MOVING away from home can be a daunting experience.
Natasya Azad Azharazad, 23, has never spent a day away from her family. Understandably, when the Johorean enrolled in Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, she took at least a month to settle in.
The International Business graduate was among 1,100 graduates who recently received their scrolls from the varsity’s founder and president Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing.
Looking back at how far she’s come, Natasya’s proud and thankful.
“It was tough at first. I kept wanting to go home but then I made new friends.
“Many students here come from different countries and are away from their families, too, so we connected and became each other’s family,” she said.
International business wasn’t a course of her choice but Natasya did it because it was important for her to help grow the family’s food and beverage business.
“I wanted to do photography and travel the world. “I did this course to support my family but over time, I became interested in it.”
For now, Natasya wants to take some time off for herself before joining the family business.
Being the varsity’s student ambassador meant she was actively involved in various events, besides focusing on her studies.
Prioritising what’s important is key, said the eldest of three siblings.
“Complete your assignments first.
“Manage your time well so that you can do other things, too.
“Now is the time to enjoy your student life. I will miss being a part of an international environment; it taught me to respect others’ beliefs and cultures,” she said.
Nadia Shalini, a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design graduate, said people often think of fashion designing as a course that only involves drawing.
“People think you’re having fun but they don’t see the sleepless nights.
“One challenge for me was to learn how to cope with the limited hours in a day.
“There’s always a lot to do. So to achieve the best outcome, drawing up a timetable and learning time management is important,” said the 27-year-old.
Grateful for her lecturers, Nadia described them as “awesome”.
“Throughout my studies, any time I faced difficulties, I’d go to my lecturers.
“They’re always available even if it’s midnight!”
Fashion designing has been a dream for the Johorean, who was inspired to enter the field at the age of 13.
“I gained good fashion exposure at Limkokwing University especially when I participated in London Fashion Week and was a part of the production and backstage team.
“It exposed me to the industry and showed me how a fashion show works on a real runway and how you have to be alert all the time because everything’s about the timing,” said Nadia, the second of three siblings.
Charlotte Ardelle Felix, 23, also commended her lecturers, saying she formed friendships with many of them during her time as a student in the varsity.“They really put in the effort to make sure we not only understand what we’re doing, but that we drive ourselves to do better.
“Whenever we face problems, especially academically, we could always either contact them or meet them at their faculties,” said the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication graduate.
Advising her juniors, Charlotte said advance planning and preparing is important.
“Trust your gut and things will work out,” she added.
Addressing the graduates, Lim wished them the best for their future and thanked them for making the varsity a part of their journey.
He paid tribute to the graduates’ parents, calling them true heroes.
“You will never know how much they have sacrificed to see you graduate today, how far they have gone just to keep you close, and how much it really means for them to see you graduate,” he added.
The ceremony also saw Star Media Group adviser Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai being conferred an honorary doctorate in leadership from the university.
The doctorate recognises Wong’s significant contributions of over three decades to the country’s media.
National Professors Council president and chief executive officer Prof Datuk Dr Raduan Che Rose, who read out Wong’s citation, said he is a strong advocate of moderation and positive values for a well-balanced and sustainable society.“(For) his outstanding achievements in journalism, lifelong advocacy for moderation and transparency, and exemplary corporate excellence, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology is honoured to bestow upon Wong the honorary doctorate in leadership. Congratulations from all of us,” he said.
In his acceptance speech, Wong said passion and dedication to the profession had helped him to excel in the job.
“Opportunities will come when you have the drive and ambition to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal,” he said.
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