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Master of Science, Electrical Engineering

Good morning, esteemed faculty on the stage, graduates, undergraduates, parents, relatives and everyone else!

Right now, fellow graduates, you're literally surrounded by your community. Up in those bleachers are our parents, spouses, children, grandparents and friends.

First of all, congratulations to the UT Dallas Class of 2016! I am extremely happy and thankful to have this opportunity to stand here on behalf of all of you and talk about the journey for the last two to four years for us.

I am Akshatha, and I come from India. I came here to UTD in August 2014 to pursue my dreams of getting a master’s degree. I was one among the 30 percent of international students accepted by UTD. I am glad to have been accepted by such a great school. I thought it was going to be a long journey. But now, when I look back, it seems like yesterday that I was going through my applications, with an apprehension of acceptance and then flying all the way to join this institution. In the beginning, it was all new and euphoria — a thousand miles away from home to a whole new world, a new country, different food habits, different culture, different teaching style, different people. I wondered: How would I survive? The reality sank in with our coursework. Thanks to the Department of Electrical Engineering and its courses, there was no time at all to stand and stare. By the time I understood what a Gaussian distribution curve is, a year had gone by and I had made new friends and acquaintances. A new family was created here. Thank you, UTD, for accepting us and making us special.

Being a master’s student in electrical engineering was not easy! I am sure most of you would agree. Those core courses, projects, assignments, submission deadlines, exams, grades, internships, searching for full-time jobs, all those sleepless nights — it definitely wasn’t easy! We have endured, and the result was fruitful. It might not have gotten us the grades or jobs that we wanted, but we have learned from it and it has definitely given us memories for a lifetime. Will I miss it? Yes, certainly I will, but I am also glad that it is over.

Now that we are here, I want to quote a saying in Sanskrit, “Acharya Devo Bhava,” meaning a teacher imparting knowledge to a student is considered equivalent to god and given high respect. Therefore, I take this opportunity to thank all our professors for inspiring us, teaching us, bearing with us and making us better people. I thank everyone’s families on behalf of all of us for their love and support. I want to thank all those friends for just being there when needed. I thank everyone for making this whole journey a memorable one.

"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."

Now the time has come for us to go our separate ways, which brings melancholy. But, there is no other choice. It is like a train journey wherein you make friends during the journey. When your station arrives, you get down and move on. Today, each of us is heading off toward somewhere. I am glad I got this opportunity to tell you that I hope you will get there soon.

So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable. Every failed experiment is one step closer to success. So, friends, do not lose hope or courage. Keep moving ahead. If today is not your day, tomorrow it will be.

From tomorrow onward, all these things are in the past, a sweet memory to cherish, a pleasant dream to uplift our spirits, a joy forever and a beautiful time in our lives. Let us carry this memory with us in our walk that is awaiting us.

I wish you all good luck for your future and a happy life ahead. It was great knowing all of you.

Thank you!

Akshatha Bhat graduated with a Master of Science in electrical engineering. After graduation, she plans to work in the field of radio-frequency engineering.

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