System Dynamics
Master's Graduation Ceremony

Jefferson Rajah gives graduation speech at SV Graduation Ceremony 2022

Jefferson, who completed his master's degree in System Dynamics, delivered his speech at the Social Sciences Master's Graduation Ceremony in Håkons Hall on 10 June 2022.

Student Speaker MA Graduation Ceremony 2023
Jefferson Rajah presenting his speech at Håkons Hall.
Thor Brødreskift

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Student Speaker

Jefferson Rajah, from Singapore, completed his master's degree in system dynamics at the University of Bergen. For his master's thesis, he worked with clients from ProsFit Technologies and Toyota Mobility Foundation to model the dynamics of the health and prosthetics care system for major lower-limb amputees, and investigate high-leverage intervention points for maximising mobility and socio-economic outcomes. While in the programme, he also served as a teaching assistant for several courses in system dynamics.

Speech Transcript

Faculty members, honoured guests, and fellow graduates, for celebrating this momentous occasion with us today, tusen takk! And that’s all the Norwegian you will hear from me. 

It is my honour to speak on behalf of the graduating class of 2022, as we reflect on our journey over the last two years and appreciate those who have guided us along the way.

I think we can rightfully say that no other cohort has been challenged the way we have. We started our respective master programme at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the entire world was on lockdown. Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, I was able to complete my first semester within the confines of my home back in Singapore. It seemed like as though we were all thrown into the deep-end of navigating the online classroom, which was challenging in many ways; but frankly it was worth it just to see some of the more senior professors struggle to get zoom to work. 

On a more serious note, we have to acknowledge the university and faculty members for making it work and trying their best to give us a good learning experience. Specifically, I would like to thank the members of the System Dynamics Group: Professors Birgit Kopainsky, Erling Moxnes, and Pål Davidsen, as well as our advisor Anne-Katherine for all their hard work.

By the second semester, thankfully most of us internationals were allowed to enter the country. After 20 hours on mostly empty flights, I arrived in beautiful Bergen in early January 2021, and the last year and a half since then has simply been marvellous.

I remember standing in the centre looking up towards Fløyen, and getting a flashback to when I first visited this place as a tourist many years ago: I was at the very spot thinking to myself that “I could live here someday” and here I am now. Peak manifestation. I remember this, because I was very basic and wrote exactly that as a caption on my Instagram story. Of course, at that time, the weather was great and there wasn’t a single drop of that Bergen rain that we have now very unwillingly become accustomed to. (Unamused face).

Apart from the rain, I can truly say that I have fallen in love with everything Bergen has to offer: hiking beautiful mountains, drinking overpriced alcohol, and occasionally both at the same time. What else did I miss? Oh right, day-drinking on 17th of May! But more importantly, this place has given us the various meaningful connections we’ve made along the way. Many of us have found friendships that you just know are going to last a lifetime. And some of us even found love – not me though, I’m still very single. But I have indeed met some truly amazing friends here. Shout out to Christina Gkini, Anaely Aguiar, Kathelijne Bax, Martin Grimeland, Marieke van Keeken, Victor Larsson, and many more. Thank you for making Bergen a home away from home.

As we close our final chapter of our master’s programme and recover from the trauma of writing a thesis, I wish every single one of you all the best in your future endeavours. Whether you decide to continue your education with a PhD, find an impactful career, or to just sleep and simply exist for the next 6 months or so, I urge you to proceed at a pace that is right for you and not to give in to the woes of the rat race. 

And finally, according to google, this is the part where I should conclude with an inspiring quote of some sort. So, allow me to leave you with words from Elle Woods, yes… from Legally Blonde (clears throat): “You must always have faith in people. And most importantly…(dramatic pause)…, you must always have faith in yourself. Congratulations class of 2022 — we did it!”

- Jefferson Rajah


His speech was well-received and garnered laughter from this year's record number of 115 candidates and 220 guests who attended the celebration. The System Dynamics Group congratulates Jefferson and the class of 2022 for successfully graduating from the programme.