November 2016

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Looking back to three years ago, I clearly recall the anticipation of starting the journey towards a degree. Then the signal for the commencement of the procession of graduands was upon me! That first step into SPEC, the sea of guests, the music, and the nerves – three years of work had concluded with Graduation day 2016.

At the end of my final semester in May, I was so anxious to graduate with First Class Honours, knowing that this was a culmination of three years of intensive work. However, when I was nominated for the valedictorian this was just “icing on the cake” as I was honoured, nervous and excited. Many thanks to The University of the West Indies for having given me this amazing opportunity which continues to replay in my head.

Being from a humble upbringing by a truck driver and housewife, and the youngest of three children, I never fathomed becoming the person I have become today.

As any young child, disappointment filled my heart, but my mom told me “everything happens for a reason – you will be the best anywhere you go.” Indeed, I saw truth to my mother’s words when I moved on to Barataria South Secondary where I obtained second placement in the Caribbean for CAPE Unit 1 Accounting in 2013. It’s not about where you are placed, but what you make of any opportunity that presents itself. I knew what I wanted and I worked very hard to achieve it. It is with these words and the never-ending sacrifices of my parents that I have reached this point in my life. From exemplifying my parents’ impeccable work ethic and persistence together with their guidance, commitment, tolerance and love for me, this graduation day was molded into a reality. I am truly indebted to my parents – Deodath and Satie Malloo – and can only hope, one day, to be able to play this role to their grandchildren.

I am grateful to Bhagwan, for the strength, courage and guidance for me to reach this point. To the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, thank you for facilitating the GATE Programme. Gratitude must be extended to the lecturers and tutors of The UWI, St Augustine for being such dedicated educators and mentors. For all the persons who made a true difference in my life, I say thank you.

I once dreamt of being a teacher but my pleasure is now almost indescribable now that I am an auditor at Ernst and Young Services Ltd. I can say that my life path has taken a different route. Sometimes, we set goals for ourselves, but the finish line may move. It is important to keep your eye on the prize and keep striving for that finish line. Today I cannot foresee what my future will hold; my life has had a lot of turns but the most important life lesson I take is the need for dedication and persistence which I take from my parents.

Currently, I am studying for ACCA with my first two exams in December and enjoying every bit that the auditing world has to offer. As I said to the audience on Graduation day: “Never settle for less than you deserve but, while doing this, continue to stay humble, keep your eyes on the future, assist others where you can and be selfless in all your actions.” Today, I say no matter our age or status, we can all live by these words. Humility is important; never forget those who helped you or where you came from and never leave a fellow person behind. If we do this, we can improve ourselves, our families, our country, and the region at large.