A story of triumph

Fond farewell: Poh (centre) with her students.Fond farewell: Poh (centre) with her students.

IN 2020, the world scrambled as Covid-19 swept in. My first advertising cohort, fresh-faced freshmen, found themselves thrust into a virtual classroom.

These students, who graduated on May 26, had demonstrated extraordinary resilience, adaptability and determination. Their story is not just a milestone in their lives, but also a highlight in my career as an educator.

As I reflect on the remarkable journey of my first batch of students who began their studies entirely online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude and deep emotion.

When the pandemic struck, the world was thrust into a whirlwind of uncertainty.

For my students and me, this meant transitioning to a fully virtual learning environment. We faced countless challenges, from technical difficulties to the lack of in-person interaction, which is so crucial in the educational experience.

Yet, these students rose to the occasion, embracing the virtual environment with a tenacity that inspired me every day.

Despite the physical distance that separated us, we forged a connection that felt as strong and enduring as any face-to-face interaction.

It was during these uncertain times that my students became my anchor, providing me with the motivation to persevere and strive to be the best educator I could be.

This unique graduation story is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit. It exemplifies how Gen Z, often misunderstood, can be as strong as older generations. In projects and campaigns, they encountered hurdles and obstacles, yet they never gave up. They soared through challenges and continued to learn, collaborate and excel, even when circumstances were far from ideal.

Their resilience is a testament to their character, showing that they possess the same strength and fortitude as those who came before them. Their journey from the pandemic to the post-pandemic world instilled in them a unique set of experiences and lessons that will remain with them for life.

I hope that they go forth into society with courage, determination, love, honour, integrity, professionalism, empathy, compassion, and common sense. There is hope in Malaysia, there is hope in our future generation, and there is hope in the power of education to transform lives.

As I bid farewell to this extraordinary group of students, I am filled with optimism for the future. Their journey is a shining example of what can be achieved through resilience, determination and the unwavering support of a strong educational community.

In closing, I am reminded of a quote from a beloved children’s picture book that has always brought me calmness and assurance. To my dear students, Chong Zi Xuan, Chow Zi Xuan, Kuah Hui En, Lee Xin Yong, Liew Boon Fei, Lok San Nee, Low Xin Yin, Low Sue Qi, Mah Kah Mun, Tan Ann Chee, Tan Kah Ling, Tan Sze Ni, Vennesa, Victor and Wong Huang Qing: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!


Lecturer and programme leader

Bachelor of Communication (Hons) in Advertising

Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology

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