Professor Aline Wong, Chancellor, Singapore University of Social Sciences;
Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President, Singapore University of Social Sciences;
Ladies and gentlemen.
1. It is an honour and a great pleasure to join all of you at the Convocation Session for the School of Science and Technology.
2. I would like to start off by congratulating the Singapore University of Social Sciences, or SUSS on its transition to Singapore’s sixth autonomous university. The renaming of the university will reflect the university’s mission of driving lifelong learning anchored in disciplines with a strong social focus.
3. My heartiest congratulation goes to the class of 2017! Today marks a significant milestone in the lives of all graduating students. It marks a new chapter and a new beginning.
4. I would like all graduating students to take this moment to applaud yourselves for this accomplishment, and the pride and joy you bring to your parents and family. It is also a fitting opportunity for you to appreciate the support that they have given you over the years, as well as the support from faculty members, fellow students, and friends.
Technology as an enabler
5. As we progress to the future economy, our job scopes may evolve increasingly as the reliance on technology for repetitive and manual work grows.
6. It is crucial for you as fresh graduates to inculcate the right mentality to embrace technological advancement and also to anticipate unprecedented and disruptive changes that you may face in your respective industries. Let me share with you some examples of how technology has been an enabler in my industry, the construction sector.
7. The Building Information Modelling, or BIM, has provided the sector with new solutions and methods for designing, constructing and operating buildings with its ability to virtually prototype, refine and improve the building before committing to the actual construction.
8. The use of prefabricated, prefinished volumetric construction, or PPVC, has enabled us to construct buildings like a manufacturing process, one with greater efficiency, less waste and improved safety. There are even trials in 3D printing and robotics in construction as part of the fourth industrial revolution.
9. These are new and emerging trends that are evolving and moving forward, they present opportunities for the future generation to break the traditional ways of doing things.
Spirit of Learning
10. Today, as you graduate from SUSS. I hope you will continue to cultivate the school’s core values. These are values that would enhance your career and skills in the long run. I will elaborate on three of these core values.
11. The first is to cultivate the spirit of learning. Technology is evolving at breakneck speed and it is crucial that we remain relevant through continuous learning, using technology to our advantage. In your respective jobs, continue to hone your skills and adopt a growth mindset to maintain your competitive edge.
Innovation for Excellence
12. Second, I would like to share on innovation driving improvements in workplace excellence. In today’s context, creative problem solving skills are highly valued and sought after in any organisation. These skills translate into coming up with innovative solutions or identifying fresh perspectives to improve work processes in an increasingly challenging environment.
13. As you progress in your career, I hope you will build up your capacity and channel your creativity to proactively “think of out the box” to generate new and productive solutions for your company.
14. And finally, on Teamwork. I believe you have learned the significance of teamwork through the many group projects you have had. Individually, you have your unique strengths. However, every organisation would still rely on good teams and effective teamwork to drive the organisation toward success.
15. As potential future leaders in your respective industries, I hope you will be reminded that leadership is about getting diverse people to work together, turning conflicts into complements and expanding individual strengths for collective excellence.
16. Effective teamwork and collaboration will facilitate the completion of tasks and provide new ideas or solutions that an individual may never have considered. Teamwork will also cultivate in you interpersonal skills as you learn the art of communication and critical thinking to resolve issues collectively.
17. You are the future generation that will shape the society of Singapore. I hope you will demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning, with initiative to go the extra mile and the adaptability towards unexpected circumstances.
18. I would like to encourage all of you to pursue your passion, keep abreast of the changes and sustain your intellectual curiosity, and most importantly, prevail against the odds.
19. On this note, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours. Thank you.