Vito Puyat, son of Department of Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat, is all set to graduate from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom on July 10, 2018. More reason to celebrate is the fact that his grades have qualified him to graduate a First Class Honours student, which is the highest possible grade classification one can achieve in the U.K. and is an indicator of excellent academic performance.
At the Tyne-based university known for its outstanding research programs, Vito pursued Psychology while also taking up several classes on neuroscience.
“My course, Psychology, provided an eclectic mix of modules to pique and maintain the interest of aspiring psychologists in a multitude of fields and occupations," he says of his chosen track and his alma mater. "My studies at Newcastle was an excellent learning experience.”
His time there, indeed, was far from uneventful. Vito became a member of the Psychology Society, which he says provided him with greater opportunities to form stronger bonds with his fellow Psychology students and others outside the course. “Being a student representative allowed me the opportunity to work closely with my fellow course mates and staff to enhance the learning experience of everyone within the course,” he says.
Snapshots of Vito in college and with friends
Apart from joining student organizations, Vito also completed a research internship at the Institute of Neuroscience, which allowed him to “develop invaluable skills, such as adaptability, critical thinking, and independence, as well as fostered my interest in neuropsychology research.”
In 2015, Vito was recognized on T&C's annual list of exceptional high school graduates, where he expressed his desire to pursue a science-related program. Back then, he said, “I want to be able to bring about developments so that the knowledge I can offer may also help enrich the lives of Filipinos.”
College allowed Vito some key takeaways, of course. “A lesson that’s remained embedded in my mind is to keep being curious,” he shares. “If one is curious enough to keep inquiring after one’s passion, this curiosity, along with the hard work that arises from it, can get past the hardships, disappointments, and failures that we experience before reaching greater successes.”
What’s next for the 21-year-old wunderkind? He plans to pursue postgraduate studies in neuroscience.
“Studying at Newcastle gave me the opportunity to interact and even contribute to the research done at the university,” he says. “I really enjoyed the school’s educational and research environment and I want to continue working in a similar environment.”
Vito with mom Berna and sister Maia
Before he begins further studies and a lifelong career in his chosen field, Vito will return to the Philippines to spend time with loved ones. “I believe that while it’s important to have a strong ambition to achieve any career goals, it’s also important to balance work with personal life,” he adds.