Saturday, 21 January at 6.00pm
Good evening Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, distinguished guests, my fellow graduates, ladies and gentlemen.
Today we are gathered here to celebrate our success. Success that was achieved from hard work, but that has been achieved, mainly by adhering to the ECU graduate attributes, which reflect on the ECU vision and values; integrity, respect, rational inquiry, and personal excellence that ECU has set up for their students. I’m honoured to be with you today, to share a brief story of my experience in ECU.
As I reflect through my life in university, my time at ECU has been at truly rewarding experience. I say this because it is the place where I met amazing friends and caring lecturers, of whom are rare to find.
As I look back, my last semester was most exhausting but rewarding with my driving force being my God, my family and friends and my lecturers. During that particular semester, I did my work placement at the Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre where I worked with the settlements grant coordinator. My role was to assist clients by providing information, referrals, advocacy and support to those who have been in the country for less than five years. In that, I helped set up programs, hunted for grants, and did referrals, just to mention a few.
My work experience exposed me to a range of resourceful people; ministers, executive directors, and experts from different fields. From different events and consults I attended with my supervisor and work mates, I got advice and encouragement. That encouraged me to strive more to encourage social justice and attain empathy on a different level.
These events include the first African Round Table Forum by the African’s Women Council that coincided with CHOGM and the Equal Opportunity Commission Consult; One size does not fit all. My achievements were featured on the school website as well as the local news papers.
I have learnt a lot from my work experience and enlarged my abilities from the ECU graduate attributes. I successfully got a short term contract at my work placement which came through my hard work and determination.
I realised now more than ever, that I am capable of going places that I imagined, but didn’t know how to get there.The same applies to all of us – we are all capable of doing great things.
Now that university is complete what next? The best advice I would give is to allow yourself to look at the opportunities around you and position yourself around those areas no matter the cost.
I do not mean we go to the extreme and do the unthinkable, but humbling yourself to start from somewhere. Work to the best of your ability, believe me, no effort ever goes wasted, someone will notice and that may be your next success story to your ultimate goal.
We need to adopt an optimistic attitude and love what we do, to ensure that our heads are always held high.
Thank you ECU for allowing us the opportunity to have this experience. Thank you to our lecturers and all the resourceful people in the university who have helped our academic challenges and made life simpler in ECU. Thank you to our family and friends for always being persistent and close enough during our academic journey.
Graduates, please feel confident enough to walk into an interview knowing you will get that job because you are qualified for the job.
Congratulations to my fellow graduates – we have completed our journey! All the best in your future endeavors.