Did you miss the Student´s Address on graduation ceremony?

Posted on 2018-01-05 10:31:31 EET.

Student address delivered by Lukumanu Iddrisu on the occasion of December, 2017 Graduation held at Festival Hall, VAMK.

Rector, Members of the academic and professional staff, the general staff of VAMK, Honourable guests, Parents and most importantly fellow graduates from the Schools of Business, Engineering and Health Care & Social Sciences.

Today is a moment of great achievement and a profound time of change and possibility and giving a speech on this occasion is an opportunity and an important responsibility.  I am neither a gifted speaker nor a professional speaker; however, thanks to the rigorous teaching and learning style of VAMK which enables each and every student to be able to present or speak to the public with ease. Although the level of nervousness differs considerably.

We graduates gathered here have attended this University of Applied Sciences for three, four or may be five years (maximum; I guess) and having completed one of our life missions here; we have to be proud of our achievements in the journey we have made to be here. For our passion, commitment, diligence, and relentlessness has made it possible for us to be part of the people celebrated today.

As we are in a joyous mood graduating today, it seems like the time has just flown by. However, I believe as we leave the walls of this school; our minds will still keep highlights of the events, trials and feelings.

On 27th May, 2014, my family and I received one of the happiest news when I received an email from Juha Vierola (Admission Coordinator) which reads "I am happy to inform you that you have been admitted to our degree programme in International Business." Upon sharing the news with my mum, she proclaimed “Thank God, our prayers has been answered. Go and make us proud”. I believe today mum is proud having one of her sons being part of graduates in this gathering and even prouder as I deliver a speech on this significant occasion. On a peripheral note, my mum and dad never schooled. My late dad was a butcher and my mum – a food vendor. Although they never had the opportunity to step in a classroom, they strived hard to do whatever it takes to give their children not just education but the best of education. I say today that am lucky and feels privileged to be educated.

Back to the substantive issue, I realized this golden opportunity by following the due process to travel to Finland. Going through the windy autumn, the cold snowy winter, and the wetly spring to attend lectures, work on endless assignments, and reading lots of course materials and books, participating in group discussions, meeting deadlines and preparing for exams has taught me that – studying in Finland and most especially at VAMK is a complete learning curve and I am proud to say I made the right choice coming here. The unique teaching and learning methods coupled with the practical approach to theories make students easily understand a subject matter, creates a feel of working-life and makes the study a world class standard. VAMK’s collaboration with corporate bodies to grant trainee positions and their commitment to paying partly for the internships that students undertake during their time of study shows how it seeks to help equip the students with practical knowledge. All this cannot be said without crediting Finland or the Finnish government. I came here as a student of free tuition. This was made possible for me and many other international students. I want to use this opportunity to show my appreciation to all people of Finland and the Finnish government that have made it possible for many to get an education without paying for tuition. Although, it is rather unfortunate that free tuition as we know is no more for international students in the university level aside from those in Europe, we are still hopeful that new schemes will emerge to bring it back.

A special mention to our lecturers who have patiently imparted us with great deal of knowledge to enhance our career and future. Their doors were always opened to solve students’ pressing concerns. They responded swiftly to our calls, texts and emails even on odd days or at odd hours. In essence, they regard us as family. Having said that, I would like to express a great deal of gratitude to our parents and families; many of whom have joined us here and cheering for us. Their contributions to our individual successes cannot be described.

I would to seize this platform to make an important plea to Finnish employers. This issue matters to most foreign graduates here. After having an excellent education here most foreigners have the zeal of pursuing their career paths in this great country. Therefore, when we knock on your doors as International Business students, please respond to us. I appeal to hirers to give us the benefit of the doubt, the opportunity, and trust for us to realise our career goals and to add to the success of your various industries and contribute to society – for this will increase the positive perception of the practicality in equality in job seeking opportunity in Finland.

I would like to share some positive thoughts for us to take home although I am not a high profile personality nor succeeded in my career goals yet:

Firstly, acquiring knowledge does not end after graduation. This is where life actually begins. Furthermore, it is imperative to note that knowledge is not limited to only academic books. As Prophet Muhammad said “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave”. With this wise saying, I would like to encourage not only myself and fellow graduates but all gathered here and the rest of world to continue to learn from everything we come across in our daily lives. With this, we would not only educate our head and hand but our heart which will in turn better humanity and enhance its coexistence.

Additionally, let us share our knowledge. For what is the point of being excellent at what you do without sharing it? And to this I say, knowledge is like happiness, it does not decrease when shared but the more it is shared the more it increases. Sharing our knowledge with our peers or people who may cross our paths will enlighten them, make them happy and make us proud and in turn increase our experience.

In conclusion, as we hold tight this testamur which serves as a certification in our various qualifications, let see it as a gateway not only to good life but to change the world.

Therefore, I would like to urge fellow graduates from the school of business including myself to use the acquired knowledge to champion new ideas to add to strategic business decisions to better industries and create more value for the society. To the engineering graduates, I believe your skills will contribute to innovation to better our world as this era has ever-changing demands. Finally, graduates of Health Care & Social Sciences; I hope your specialty will help solve our constant health needs.

Once again, congratulations to all graduates and thanks to all for coming. Onnea!


Lukumanu Iddrisu.