NEW graduates should never stop learning, says Eco World Foundation Trustee Philip Matthews.
Matthews said there will be many new challenges in life and they should always learn something from these experiences.
“Go forward and never stop learning, no matter where you are, what you do, and how you are challenged, never forget that.
“We do many things and take on new challenges at various points in our lives. We learn something new and then we become better than before,” he said.
“If we make it a point to keep alive the drive to consistently improve and learn, there will be many more happy ‘graduation’ throughout our lives,” Matthews said.
“Every time we grow from one stage to another, we are richer with another new life experience and lessons learnt,” he added.
He said this during the second session of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s (Utar) 22nd convocation ceremony at the Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik Hall here on Saturday.
Some 2,470 graduates received their scrolls over three days starting last Friday.
The university has now produced over 43,000 graduates since 2005.
Matthews also urged graduates to never compromise in their pursuit for excellence.
“Pursue it relentlessly and always aim to do the best, to be the best you can.
“If you need a role model, look no further than Utar Council Chairman Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, who has always been pursuing and rewarding excellence,” he said.
“As then deputy information minister in the 1980s, he mooted the idea of launching a scheme to encourage professional journalists to strive for excellence,” he added.
Matthews also urged graduates to have a sense of compassion.
“Never forget to be compassionate and learn to use your knowledge to help others.
“Aim to be someone who is not only successful in life but also compassionate,” he said.
“People need to know they can count on you and put their trust in you,” he added.
On the last day of the convocation ceremony on Sunday, undergraduate R. Priyadharishiny was conferred the Bachelor of Arts in English Education.
The 21-year-old, who was the only student in her batch to graduate with distinction, said she plans to pursue her master’s and ultimately, her doctorate it is her dream to become an English lecturer one day.
“I realise that the issue of decreased English proficiency among youths in the country has long been discussed, and I want to do something about it.
“I think schools and universities are also in need of capable educators in the language. I hope to do my best in teaching students when the time comes,” she said after receiving her scroll from Utar Council Member Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn on Sunday.
To increase her mastery of the English language, Priyadharishiny was an active participant in forums and debates organised by the university.
Another outstanding student in her batch, Bachelor of Engineering in Petrochemical Engineering graduate Tay Yi Hui, 25, was also the only student in her batch to graduate with distinction.
Tay, who once dreamed of being involved in the oil and gas industry, said she had to change her plans after finishing her studies in light of the unexpected prolonged period of low oil prices.
“Thankfully, in my field of studies, what I learned is also related to polymer engineering, so I am able to expand my career options,” she said, adding that she is currently working as a research and development engineer at Top Glove Sdn Bhd.
A firm believer in consistent effort, Tay said she was never the kind who did last-minute studying, and she says this is the reason she was able to achieve first-class honours.
“It’s always better to hit the library and look for revision books, because relying on lecturers isn’t enough,” she said.
Tay, who was also active in co-curricular activities during her time as a student, also advised her juniors to divide their time wisely.
“I always make it a point to finish my tutorial work first before doing everything else,” she said.