Dr Ooi Lai Yee, 38, is one of 21 Doctor of Education graduates from the 2021 cohort. A chief academic officer at a local private academy, Dr Ooi has graciously shared a few words of wisdom with us. Read on to find out more about how she feels about her graduation.

“The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Graduating from OUM, I feel a wave of feelings, mainly a wonderful sense of success and contentment.

Obtaining education in our various disciplines was by no means a simple task for any learner. I believe that other OUM graduates and I have put in a lot of effort while juggling with other commitments such as work, family, and friends. All of us would have faced our own personal struggles to achieve a sense of balance in our lives in pretext to complete our degrees, and finally graduate.

I applaud OUM for providing such a flexible lifelong learning platform for learners of all ages, different socioeconomic backgrounds, and educational levels to complete their higher education journeys at their own pace. For many learners, including myself, this innovative method of self-paced learning was a godsend opportunity.

I faced several obstacles completing my academics during this journey. Due to my hectic job schedule, there were instances when I only had a few days to complete my tasks and couldn’t find the time or energy to begin them. Many sleepless nights were unavoidable, especially when it came to examinations. Countless numbers of revision and submission for the dissertation made me question my own academic and intellectual capabilities. Nevertheless, it was a journey of self-awareness and progressive knowledge.

All of this pushed me to the point where my anxiety overwhelmed me.

On a personal note, I would like to thank my family members who have been my pillar of support. My dad, Mr Ooi Ah Lee, always believed in my abilities and encouraged me. Thank you, dad. My mother, Mrs Chok Seow Bin, was my source of inspiration. My elder brother, Mr Ooi Chee Hoe, took care of my parents while I was studying. I dedicate this success to my family with deep gratitude.

As graduates, we are now all equipped with academic credentials as well as a priceless experience that has enhanced us. Every end is a fresh beginning in life. I’m convinced that we will keep going, as if we are on an unending ladder to never-before-attained heights. I humbly seek you to check that you are on the ladder that you truly want to be on. It’s important to remember that this is your life and your journey.

To my fellow friends, let us not rest on our laurels; instead, let us continue to learn, progress, and reach new heights.