(This article was published in The Star Newspaper on 28 May 2017)
FROM an early age, Victoriya Titova knew she had a knack for the creative field.
With a background in fine arts, Titova is not letting uncertainty of the future stop her from pursuing her dream of becoming the best in the field someday.
She was one of 208 students who graduated at IACT College’s convocation last weekend.
Titova, 21, was the valedictorian of the graduating class, and won several awards, including the University of Gloucestershire Award for Best in Graphic Design, as well as the Silverlake Sprints Sdn Bhd Award.
“Uncertainty means we can create almost anything we envision. It creates room for creativity and imagination.
“We’ll never know the exact outcome of our decisions until we make them, and that is where all the excitement, anticipation, anxiety and sometimes, humour lies,” said Titova who was born in Uzbekistan, but moved to Malaysia when she was just six years old.
The optimistic graduate encouraged everyone to embrace uncertainty and let go of questions and fear, after thanking her mother and lecturers for the support and guidance during her time at the institution.
“Go with the flow. Choose what you want to do, not what others want. You will discover amazing things when you do that,” she said.
Titova, who paints in her spare time, will be starting her degree in advertising in September.
The STAA Travel Award for Best in Print Journalism recipient Mark Mabel, 21, said she was overwhelmed with emotion to be graduating with her peers, some of whom have become her very good friends.
The mass communication diploma holder, said graduation is the first step into adulthood and that she is excited to take a step forward in her life.
“It is time to gain new experiences and knowledge after a really good journey in a fun and helpful environment,” she said.
Mabel, who has already started a full time job in a marketing agency, commended the institution for not limiting students’ ideas, but allowing them to flow freely.
“Be yourself and be proud of who you are,” she said.
Fellow graduates and award recipients Mohamad Fawwaz Zaharuddin Fikri, 25, and Aaron Kumar Isaac, 21, both agreed with Mabel.
“Graduation is the next step of our lives. Its like I’m a baby bird about to fly, ” said Mohamad Fawwaz, a broadcasting student who won the RMIT University Award for Best in Film Direction.
He thanked his family and friends who “saw me through it all” and advised students to “do what you love, but don’t go at it alone”.
He is now working as a full-time marketing agent for a travel agency and plans to set up an advertising firm after gaining work experience.
Meanwhile, Aaron Kumar, the recipient of the Bit Forge Award for Best in Integrated Marketing Strategy, said graduation is a stepping stone for him to pursue his future.
“This convocation is a reminder to me that if I can get through my diploma I can get through what ever challenges I face in the future,” said the advertising diploma holder.
Aaron Kumar is planning to continue his studies by pursuing a double degree in marketing and law this September.
IACT College chief operating officer Lawrence Chan congratulated the students on their “big day”.
“I am awed and humbled by the transformation of all of you growing from freshmen, into creative and well-equipped graduates,” he said.
He advised the graduates to have the courage to step out of their comfort zones, as well as not to be afraid to make mistakes as they are great learning opportunities.
“Stop worrying about what others think about you, because what really matters is what you feel about yourself.
“So all of you should start to go, do, create, excel, live, laugh, love, fly, soar, and succeed,” said Chan.
IACT College executive chairman Raja Singham Sukumara Singham shared Chan’s sentiments saying: “Failure is all part of the learning journey.”
“We should never stop progressing as the world is changing at a very fast pace.
“There is an ever-growing need for everybody to reinvent and upskill themselves starting now, to constantly be relevant,” he said.
He stressed that people should always do their best in whatever they set out to achieve.
“Choose something you are passionate about. When you do, you will never have to work a day in your life,” he added.
BFM presenter and producer Freda Liu who was present at the event, shared her journey of becoming successful in her career.
She advised graduates to never stop learning, as well as to lead a balanced lifestyle.