The University of the South Pacific held their graduation ceremony on Friday 31st March. This year the University had the highest number of graduates in its 50 years of existence. A total of 1680 students have now moved on towards greener pastures after receiving their awards. Amongst these students, the graduate school of business had 196 students graduate with post graduate business qualifications, out of which 91 students graduated with their MBA (Masters of Business Administration).
MBA Graduates at the USP graduation ceremony on 31st March, 2017
GSB has always based emphasis on the managerial development needs of Fiji, the Region and global organisations as well. Majority of the grandaunts were from Fiji; however GSB also had students from Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Island, Sri Lanka and Australia.
Hon. Suni Manu Fili
Hon. Sunia Manu Fili, former Minister of Finance for Tonga, was amongst those who graduated with the MBA degree. “I am glad I had the opportunity to study MBA at USP. It is indeed a big honor for me to be standing here today to receive my award”, he stated.
Graduates of GSB become part of an elite alumnus, joining a network of more than 1000 successful leaders, throughout the world. This, in turn, will afford valuable networking opportunities with those alumni who have successfully completed the programme and have implemented ground breaking strategies in the business world.
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is the flagship programme for the Graduate School of Business. This programme is specifically designed for individuals who want to become successful leaders and drive growth in their respective areas. Across every industry, businesses are finding new and exciting growth opportunities in Fiji and the region as well. To secure a strategic edge, companies need exceptional leaders who can identify emerging trends, develop competitive solutions, and build innovative organisations. Our MBA programme is the only one in the region to be accredited by AMBA (association of MBA’s).
This accreditation is an official recognition that USP’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme offered by GSB is of comparable standards to those offered by other premier business schools around the world. AMBA is the only international professional body connecting MBA students and graduates, hundreds of accredited business schools and MBA employers in over 110 countries. The AMBA accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement in postgraduate business education and is earned only by the best programmes in the world after a 4-stage accreditation process. It is also a commitment to developing standards in global postgraduate management education. According to the MBA Assessment report, the Association noted there is clear evidence of the commitment by USP’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) to meeting the needs of the South Pacific region.
Mrs. Gaitri Chandra, an employee of Fiji Airways, said that it is indeed a very proud moment for me to be graduating with an MBA. “The best thing about this programme is the international accreditation. I can know take my qualification anywhere in the world, knowing that it will be recognised”.
It is also very encouraging to note that this year 41% of our graduates are women. We have noted that every year there is an increase in the number of female graduates from the GSB programmes. GSB strongly believes in supporting women’s leadership in the Pacific. It is the only key to alleviating poverty and promoting economic growth.
Malia Benedine Fa’asolo, our full – time student from Tonga, stated that the MBA journey has been wonderful and challenging as well. “What surprised me the most was the diversity of participants in the programme. It was invaluable to hear the perceptions of such a wide range of executives from different cultures. I knew the content would be excellent, but the calibre of my fellow participants was every bit as impressive,” said Ms. Fa’asolo.
While this was a happy affair for many of our students; it was bittersweet moment for Mr. Intaz Ali’s family, colleagues and friends. Mr. Ali, a former employee of Telecommunications Fiji Limited (TFL), passed away just a week before his graduation. Mr Ali’s son, Shazil Ali received the award on his Father’s behalf. “I am proud of my father’ achievement and I am sure he would have been very happy to be here,” he said.
Shazil Ali with Dr. Benedito Waiqaliti
Mr. Henry Kitione, Mr. Ali’s colleague, also expressed his remorse. “It is very sad indeed that Intaz is not with us here today. He was a good man and a great friend. We all miss him very much.”
Mrs. Ana Latai 'Alaiva'a, an employee of Air Terminal Services Tonga, was very emotional at the ceremony. “It was a difficult journey, sacrificing my family time for studies, but now I look back and I feel that it was worth it. I strongly believe that this degree would benefit me, my family, my community and my country.”
“I would say attending the program gives you a different way of thinking and a different approach to business challenges. Since I walked out of the program, I often reflect on the classroom discussions and what I was exposed to, and it challenges me to think differently”, said Mr. Melvin Sharma. “It has been a long journey and I am very excited to receive my award along with my esteemed colleagues.”