Rafiat Oluwatosin Omisore: I Hope to Continue Being a Good Ambassador and Advocate for this Great Citadel of Learning | 2021 Commencement
2021-06-07 16:55:13
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The following is the speech delivered by International graduate Rafiat Oluwatosin OMISORE at PHBS 2021 commencement: 

Esteemed professors and fellow students, it is a great honour standing here before you to speak today; and at the same time, it is a great responsibility.
As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”. It is obvious that we must work hard to make our living world.
A wise man also stated that education is the first step to gaining knowledge, critical thinking, empowerment, and skills needed to make the world a better place. Hence, we should learn as if we were going to live forever. It is important to seize the day, but it is also important to make time to go deeper and broader in our learning.
Today marks an important day in our lives — yet, it is a beginning of another journey. Getting to this point is an important achievement in itself, which I am pretty sure makes us glad. Looking back to 2/3 years when it began, we all had hopes and aspirations. The journey might have been tough, but we were able to drive competencies —passion, commitment, tenacity, and open minds— to learn. Indeed, it’s been educative and amazing and those qualities got us here today!
Please excuse me while I give a brief introduction to myself. I had a Baccalaureate in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2014. My desire for business and entrepreneurship led me to applying to study International Economics at this great Institution. But this has been an additional and difficult task to study with other family responsibilities. I have to strike a balance between being a wife, a mother, and catching up with early morning classes, and studying hard late in the night. In reality, it hasn't been a smooth ride: I was nursing an infant while carrying the pregnancy of my new toddler and running the comprehensive syllabus of International Economics in PHBS. I need to learn to prioritize my tasks while keeping the big picture in mind. During this time, my watchword has been, “There is gain behind every effort”. At the end, it is a wonderful and rewarding experience with success-after-success for me indeed! Today, I am very glad for been able to face those challenges and triumph.
Since my arrival at the Business School in August 2019, it has been like a second home to me. I was captivated by the willingness of every Member of Staff in PHBS to assist. I found the professors always trying to make the best version of ourselves out. In fact, this went as much as having contemporary chats during lecture rest breaks; as instance of Professor Jake Zhao who would move around to interact with students about movies, games, and favorites foods. One enjoys. All these had always eased the academic tension we were into while studying the courses. To be honest, I look forward for those moments to unwind. My thesis advisor, Professor Young Park, was a strong pillar of strength and support for a timely completion of this program. He so much time with me brainstorming about my paper and ended all sessions with saying “Thank You Rafiat”. Rather I‘m the grateful one today for having your mentorship.
I'll miss all of the wonderful experiences I've had at PHBS, but as the saying goes, "the cure for boredom is curiosity, and since there is no cure for curiosity," we must seek a higher purpose in life. As I have passed through the school system and the school system has passed through me, I hope to continue been a good ambassador and advocate for this great citadel of learning. To all Staff of the International Office, I won’t be able to mention you all but you were amazing sources of supports. In addition, my classmates (2019 Econs) and friends have been extremely helpful throughout this brief journey. I cannot imagine my studies without your inputs, 谢谢你们.
Please excuse me while I give a brief introduction to myself. I joined my husband in Shenzhen since 2016 and we have been residing here since then. Amazing people are everywhere and Shenzhen is not an exception. As a busy cosmopolitan city with pacey metropolitan society —where everyone is very mindful of time— I have realized we must adhere to the opening-up policies being posed to us by the city. Undeniably, this will enhance the attractiveness of bringing competitiveness that we could from here serve the globe. At large, I admire many magnificent aspects of China, including security, high-standard and low-cost of living.

Just a few words of advice to my fellow graduates: “If you plan for a year, sow rice; if you plan for a decade, plant trees; and if you plan for a lifetime, educate yourself and those around you.” Our training cycle at PHBS is only the beginning; it only provided us with a platform to face real-life challenges and how we can rise to the occasion to solve them. As you progress in life, keep in mind that there will be setbacks; how you handle them will make all the difference. I wish you all good luck, but as we all know, if you are unlucky, make your own luck by looking for problems around you and solving them with your knowledge. The entire PHBS environment had not only inspired and challenged us to strive for excellence on a daily basis, but they had reshaped us into our better selves. Now, it is our turn to go into the world, it is waiting for us, pursue it and leave a mark.
To live fulfilled lives in this newly emerging world and remain an architect of the future, we need to know ourselves. As Peter F. Drucker, an Economist and great management thinker, demonstrated that we are moving from a more protective and cosy employee society towards a more challenging and demanding entrepreneurial society. I understood this as we must have an entrepreneurial spirit that drives societal impacts. To conclude, I will leave you with a quote from —Henry Peter Brougham. “Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive: easy to govern, but impossible to enslave”. With a grateful heart, I say, “Thank you, Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS).
By the way, If you're wondering who I am, my name is Rafiat Omisore, class of 2019 Economics.
Thank you all…