Saturday, October 6, 2012



In every university student’s life, at the end of his studies, there comes a day when everything comes together. A day when he can reap the rewards of nights spent Googling assignments, of days spent in the library copying homework and of the stress due to last-minute revisions. A day when his parents are proud of him. Graduation day.

Well, enough of hyperbole, here’s my account of my graduation at UOM.



In the letter we received a few weeks before G-day, we were told to come at latest one hour before the ceremony starts to get our academic dress. & also to pay the Rs 600 required to rent the gown.

What we weren’t told was that the doors to the auditorium opened for students exactly 1 hour before the ceremony. So much for rushing to get to Réduit…



After fitting the robes (available in various sizes), you have to fit your head to the cap. Which meant trying all the caps that have already been tried by everyone before you…



So this is how it feels to be a wizard. :D



While we were waiting outside in the corridor, the Paul Octave Wiehe Auditorium was filling up with guests. Each student were given two passes. Although I saw a lot of students coming with a lot more than 2 relatives…



The corridor was crowded to the fill. & we had stand a full hour in that inhospitable environment. Wearing a suit. & a tie. & a heavy gown on top of that. Imagine the heat.




Not even these decades-old fans and portable ACs could repel the sweltering heat.



Adding to the confusion were the university staff tasked with lining up all students. Each student was given a seating number according to the order they would graduate. Add up everything & you have a serious of issue of crowd mismanagement in case of an emergency.



Not even this Fire Exit wouldn’t have been handy, because I’ve never actually seen it open.




At last, I could wipe off my sweat as the doors to the auditorium opened and the students started marching inside, cap held under the left arm.




Standing up for the procession of officers - Chancellor Sir R. Jeewoolall, Pro-Chancellor Prof. S. Jugessur, Vice-Chancellor Prof. H.C.S. Rughooputh & the Deans of Faculties.



After the national anthem, we were seated and the Chancellor opened the ceremony.




The Vice-Chancellor Prof. Rughooputh gave his Commencement speech. I remember having him as one of my lecturers during my first year…



Followed by the guest speaker, President of Institution of Engineers Mauritius, Mr. Claude Wong So., who told us that we were not engineers. Not until we had real-world experience.



Finally, at 10:30am, the presentation of awards & degrees to students began with Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Prof. T. Ramjeawon.



You are not actually given the degree, but just a handshake by the Vice-Chancellor. The certificate can be collected on the same day.



As the rows of students started emptying one by one, soon my turn came & I went on stage to shake hands, with cap under left arm.



It’s only then that you can wear the cap with dreadlocks (tassel) on the left.



The ceremony ended at 11 am & we were led out of the auditorium into the corridor… to queue up once again. This time a queue for taking group photos.



Oh no, not the heat again.



After the group photos, there were individual photos to take in studio-like setups with ribbon-rolled degree & all. Again, the auditorium was packed to the brim with students and family members waiting for their turn. It took an eternity for the queue to move as the photographers were going through every pose imaginable…



Never mind, I had brought my own camera. ;)



I couldn’t wait to get rid of my gown & proceed to refreshments. Only people with passes were allowed in the cafeteria. I should point out that it was an open buffet with absolutely no trace of disposable plates or even paper napkins.




I proceeded to collect my degree & along the way, I couldn’t help but reminisce on my stay at the University of Mauritius.




It may not be the best of all universities, but the journey was an enjoyable one. Some of the best times of my life.



& now I’m a graduate. Goodbye UOM.




Yashvin Awootar

The personal photograph thing = commercial business.

I thought that universities were meant to do things other than business.
Congrats again!


The photography isn't handled by the university but by a 3rd party. Though, I'm sure the 3rd party must have some contract with UOM...

Yashvin Awootar

Exactly. So, it goes without doubt that there's an agreement and definitely the university gets something in return.
"Professional' photographers are feeling threatened by the number of DSLRs in the campus. :P

Sou Raksha

Going through this made me reminisce my UoM days and graduation ceremony. Very nostalgic and so great memories :D
All the best for the future Mr. Graduate :)


Thank you. :)

Siganus Sutor

Well done, Carrot.

Now you're in business. Hope the next step will be an enjoyable one too.

Do you know the story behind that square hat and accompanying robe? I cannot but think it is a bit ridiculous (and am thanking God I never had to wear these). 600 rupees seem quite expensive, but it's true it is a business that would provide an income only once per year.


Thanks. The next step is to be employed. :)

Wikipedia tells me it's a tradition dating back to medieval times when all students had to wear it everyday -

Rs 600 + Rs 500 for the photos. That's some good business. :)

Siganus Sutor

"The next step is to be employed. :)" ► Are the prospects good?

Regarding the attire, I suppose it comes chiefly from England, no? I can't help thinking that it goes somewhat too far and that moving a few steps towards simplicity wouldn't do any harm. But some may prefer to disagree...

Siganus Sutor

PS — Incidentally, if you chose not to go to that ceremony, what would have happened to you? (I can't believe you wouldn't get your degree.)


Prospects aren't very good. So far I've had two unsuccessful interviews & zero response from companies I've applied to.

Yeah, it's time to simplify the academic dress. Just like lawyers no longer wear wigs. :)


Your degree is awarded in absentia & you (or anyone authorised by you) can collect the certificate afterwards.

Siganus Sutor

Ouf! :-)

Siganus Sutor

Have you contacted mostly industrial or commercial companies (i.e. those dealing physically with equipment)? Would consulting be an option?


Companies dealing in contracting, industrial design, electrical/mechanical equipment. Also applied to CEB.

Consulting requires experience & I have none. I believe you also require to be registered.

Siganus Sutor

No, registration would come at a later stage. You can indeed start your career in consulting — you would then, as a beginner, tell people with 20 years of experience what to do. :-)

(I'm joking, but it's not that bad after all. In fact one never ceases to learn, or so it should be.)

Mauritius Blog List

Congratulations carrot. Now face the hardest challenge of your engineering career: finding that first job that will define your next 50+ years.

Mauritius Blog List

There is a practical reason for having only one photography company allowed in the auditorium: imagine the pandemonium if each student comes with his own photographer!

Between, the price is not so bad in Mauritius. Google Ede & Ravenscroft Graduation Services. In the UK, the gown rental for a PhD is about £56 (£30+ for lower degrees) and the photograph prices depend on the pack you choose. The cheapest option (only one photo of you with a blue background) is around £25.


Thanks. At this point, I'm willing to do any job as long I can attain the experience. :S

Mauritius Blog List

Did you do Mechanical Engineering? I wondered about the prospects of knowing some CAE in Mauritius ... are there many employers looking for engineers with CAD and computational continuum mechanics (CFD or stress analysis for e.g.) experience?


No, I did Mechatronics.

I do know Forges Tardieu recruit engineers for CAD, but only mechanical engineers as they have the material testing experience from university.

Mauritius Blog List

Ok thanks. Good luck (and patience) with the job hunt.


Congrats Carrot! I'm from the USA, and I enjoy looking at pictures of places from around the world. If you could pick one picture that you have taken that you would show someone with no knowledge of Mauritius to inform them, which would it be and do I have permission to use it? (I will credit you by linking to your flickr) 


This, maybe?

It shows Port Louis the city, the iconic mountains, the road constructions, the villages, and the sea. onial past. It's the closest I've been to capturing the spirit of Mauritius, although it's missing the people (that's would need a completely different picture in another setting), the sunset, the beaches, the architecture & the colonial past.

Which is why I would recommend to take a look at photos on this blog -
& those in this post -

Siganus Sutor

Some could argue that the spirit of Mauritius is closer to this:
Or that it lies with its IRSes, its shopping centres and the mess on its roads.

But who really knows in the end?


Sinon, ki nouvel travail ? Kitfwa kapa enjoy enn ti konzé, non ?


Wa, p enjoy konzé la en attendant 1 offre d'emploi. :)


Hello Mr Carrot, congrats on your graduation. I can't find your email and contact details on the blog anywhere. I want to hire you for a job I need to get done, suggest a way to contact you.



 Oh by the way it's not engineering related :) Sorry if I got your hopes too high :)

Murtaz Jadoon

Excellent to visit this site

real estate

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