Rachel Tan - “A Motivator for My PhD Journey: Attending the Graduation Day”


Rachel Tan

Rachel is a PhD candidate at the Higher Education Development Centre, University of Otago. She likes to meet people and is a big fan of nature and photography.

The Graduation Day at the University of Otago is an eventful day filled with three main events; a brunch, a procession and a ceremony. Although it was not my graduation yet, I was pleased to attend the August Graduation Day with my friends. For me, it was not only to congratulate our friend’s success but it was a sociable and inspirational gathering.

We were there to congratulate Alfie, or to be precise Dr Althea Blakey, on her graduation. For some of us, PhD candidates, it was an inspiration to see our fellow ‘comrade’ who had made it to the finishing line. Alfie is certainly a positive role model. She managed to complete her thesis while juggling between work and family. Alfie, and many other PhD graduands proved that perseveration would bring us light at the end of our PhD tunnel.


The graduation’s brunch session allowed us to mix and mingle. Held at the Central Library, guests were invited to attend the meaningful day and congratulate the success of graduands. The session provided guests with hot drinks and cold juices, and also a selection of various tasty finger food served by a number of friendly waiters and waitresses. We enjoyed the food while mingling with our professors, lecturers and peers. Dressed in their regalia, I had the opportunity to take a picture with my supervisors, Prof Tony Harland and Dr Ben Daniel.