Prof. Dr. Edward Roy Krishnan #eiuparis ; Class of 2023; Graduation speech – 18 March 2023 – KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, it is my pleasure to stand before you today on this special occasion, the EIU-Paris convocation event organized by Mapletree Academy. I want to begin by expressing my gratitude to Ms Priya Ramar, the Chairperson, and Dr Kumaresan, the Managing Director, for putting together such a brilliant event to celebrate the professional and academic achievements of our graduands.
But I must confess that I have a problem. You see, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. And that’s a problem because it means we may not be fully present for each other. We may pretend to listen while our minds wander elsewhere. So let’s bridge that gap by starting with a smile. Turn to the person next to you and give them the biggest smile you’ve ever given in your entire life. It costs nothing, but it is more powerful than electricity. It has the power to connect people.
Now, I want to talk about two types of people you may encounter in your life. The first group dominates conversations and talks a lot about themselves, their achievements, and their worth. They have a sense of insecurity that drives them to prove their value to others. They talk and talk because they feel the need to prove a point. The second group is different. They are listeners who are keen to hear about others, their experiences, and their achievements. They are thoughtful, attentive, and empathic. They leave positive, lasting impressions on those they listen to.
Which group do you belong to? Take a moment to reflect on this. For me, since a young age, I’ve been more interested in others, in understanding them, in getting an insight into their lives, and in hearing their ideas. Similarly, at EIU-Paris, we focus on listening to others and providing for their unique learning and growth needs. This is how we forge meaningful relationships with our students and other stakeholders.
And it is these relationships that matter most in life. When everything is said and done, it’s the relationships we build over time that truly matter. The phenomenal growth, progress, and achievements of EIU-Paris, such as QS star ratings, accreditation renewal, and world ranking, are all due to the kind of genuine relationships we’ve built with all stakeholders.
So my message to each graduand here today is this: consider belonging to the second group of people, the listeners who focus on genuine and meaningful relationship building. Be yourself, continue learning, and continue growing, not to impress others, but to experience genuine personal and professional growth. In so doing, you will forge truly deeper and more meaningful relationships with your family, friends, colleagues, and others.
Thank you, and congratulations to all our graduands!