The 22-year-old Sean Pemberton, graduated as valedictorian of the University of Guyana this year and completed his first degree – a four-year program – in three years. He studied economics and is among 3,000 students graduating this year.
To achieve this, Pemberton had to double the course and this made his journey more challenging. In an interview with Newsroom, he talked about his victory.
“I am ecstatic and I am shocked and not shocked at the same time but I am relieved that I am graduating and I have a degree now and I am also the valedictorian, even though this isn’t the end of the journey, I am very happy [about] this accomplishment.”
“In doubling up [of courses], I would have faced clashes and a plethora of assignments and then there are these six-hour exams but, I made it.”
Speaking further, the young graduate said he hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Economics and would like to see Guyana develop to the benefit of all.
“I would like to see my country develop; I would like to see my country having a situation of inclusive development where every single citizen is able to benefit from the development in this country.”
“In doing economics, there are many branches; there is development economics, transport economics, labour all of which our country has a need for.”
Before joining the university in 2019, he is a former student of Queen’s College and has always excelled in academics.
“At the university, I started in 2019, that is pre-pandemic period so I did most of my classes on campus and being a new university student, fresh out of high school, it was a bit challenging.”
Also, getting an education during the pandemic was very difficult and the young man praised the university for its quick adaptation. Pemberton continued in his graduation speech over the weekend,
“Today, I stand before you, not only as valedictorian but as a maker of history, for this is perhaps the first time ever that a valedictorian has been named from the Department of Economics.”
Business leaders, policy makers and university officials were urged to offer more job opportunities, internships and scholarships to UG graduates.
“Too often new graduates run into the brick wall that I call graduates’ dilemma. To get a job [that] commensurate with your education requires experience, but you cannot get that experience without first getting such a job. How are our new graduates expected to proceed under such circumstances?.”