Dare to be different, Berkeley students told
Stand out, work hard and be compassionate was the advice of guest speaker Sean Tucker to pupils at the Berkeley Institute's prize-giving ceremony yesterday.
Mr Tucker, who recently inherited the nickname “the Voice of Summer” after the death of long-serving MP and cricket commentary legend C.V. “Jim” Woolridge, was speaking to the 146 prizewinners at the school.
There was standing room only in the school auditorium as Mr Tucker, head of property and estate at Terra Law, as well as a member of the school's board of governors, told pupils about the three lessons he had learnt throughout his career.
Mr Tucker's first lesson was: “Dare to be different. Be the odd one out.”
He said he had once interviewed students for summer jobs and four of the girls were all dressed the same, talked the same and followed the “queen bee” of their group.
He added: “None of them made an impression on any of us.
“But there was another young lady who was poised and polished, and she would have been considered, for want of a better word, a nerd.
“But she was well read, she knew why she was there and she knew what she was talking about.
“You can guess she was the one we chose.”
Mr Tucker's second piece of advice was to prepare for the real world.
He highlighted how the world was shrinking, with companies now able to outsource to people across the globe.
Mr Tucker said: “Work hard, learn all that you can and prepare to be the best at whatever it is you are preparing yourself to be.
“When you have the opportunity to do summer internships, make yourselves indispensable.
“Be reliable, learn everything that you can, build relationships and offer solutions.”
Mr Tucker's third piece of advice was to be kind to others and live with integrity.
He said: “How you treat people is who you are. Imagine if there was no greed, if we didn't compare ourselves to each other, if we were all running in our own race but cheering for everyone else.”
Jordyn Richardson, the principal's honour student for S3, told fellow pupils: “Success looks different for everyone — for some it is finishing high school and for others it is getting a decent-paying job. Whether you are successful or not depends on you.”
Keisha Douglas, the school principal, said that the prizewinners were a representation of everything that Berkeley stood for.
She added: “These hard- working, diligent scholars are an inspiration to all of us.
“On display tonight are students who are committed to excellence of scholarship, excellence of leadership, excellence of citizenship and excellence of character.
“They are great examples of what we want to see replicated with all students of Berkeley Institute.
“Maybe we will never see that in our lifetimes but what we can all do is start with ourselves.”
The prize-giving programme included music by the school's steel pan orchestra and songs from the school choir.