Graduation 2016: Words of wisdom from guest speaker Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, National List MP
For many students, it's that time of the year where they will reflect back on the countless sessions of study, lectures and exam preparation that brought them to this point in life – graduation.
It's an exciting moment, for not just the graduand, but also for proud family members and faculty staff alike. The ceremony, held on September 19 at the Bruce Mason Centre, welcomed 357 new graduates – almost 100 more than last year!
Among the usual formalities, the audience was fortunate enough to hear the words of guest speaker Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, a National List MP with positions on both commerce and law and order committees. Although he spoke to students directly, his speech drew on parents, families and staff to include them in his well wishes and advice.
One of the main points that Mr Bakshi made was about the network of support that each student had behind them during their studies.
"It was very important, the support of your family and friends during this journey. It was important because they supported you in every manner," he explained. "From now onwards, that time has come for repaying back that support – for your family, and your friends."
Mr Bakshi compared graduating to opening a new door in life. He gently reminded each graduand that responsibility would be placed on their shoulders, and that moving forward, it was due to the support of family and friends that had allowed this opportunity of success and achievement.
"In the past years, you were well-advised by teachers and parents. Now that you are in that situation, you will have to make your own decisions." Mr Bakshi highlighted the difference between being a student and a graduate, bringing awareness that the future of these academics was in their own hands now.
These actions will be a representation of each graduate's family, but also their country. He drew attention to the diverse ethnicity that makes up the student body of Auckland Institute of Studies, representing over 30 countries.
Not only that, but Mr Bakshi also believes that each graduate represents New Zealand. "You are the ambassadors," he affirmed, and went on to give his simple, yet effective outlook on the future:
"What are you passionate about? Your passion will drive you to succeed."
After completing up to three years of intense study and training, it is a reminder that every student can take on board. Mr Bakshi reiterated that it was passion which brought him to New Zealand to live, despite having visited multiple other continents. He views New Zealand as one of those countries where students have access to the best education.
Drawing to a conclusion, Mr Bakshi once again touched on the influence that family, friends and colleagues have on our lives, far beyond that of study.
"We have developed relationships with not only our countrymen, but also with other students from different parts of the world. That will give you an opportunity to do business, to do some kind of job, and you can rely on your friends and colleagues with whom you have spent time. These are the things you need to understand that will make your life successful, not just you, but your family, and this country, and your home country, too."
On a leaving note, Mr Bakshi stated simply, "there is no shortcut." He attributed success to passion, hard work, and a strong support network of family, friends, fellow students and lastly, AIS management and faculty staff.
It is due to their part that this year's 300 plus graduates have been well looked after – congratulations!