Students set to embark on life after university

'I couldn't sleep last night'

SOPHIE SPEER
Last updated 05:00 14/12/2012

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Wearing caps, gowns and beaming smiles, graduates from Victoria University marched down Lambton Quay at lunch time yesterday.

More than 1100 students from seven faculties celebrated the end of their studies - and the beginning of their working lives - in three graduation ceremonies held over two days. About 900 took part in a march from the Law School buildings to Civic Square.

The graduates were greeted at Civic Square by Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

The nights of swot, the essays, the experiments and the lectures were over, but the knowledge they had gained would be used in industries in Wellington and throughout the world, Ms Wade-Brown said.

"Whether you come back or whether you disperse yourselves around the world to share your knowledge, I want you to be our ambassadors for the city."

A total of 1166 qualifications, including 57 PhDs, were awarded in the three ceremonies held at the Michael Fowler Centre on Wednesday night, yesterday afternoon and last night.

STUDENTS TO EMBARK ON LIFE AFTER UNI

Nirmala Potluri and Nirmala Parvathaneni were so excited to see their first grandchild graduate, they travelled from India to share in the historic event.

Kausalya Potluri graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Victoria University yesterday.

Her two grandmothers, grandfather, parents and sister all attended the ceremony.

The 22-year-old said she had been looking forward to graduating. "I couldn't sleep last night. I was quite excited and I woke up at 5.30am without an alarm."

The family moved to New Zealand from southern India a decade ago, leaving her grandparents behind.

Miss Potluri's father studied at university in India, but was not involved in a graduation, so this was the first one for her family, and she had been receiving special treatment from her family leading up to the day.

"If dad tries to tell me off, my grandmother says, ‘What are you talking about, she's a graduate'."

Miss Potluri's degree included humanities papers in Spanish and German, complementing her major in international business.

She also completed the Victoria International Leadership Programme, which saw her mentoring refugees from Somalia, and started an Indian club at the university.

Miss Potluri intends to return to Victoria University next year to complete an honours degree in international business and hopes for a career in international project management.

"Initially I'd like to stay here but I'd also like to travel a lot as well."

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- The Dominion Post

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