A total of 2,379 students received their scrolls during Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s (Utar) 20th convocation ceremony held on its campus in Kampar over the weekend.
Utar president Prof Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik advised students to embrace struggles and adversities as they are important parts of any growth experience.
“If we go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.
“We would not be as strong as what we could have been. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly and gives you stronger wings to soar to greater heights,” he said.
Adding that the world is often unpredictable, Dr Chuah said to pursue a dream requires remarkable courage, because the road to success is full of twists and turns, ups and downs.
“There may be tough times out there, but remember, as Jack Ma, a successful Chinese entrepreneur, said, ‘Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine’,” he said.
Having lost her father in a tragic accident when she was 11, it was C. Anisha Joanne’s dream to help her family escape from poverty by studying hard.
And it was a day before her 23rd birthday she obtained a Bachelor of Social Science in Psychology degree with distinction.
“Coming from a family of five then, my father was a van driver while my mother was a homemaker.
“Losing my father changed all our lives, including our financial status, as we were pushed further into poverty.
“I made a promise to myself to study hard, so that one day I can earn a better living to support my mother,” she said after receiving her scroll from former MCA secretary-general and university council member Tan Sri Dr Ting Chew Peh at the Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik hall.
Anisha said her mother started a cake business and worked hard to put her through university with her twin brother and 27-year-old brother.
“I had enrolled into Foundation in Science at first, but shortly after, I discovered that I did not like it.
“I took up Foundation in Arts instead, and soon discovered that I wanted to major in Psychology.
“I love probing the human mind, discovering how humans think and what the human mind is capable of,” she said.
Anisha added that her next step after graduation is to start applying for scholarships to further her studies in the United Kingdom to achieve her ambition of being a psychologist one day.
“I am extremely thankful for my mother, for without her sacrifice, I would not be where I am today,” she said.
Holding the same degree as her was Pang Hong Jie, 23, who said he had taken psychology initially because of the influence from his peers.
“Eventually, I started loving what I was studying. It is fascinating to learn why humans have different kinds of reactions to many things, and there is so much more to study because there are always new breakthroughs,” he said, adding that the passion to learn about humans was important when it comes to studying psychology.
Having secured a job in human resources back in his hometown, the Johor-born lad said he hoped to continue to do his master’s after a few years of saving up.
Undergraduate Cheah Yuen Yuen, 24, who was conferred the Bachelor of Communication in Journalism with merit, said time management and being a good team player are important for a student’s success.
“In our journalism course, which is assignment-based, sometimes things can be hectic when we are given three assignments in a week with the same deadline.
“We needed to work well as a group so each could do their part in contributing to the assignment. There was once that I had worked on an assignment until 6am, and I still needed to rush to campus to hand it in by 9am. It was a nightmare, but after putting in so much effort, it is very satisfying knowing that your hard work has paid off,” she said.
Cheah is currently employed as an analyst at Reuters, and looks up to American journalist and CNN news’ primary anchor Anderson Cooper.
Bachelor of Business Administration graduate E. Rajeswary, 24, said she was over the moon knowing that she has finally graduated from university.
“However, real life starts here as there is so much more in store for us out there.
“I have completed internships before, and this enables me to prepare for the challenges faced in working life better,” she said.
Although she had only completed her studies last October, Rajeswary said she was employed at a bank a month after.
Undergraduate student Yip Kah Mun, 24, who now holds a Bachelor in Business Administration with merit, said she hoped she has made her parents proud with her achievement.
“I have been giving myself lots of pressure during my studies, because I did not want to let them down.
“As much as studying is important, there is no harm in taking breaks too when necessary.
“There is no use in overworking yourself, and giving yourself a break helps to refresh the mind,” she said, adding that she is currently applying to work at banks in Kuala Lumpur.
Utar council chairman Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik opened the convocation ceremony.
Present as guest-of-honours for all four sessions during the two-day ceremony were Women, Family and Community Development deputy minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, state executive councillor Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, Utar Education Foundation Board of Trustees chairman Tan Sri Dr Sak Cheng Lum, and The Edge Media Group chief executive officer Ho Kay Tat.