them great. We dream to change the course of our careers and do what we’re really passionate about. We dream to establish our own companies and create jobs in our home countries. We dream to create an impact in the world and make it a better place for future generations. But we will not stop with just dreaming.

“The INSEAD experience is just the first step. It is now up to us to make these
dreams happen. We already have shown that we can persevere and stretch ourselves to the limits,” Ramin said.

As the only Filipino to graduate with the highest honors from a distinguished international business school, Ramin proves once more that Filipinos can be at par with the world in business learning and proficiency and deserving of notable positions in the global marketplace.

A FILIPINO ABU DHABI CULTURAL CENTER EUROPEAN INSTITUTE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION GLOBAL EXECUTIVE GOOGLE KRAFT FOODS SINGAPORE MANILA AND SINGAPORE MOST OUTSTANDING ACCOUNTING STUDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES RAMIN
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