Driven by goal to succeed

Proud moment: Arivananthan flanked by his father K. Kanakasundar, 58, and mother Prema Subramaniam, 53, after the convocation ceremony at Management and Science University, Shah Alam. — Bernama

SHAH ALAM: Family hardship and parental encouragement inspired a young man to graduate with a Master’s degree in Food Service Technology and scoop the President’s Award at the 30th Convocation of Management and Science University (MSU).

Arivananthan Kanakasundar, 29, said that even though the torments of hardship often tested his family, he turned the travails of life into momentum for knowledge and changed their fate of a destitute life.

The son of a truck driver believes that education can change a person’s future.

“My father had no easy life, our family faced many difficulties in life, and that inspired me to slog it out in my studies. I also believe that education is the key to bringing the family out of the cocoon of poverty.

“I am grateful to have a family that saw the importance of education in life. When I wanted to pursue studies first, my mother and father did not object but supported my desire even though they were aware of the additional burdens and demands made on them,” said Arivananthan after the convocation at Section 13 here on Saturday.

He told Bernama his parents never saw hardship as a reason not to provide the best education for him and his siblings.

Arivananthan, who is working as an administrative and diplomatic officer (PTD) in the Prime Minister’s Department, also intends to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the field of health sciences at the same university.

However, the eldest of three brothers wants to focus first on his PTD career before continuing his studies.

In the meantime, he has this advice to students who are struggling with difficult times: work hard.

“However difficult it may be, work hard, don’t give up and always try hard,” he said.

The 30th MSU Convocation took place over the weekend, and 2,373 graduates from 117 study programmes received their scrolls.

A total of 19 graduates will receive PhDs, Master’s degrees (35), bachelor’s degrees (1,580) and diplomas (739).

The convocation was presided over by MSU Chancellor Raja Muda of Kedah Tengku Sarafudin Badlishah alongside MSU president Prof Tan Sri Dr Mohd Shukri Ab Yajid and MSU vice-chancellor Prof Puan Sri Dr Junainah Abd Hamid.

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