Written by Scott
What a fantastic night!
There aren't a lot of words to describe the feeling on Thursday night on the way home. The best I could summarise it as on Instagram was honoured. Not only to have been nominated and awarded the school of Engineering, Design and Construction's Vocational Student of the Year, but to also have received the overall Melbourne Polytechnic Vocational Student of the Year. There was a great field of school winners in both Vocational and Higher Education, and my congratulations goes out to all of them. The interviews we saw on the second night all highlighted their efforts that earned them their awards and I look forward to seeing the video interviews of the other recipients soon.
In the end there were only three of us from the Advanced Diploma at the graduation. Andreana, Lauren and myself. Callum from our Diploma group in 2016 was also there to graduate, and my long time friend Georgina from my University days was also graduating from her Advanced Diploma in Building Design. In the end Andreana and I both had the same thought that we knew more staff than students at the event with the work we do within the institute.
The night wasn't without its hiccups. We'd been instructed on the procedure during the rehearsal for receiving our graduation letters (in our case we got letters as we'd already received our certificates in the mail). There was a bit of a slow burn getting into the rhythm of the process before it became a smooth flow, at one point it actually went the opposite way and resulted in a backlog of graduands waiting to cross the stage. A bit of an error, but nothing that couldn't be resolved with a moment of respite to allow them to flow through before continuing.
There was a mistake with the Student of the Year awards. Though I admit it was one that wasn't really picked up on fully at first. When I received the school award (the non-overall one) I remember looking at it thinking that it probably should have listed the school somewhere on the award as it only had "Outstanding Student of the Year". Uh-oh. I thought to myself. Was this a mistake? When the announcement was made for the overall vocational student of the year I handed the first award to Lauren and made my way to the stage to collect the award and that was the one that had Engineering, Design and Construction written on it. Lauren even asked me when I got back to my seat what the second award had written on it as her and Andreana had also picked up on the wording. So while I didn't know for certain I had a strong feeling the mistake had been made. But that didn't make the overall announcement any less nerve racking as my heart rate reading from my fitbit will tell you...
Other than that though the event went well, it was well organised (as I knew it would be having spent the last month and a bit working with the Marketing team who were organising it even though they wouldn't tell me anything because I was graduating) and though it started a bit later than planned the only other major fault was venue based. As the caterers seemed unaware of the contents of the food (nuts, gluten, and the like) and didn't have a lot of variation.
At the end of the night I attempted to find as many of the other award winners as possible to congratulate them all, there was a lot of people around so it was very difficult to find everyone. I caught up with Georgina after the ceremony, Mark and Chiara (G's sister) had been sitting with mum and dad so finding them was relatively easy. Frank and Joanna (who initially nominated me for the school of EDC award) also found us in the crowd. I believe we were just outside where they were gowned so it probably wasn't hard for them to find us. We made our way downstairs and had an offer for a couple of photos to be taken by Phil (another colleague who was taking photos for the institute of the whole event) with mum and dad in front of an MP banner and the CityWatch representative (the award sponsor for this year) congratulated me again. At that stage we started hearing an announcement that the venue was closing (though it wasn't in the end and I would have liked to stay a bit longer) so we started making our way out, on our way mum was handed a bouquet of flowers by Frances Coppolillo (the CE of the institute) who congratulated both her and dad. That was a special moment to top off a special night.
That's all for this post, until next time!