Joel Tay

B.S. in International Business Studies


Good afternoon everybody.

It is my pleasure and a great honour to be up here, representing the graduating cohort of the undergraduate program. Please allow me a few minutes to say some words on behalf of the cohort.

Time flies by so quickly doesn't it? It seemed just like yesterday that I was writing papers for my capstone class in the study room and then running down to the second floor to grab a can of coffee right before class.

I have fond memories of my student life, and I'm sure many of us share similar experiences. I recall messaging my friends on Facebook at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, asking them something along the lines of, "Hey, how many pages you got already?" or "Hey, how many Power Point slides you got?" The strict policy regarding deadlines in TUJ sure struck terror in our hearts, didn't it? Of course, I have to give coffee and red bull some credit too for powering us through those gruelling all-nighters.

I believe that most of us are either doing job hunting now, or have already received an offer. For myself, I am doing the former. Now a question I usually get when filling in those job applications is; "What makes you different from graduates from other schools?" which basically translates to, "What is your value proposition?"

Now the first time I tried to answer the question, I wanted to talk about how the TUJ experience is a unique and international one, an experience that provides a quality American education in Japan.

Feeling somewhat unsatisfied with my initial answer, I sat down and thought about it further. I thought about what differentiates us from the other universities in Japan. And I settled on this one factor which I'm sure we all are familiar with; our size. We know that TUJ is a small school, and many of us have wished that we had a bigger campus and student population. However, in retrospect, I am pretty thankful for this. Why?

It is because of our small size, that we have been able to see each other more often and to bond closely with one another. It is because class sizes are small that we've been able to approach and interact with the professors more often. I recall pestering my professors before and after classes and bombarding with questions. They were always very patient and I am very thankful for that.

It's because we are small that we have been encouraged to participate more in class, to raise our hands more often, to make more embarrassing mistakes, and to learn more. And of course, it's because class sizes are small that it's challenging to fall asleep in class because the professors can spot you pretty easily.

Now you may be wondering, how does this affect me or all of us? Well, I believe that the environment at TUJ has instilled in us a shared culture. A culture that makes us value questioning and of challenging ourselves. A culture that allows us to not be afraid of making mistakes and encourages critical thinking and learning.

Even as we leave our college life behind, we will be carrying these values throughout our professional lives as well. This culture is our brand, the TUJ brand that will prove us to be valuable individuals, individuals that strive to succeed and outperform any expectations placed upon us.

In my case, it has helped me during my finance internship, where my constant questioning and willingness to learn were appreciated by the staff and allowed me to get the most out of those six months in the office.

Today marks the end of our college life and the beginning of a new chapter. Many opportunities and challenges lie ahead of us and we will face both success and failure. Whichever it is, I believe that the shared values and experiences gained during our time at TUJ will allow us to take it all in our stride and shine through in the end.

So for the rest of the afternoon, let us get together once again and look back on the times we spent together during those four years and enjoy ourselves for tomorrow. We are no longer college students, but proud Temple graduates. Congratulations and I wish everyone the best of luck in your future endeavours. Thank you.


理学士 国際ビジネス学科専攻