Graduation!

I’ve finally finished, 6 years of study and I now have a Bachelor of Science (Communication and Information Technology) and a Bachelor of Science (Library Technology). I’ve finally got around to uploading some photos from the prize giving ceremony and the graduation on the 26th of March. I was the student selected to speak on behalf of the students in my Faculty (Communications, Health and Science). So I’ve now spoken in front of 2500 people at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre.
 
I had to process onto stage, and sit in the front row under lights in all that black regalia for 2 1/2 hours! I did however get a prime seat for the jazz trio who did the musical interlude. They were all class! Of course iin typical Melissa style I managed to knock over my complimentary water bottle over and it rolled so I couldn’t reach it! Never mind!
 
For those of you interested I’ve included my speech below:
Chancellor, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, fellow graduates. Welcome to this special night for all of us. This is an evening to celebrate our achievements, reflect on what our time at Edith Cowan University meant for us, and look to the future.
Reflecting on my time at ECU, I had drilled into me that gaining a parchment was not the be all and end all of an ECU graduate. I myself experienced this as my four year course turned into six when my skills gained me a full time job. At ECU we were instilled with graduate attributes linked to ECU’s themes of Service, Professionalism and Enterprise throughout every unit. In my six years at ECU I’ve seen some excellent examples of these attributes in action.
One of my fellow students epitomized service by kindly rescuing me from a sticky situation. In the week before my final year IT project was due, my computer’s monitor died… as you may have guessed, a working computer is a vital element to completing an IT project. Thankfully my community-minded friend in Computer Science had a spare monitor lying around, as you do, and came to my rescue!
As I progressed throughout my study at ECU, I could not help but notice the real-world professionalism of my fellow students when it came to choosing project group members, head-hunting, I believe it is called. Truth be known, this is simply a euphemism for sneaking around sussing out your classmates’ course average, work ethics and most crucial, the ability to meet all day, type up documents all night, whilst keeping up with work in 3 or so other subjects.
As an employer who has had to deal with staff selection matters, in fact a whole locker full (did I mention I was a records manager?), I can safely say that when it comes to staff selection they will be well prepared.
Enterprise is defined as a purposeful or industrious undertaking (especially one that requires effort or boldness). I found enterprise a little harder to master, though perhaps handing an assignment direct to the course co ordinator when assignment box overflowed early on a Monday morning would qualify?
 
One of my fellow students is perhaps a better example of ECU’s themes though. He runs a successful small business assisting non-profit community groups gain grants for their IT requirements, and then installs and configures their systems. Supporting the group with their IT needs helps them concentrate on their core role in our community. This is just the sort of professional, service-oriented enterprise ECU would encourage.
Meeting people like this is just one of the many benefits of our time at ECU, and we are all grateful to those people in our lives that made it possible for us to complete our university education.
On behalf of my fellow students, I would like to thank our family, friends and employers, who endured our assignment-related insomnia, patiently rearranged schedules to cope with our changing tutorial times, exams which require 72 hours of solid study and desks covered with paperwork, books and computers that were never switched off.
Thank you to our lecturers and tutors who assisted us in the learning process and not only encouraged us to complete our assessments on time, but also inspired us with their enthusiasm for their area of study.
Thank you also to the administrative staff who good-naturedly dealt with our every enquiry, and in many cases helped us meet the paperwork deadlines to ensure we made it to graduation, to take another step into our future.
Our future will see us go into a wide variety of professions, continue our education, change our jobs and quite possibly return to ECU. According to the Graduate Destinations Survey, within four months, 80% of us will be in full time work and one-fifth of us will continue our education with further study. For some of us, our time at ECU has been the foundation on which we will build our career, for others here tonight their study has been part of a career change giving a new lease on their working life, for others their study is their career; their way of contributing to the development of new knowledge in our society.
Whatever our reasons behind studying, however long it has taken us, the truth of the matter is that we are all here tonight to celebrate that our hard work has paid off and we are ready to take the next step in our journey. Let us step out boldly, armed with our newly acquired knowledge, service ethic, professionalism and enterprise.
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One Response to Graduation!

  1. CJ says:

    What a great speech Mel!!!! (I couldn\’t resist reading it from start to finish – grin).
     
    Well done! 
     
    I for one have enjoyed working with you at ECU!!!!  🙂  you\’ve set a great example to students of all ages, especially with your enthusiam for anything you approach, don\’t ever loose that enthusiasm and positive attitude !
     

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