Hard work and sacrifice finally paid off for The University of the South Pacific (USP) students who graduated from the Faculty of Business and Economics at the National Gymnasium on 23 March 2018.
On 22 March, two graduation ceremonies were held for the the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE), Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) and the Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE).
An elated Dr David Mapuru of the Solomon Islands, the only PhD candidate, was too emotional to share how his journey had come into fruition.
“I would like to thank especially my wife and son, who have always supported me throughout my journey. It has not been an easy one,” he said.
“At times, I have wanted to give up because I was just dependent on the scholarship and even my family have told me it is so difficult. But I put my trust in God and my family, despite the challenges, were always there for me,” he shared.
“Today I look back and surely belief that it was all worth it,” Dr Mapuru said.
“My son is also studying here at USP,” he added.
His advice to aspiring PhD candidates is just to work hard.
“For PhD you really have to put in the effort to achieve the desired outcome. For me, I got through with a mix of my spiritual life, and I blended in perseverance, persistence, hard work, patience and sacrifice in order to get to where I am today,” he said.
Dr Mapuru was sponsored by USP’s Research Office.
Mr Sokotia Kulene from Tuvalu graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Public Administration and Human Resources.
The excited father of three said it had been a challenging journey yet rewarding.
“At times, my family and I struggled to survive but today I am glad that is all over,” he shared.
“I pulled through and I would like to firstly acknowledge my sponsor of course, the New Zealand Government and my family,” he said.
“Without them, I would not have pulled this through on my own,” he added.
Mr Kulene was a clerical officer for six years at the Office of the Prime Minister in Tuvalu but following his graduation he has now been promoted to Executive Officer under the Ministry of Public Utilities and Infrastructure.
Another graduate, Mr Shaneel Prakash, earlier jointly received the Vice-Chancellor All Rounder gold medal for the Best Combined Academic Performance and Record of Service to the community.
He shared that being in USP had been a very pleasant experience and he had learnt a lot, not just academically but values that would carry him through in the workforce.
“I am currently a graduate assistant at Price Waterhouse Coopers and I have already learnt how to interact with people. My association with USP’s Campus Life activities has assisted me a lot, including my being President of the Accounting Students Association, being a student ambassador and my active participation during the fundraising for Cyclone Winston,” he added.
He stated further that he is glad to have been a part of USP and reaching the institution’s 50th year of existence is indeed a milestone.