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My Master Graduation Speech

I am so blessed that I was chosen to represent the MICM class of 2008 to give a speech on the graduation ceremony, on the 15th of September 2009.

Here it is:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Guests, Friends, Family and members of the Faculty, Good Afternoon.

This morning when I was going through my speech, my boyfriend said that I should read my speech like Obama. I don't think I can, because it is my first time to give a speech in front on this big audience.

It was actually a couple of weeks ago that Ms Maggie O'Neill asked me to represent the MICM Students class of 2008 to say a few words about our experience of studying here at the Hague University. Without a moment's hesitation I said yes straightaway. Even though at that time I had not yet found out the result of my communication advice report; neither had I done my presentation.

Interestingly, Maggie didn't accept my answer; she wanted me to think about it for another day or two. Maybe, it was another way of telling me "are you really sure that you are going to graduate? how confident are you about your report?"

It worked, tho, Maggie! After the meeting with you, I went to recheck my report; and I then immediately prepared my presentation.
(pause)
I believe you can relate to what I have just shared with you. Reports, assignments, and presentations. These three things have become parts of our life in this one year. The pressure to get things done. The rush to meet the deadlines. Waking up early in the morning to go to school, in spite of the weather. Also the crazy atmosphere when the deadline was approaching. At least, this was what I witnessed when I was still living in that red building.

However, these are not the only things that I will remember about MICM. Here, I also witnessed happiness, fun, and joy in this year. Although class A, B and C barely spent time together, we all had fun! In class A, for instance, we were invited by our dearest friend, here, Florence to visit her house and enjoy her delicious African dishes. I heard from some friends in class B, that they also had a good time in Texel, where the Indonesians unexpectedly had to cycle for miles and miles. But I heard it was great fun!

The most remarkable moment for some people, and especially for me, was the Heineken experience. It was when all the boundaries collided. It felt like all the stress, exhaustion, and tiredness after several sleepless nights were gone and were replaced by laughter, fun, and craziness.

And finally we are here today, graduating!

If only I could describe in words what we feel and experience today. This is definitely one remarkable period in our lives that will always be remembered.

I always believe that nothing worth having comes easy. And it is true. This piece of paper does not come easy. The combination of hard work, determination, and dedication that we have invested can make us confident to stand here today and graduate together.

(pause)

Ladies and gentlemen, as you may have seen in this room, we are students from many races and nationalities. Most of us that are sitting here today are international students. We have come all the way to Holland to pursue this diploma that we are holding right now. And, if I can be honest with you, in this school we do not only gain knowledge and learn new skills; we have also found a new family, especially for those of us that have come from other countries. We are here like brothers and sisters.

Last week after the presentation, I overheard what Froukje was saying to Reynaldo. She was offering to help him, and said “please tell me what I can do for you. Let me know. Okay?” It’s just a short, yet powerful statement that made me think that our relationship in this school has grown, from classmates or schoolmates, to family.

(pause)

Dear fellow MICM friends class 2008, this is our moment of affirmation......
In this year we have learned so many communication theories and how they can bring benefits to our “clients”. We have written thousands of words of reports. The presentation is now a piece of cake for us. So what’s next?
Yes, this is our moment of affirmation. I believe graduation is not an end, it is a beginning. It is a beginning of our new journey. It is the beginning for us where we pursue our dream and make it come true. And if you don’t have any dreams yet, this is the time for us to dream, to dream the impossible dream.

Therefore I would like to congratulate and thank you all for a wonderful year. Thank you for all the support, friendship, and happiness that we have shared. I wish you all the best. Our parents, spouses, siblings, and all our loved ones that are either witnessing our graduation today or have merely heard the good news of our graduation must be very happy and proud of what we have achieved.

To our friends, boy- or girlfriends, families, spouses, and siblings. There is no words that could express how thankful we are that we have you in our lives. Thank you for your support, encouragement, prayer and understanding in this last year.

(pause)

On behalf of the MICM students class 2008, I would like to thank all the clients that have supported us throughout this year. Thank you very much. I personally would like to say thank you to my supervisors and colleagues from Nuffic that have guided me throughout this year, and who have given of their time to be here. Thank you very much.

And finally,
on behalf of the MICM students class 2008, I would like to thank all the teachers and staff of MICM the Hague University. Thank you for what you have done for us: for your time, energy, patience, sleepless nights – and other sacrifices that you had to make in order to make us stand proudly and graduate today. Our deepest apologies for the things we have said or done that were not very nice and that upset you. We are sorry if despite our maturity and age, we were sometime just naughty students.
Once again, thank you very much for everything.
I also wish to say thank you to all of the teachers and staff of MICM, who have made this day possible for all of us.

I would like to close this, by reading my favorite quote from Emmerson: To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

Thus, believe in yourself and pursue your dream.

Thank you.

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