Insight: Graduation – the beginning or an end?

By Alex Goh

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to do a shoot for a group of friends. The occasion: they recently graduated and wanted some pictures to remember their university days by. At the same time, it is a final gathering before most of them step into the working world. And through this momentous photo shoot, I have picked up a new definition of convocation for myself.

This group of fresh graduates will be joined by thousands of their peers, as they embark on a new chapter of their lives. They will be leaving behind books and the sheltered student life, as they try hard to adapt to the real world out there, even labeled ‘fearsome’ by some.


One last joyous gathering before their undergraduate days end.


Wei Zhen (first from right), a soon to be OBS instructor, on his thoughts about convocation: “Mixed feelings. Happy that I’ve completed my education. Sad that I’ve got to leave school and meeting up with friends will be harder due to our different job schedules.”


For many, it’s a time for self reflection and direction setting.


Ruyan (fourth from left) on the reason she chose her job in the civil sector: “I'm not someone who is after profits and numbers, so the private sector doesn't really appeal to me. I hope to see the value in my work, so working in the civil sector and being of service to people and the community seems like an ideal job.”


Untung on the reason he chose his job as an engineer for Shimano in the private sector:  As an avid cyclist, Shimano is a brand I’ve known ever since young. It is a privilege of mine to be able to join the leading bicycle component company in the world. I would like to be able to improve the quality of riding a bicycle from a cycling enthusiast’s point of view.


Although they will be going into different professions, the friendship forged will be kept alive with constant online updates from each other and occasional gatherings.


Convocation. It’s the closing of a chapter, beginning of another.

I’ve never given much thought to convocation, viewing it just as any other ceremony, a part and parcel of university life. After all, I’m still a couple of years away from mine. However, this group of fresh graduates has given to me great insights on the importance of looking forward.

Convocation to them is more than just a ceremony. It’s the closing of a chapter in life, beginning of another. For undergraduates out there, it’s never too early to start thinking about the path to take after your university days.

About the Photographer: Alex’s passion for photography started since his army days. He picked up his first DSLR then and has never looked back since. He now shoots weddings, events, people and travel.  Said Alex: “Through my pictures, I aim to recreate the scene just as how I saw it, allowing others to live through my photography. I love to see people smile, and eventually I’ll like for my viewers to smile when they look through my photos.” For viewing of his portfolio, do drop him an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Related link: Insight: Classroom Cambodia


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