Life experience opens way to success

Law graduate Lewis Glover presented the graduation speech on Thursday, July 30.

Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice graduate Lewis Glover presented the student speech at last Thursday’s graduate ceremony for Griffith criminology, law and education students. Lewis’s heartfelt words no doubt struck a chord with his fellow graudands as they prepare to enter the next stage of their lives.

Good morning Chancellor, Academic Provost, Griffith University staff, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and last, but by no means least, my fellow graduates.

I will try and keep this brief. The last thing any of you want is a Halle Berry-esque speech that gets me played off stage. After all, I’m sure there are cold beers and cocktails waiting for you all. Now, I must admit, I was very surprised when I was asked to deliver the valedictorian speech, and quite frankly my first thought was “great, another piece of work. Weren’t the 150 other pieces of assessment over the past 5 and a half years enough!?” But honestly, it is a great honour to have been asked to do this, but since this is my first speech of this magnitude, I thought it best to start with a quote from someone far more qualified.
Oscar Wilde once said, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing, can be taught”.

I think that is very applicable to all of us sitting here today. We have all finished learning from textbooks, academic journals, professors, and Wikipedia, the foundations of knowledge that we need to begin a career in our chosen discipline. However, everything we need to learn to be successful can only be gained through our own experiences, triumphs, and failures. Today marks the end of one small chapter of our lives, and the beginning of many more different chapters.

For example, I don’t think it is acceptable to turn up at work hungover from a pub crawl. Or maybe you’ll get a cool boss. If so, congratulations! Never. Leave. that job.

Standing here today is quite surreal. Studying at Griffith has been the major component of my life for the past five and a half years, and all of a sudden it is over. It hasn’t quite sunk in for me yet, and I am sure that many of you are feeling the same way. Some of you will be excited to leave and start your careers, others will be nervous, scared even, at the prospects of having to navigate interviews and assessment centres to get that graduate job. Some of you will be disheartened at being rejected from positions — I know I was. It was soul destroying opening rejection letter, after rejection letter from judges for a position as their associate.

But… without these rejections, I would not have looked further afield and found my job in Budapest. Sometimes what at first appears to be a defeat is in fact a victory. I urge all of you still looking for your dream job to remain patient and to not settle for something you’ll hate. After all, if you love your work, you will never work a day in your life.

I believe that it is important to acknowledge the work of others in our achievements. None of us would graduating today without our own various support network of parents, family, friends, partners, and significant others. Personally, I would like to thank my parents and grandparents who are here today. Without their support and sacrifice, I would not have accomplished half of what I have been able to. So mum, dad, nanna, and Don, thank you for everything you have done for me. Words do not express how grateful I am, especially for the free rent and Foxtel all these years. I know I am not the only student who owes much to those who have come to share this day with them. So on behalf of the students, I would like to extend sincere thanks and gratitude to all of the guests here today.

I also offer thanks on behalf of the student body to all the academics and administrative staff who have helped us throughout our time at Griffith. These staff members have responded to cries of help during times of assessment and enrolment crisis, including many from myself. Their knowledge, experiences, and advice has been fundamental to us all reaching this point.

I would also like to thank the staff of the Griffith Honours College on behalf its graduating students. I have been fortunate enough to be guided and supported by the dedicated staff throughout my time here, and I am sure the other members of the College share my sentiments. So thankyou to Jeanne, Kim, Nadia, Fabi, and Aileen, for everything you have done for this cohort of the Griffith Honours College. Your guidance and advice has been invaluable to our development as young leaders.

Finally, I want to remind you all that success is not instantaneous, and it is not measured by the zeros in your bank account. As Winston Churchill said: “Success is stumbling from failure to failure, with no loss of enthusiasm”. Don’t chase a job just for the paycheque, because after all…. “Mo Money, Mo Problems”. Congratulations to all my fellow graduates, and best of luck in the future.
“Chancellor, I am pleased to present to you, a donation to support the Student’s Future Fund from the class of 2015. We hope this will benefit future students in need at Griffith University.”
Thank you.