HELP University celebrated its 30th convocation last weekend with 1,147 graduates receiving their scrolls.
GRADUATION is a special day most university students anticipate throughout their entire higher education journey.
For Hwu Ning, 24, it was an extraordinary day as she was not only the valedictorian but also the recipient of the Tan Sri Datuk Paduka Dr Hajjah Saleha Outstanding Achievement Award.
The Bachelor of Psychology student, who graduated with first class honours, was the only graduate to be presented with this prestigious award.
It is given to only one student who has excellent academic achievements, shown outstanding leadership qualities, and contributed to the extra-curricular activities of the university.
The high achiever who founded the university’s first hiking club, said she enjoyed her time spent as a student despite it being tough as she had to manage her time well to juggle assignments and extra curricular activities.
In her speech as valedictorian, Hwu advised students to believe in what they pursue and also themselves.
“It is about being honest and sincere with yourself and in what you want to do,” advised the bespectacled lass who wants to do more in raising awareness on mental health as well as continuing with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology.
Hwu was one of the 1,147 graduates who received their scrolls at the institution’s 30th convocation held in Shangri-la Hotel, Kuala Lumpur last weekend.
Bachelor of Early Childhood Education graduate Rachel Tee Shao Yen, 24, was pleasantly surprised to have been selected as one of the 11 President Award recipients.
The prestigious award means she not only excelled in her academic studies but also her leadership skills.
Describing her educational journey in HELP as a “roller-coaster ride”, the elated graduate said the experience was stressful but fun.
“I’ve developed my self confidence. I was never the top student back in secondary school, coming here has deepened my passion and made me realise I really enjoyed what I did here,” she said, stressing that Early Childhood Education is a tough course.
“But as the old saying goes, work doesn’t feel like work if it is something that you like. You will definitely give your best,” said Tee who plans to further her studies in counselling for family and children.
Ooi Wei Lin, who graduated with a degree in Psychology, is another high achiever who received the President Award.
The first class honours student said family members, helpful lecturers and friends were her recipe to success.
“Each of them has touched my life and impacted me in many good ways. I’ve learnt from them and have grown emotionally and psychologically,” said Ooi who is currently working with her alma matter as a graduate tutor.
She advised all to be kind as well as to believe in themselves.
“During hard times, it is important not to beat yourself up too much and to persevere on,” said the graduate who wants to be a speech therapist in the future.
Meanwhile, HELP University also conferred Emeritus Prof Clifford Douglas Blake with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Economics for his significant contributions to the varsity over the last two decades.
Prior to his current position as HELP University’s Academic Advisory Council chairman, Prof Blake was Adelaide University vice-chancellor as well as the founding vice-chancellor of Charles Sturt University in Australia - HELP University’s partner institution.
Among the fruitful collaborations forged by Prof Blake between Charles Sturt and HELP was the pioneering of various innovative business models and academic programmes, including the Business Administration in IT and Business 3+0 programmes — which has attracted large numbers of students.
Prof Blake expressed his gratitude and appreciation on the conferment, saying he was honoured to be one of HELP University’s “graduates”.
HELP University chancellor Datuk Paul Leong Khee Seong congratulated the graduates on their achievements.
Leong said the strong academic and character education provided would help guide its graduates to “think logically and act responsively”, helping them to pave the path to achieve material, social, intellectual and spiritual wealth in their careers.
He advised graduates to put their knowledge, skills and experience to good use by doing something good to benefit the society at large.
Vice-chancellor and president Prof Datuk Dr Paul Chan congratulated graduates on their “first class work”.
“At HELP, a solid education for our students is more than facts and figures, methods and measures. It is about nurturing boldness in their search for insights that give them principles and purpose,” he said.
He added education is a life-long path and advised graduates to be clear in their journey through life.
“The most important project in life is how to live it and how to manage it successfully.
“We must know what our moral challenges are and how to think through them,” he said, noting that it is important to have personal vision plans and milestones as well as adopt good values like integrity, honesty and more.
Prof Chan added the young need to have a mindset that is agile, adaptive, internally-driven and externally-open.
In conjunction with its convocation, the HELP University 21st Annual Convocation Strategy Seminar was also held.
With the theme “The Analytics Organisation: Challenges and Directions”, the one-day seminar held last Saturday focused on the critical challenges and opportunities facing corporations in adopting analytics as a strategic tool.
Prominent leaders in their respective fields were invited to share their views and thoughts about education and data analytics as panelists at the “invitation only” event that was divided into four different panel sessions, revolving around topics like Building the Analytics Capability Map; The Future of Business Analytics Landscape; and Insights from Analytics Driven Organisations.
Prof Chan noted that data analytics was chosen as the focus of the seminar as it is relevant to the digital changes currently happening in all industries worldwide.
“The focus is on corporate transformation to become an analytics competitor because today, data is a strategic asset,” he said in his opening remarks.
During his keynote address titled “The Digital Economy: How To Get There”, Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Data Economy Division director Dr Karl Ng Kah Hou spoke about how organisations can leverage on data analytics as well as the key drivers that drive Big Data disruptions in organisations.
He also noted that HELP University is the first institution in Malaysia that has a comprehensive structured framework to become a data driven organisation.
“HELP is also the first university here that is making data analytics a compulsory certificate course for all degrees,” he said.
JRB Capital Australia deputy group managing partner Dr Anand Mahadevan, who obtained his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, spoke about “Industry 4.0 - A World View”.
“Industry 4.0 is important and exciting. It is the assimilation of the physical world that we live in and the digital world we created - this is the first time we are able to marry both worlds.
“Every person, company, country will be touched by Industry 4.0 in some shape or form whether you like it or not,” said Dr Anand, noting that education is not exempted from Industry 4.0.
Other prominent speakers of the seminar included SAS Institute Centre of Excellence’s Advanced Analytics Practice Lead Dr Mark Chia, Beijing Jiaotong University Assoc Prof Dr Che Xiaoping, Scott Schwab from the Analytics Institute in US, and many more.
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