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USP journalism alumni share experience with students

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USP journalism alumni speakers (L-R) Tevita Vuibau, Ravai Vafo'ou and Dawn Gibson.

Journalism students at The University of the South Pacific (USP) got the opportunity to listen to USP Journalism alumni on “what it takes to succeed as a journalism student and as a professional in the workplace” as part of the 7th Wansolwara Toks Series.

The alumni included Ms Dawn Gibson, Mr Ravai Vafo'ou and Mr Tevita Vuibau. All three have built successful careers and stand out as USP alumni who are making a contribution both in Fiji and the region.

Wansolwara Toks Seriesis organised by USP journalism programme to expose students to leading speakers and practitioners from professional fields to broaden student learning. 

Ms Gibson worked as a reporter for the Fiji Times, then as a co-editor with Niuwave magazine. She later joined the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a communications and research officer.

Mr Vafo'ou worked as a reporter with Fijilive, a leading local news portal and later spent two years as a television journalist with Fiji TV, before joining the World Wide Fund for Nature this year.

Mr Vuibau works at the Fiji Times as the Deputy chief-of-staff.

The speakers reflected on the challenges faced as USP journalism students, what they learnt in their various editorial capacities in the student newspaper, Wansolwara, and reactions to some of the articles they wrote.

They also focused on their six-week professional work attachments in their final year of study and how the experience helped their transition into full-time professional employees.

The speakers also discussed their current roles, how the journalism programme prepared them, as well as what it takes to succeed in the workplace. 

All three indicated that they enjoyed their time as USP students and what they learnt helped them secure good jobs and advance their careers.

They said it was always a pleasure to return to USP to give back to the institution where they were educated. 

Head of USP Journalism, Dr Shailendra Singh, said Wansolwara Toks Series serves many purposes, adding that, it is designed to expose the students to USP Journalism's leading alumni and it serves to maintain contacts with the communications sector in mainstream media, civil society, government and the corporate sector that employ graduates.

Final year Journalism student, Sonal Shalveer Singh, said he always found the Wansolwara Toks Series useful. He said the latest session was very relevant as he is currently on attachment with Communications Fiji Ltd.

“It was a good session and I was inspired by how much our three speakers have achieved,” Sonal said. 

The convener of Wansolwara Toks Series, Ms Irene Manarae said that the sessions aim to give students a deeper understanding about the role and function of journalism by bringing speakers to talk about critical issues around the region.

She added that few more talks will be held before the semester comes to a close.  

The presentation was followed by a lively question/answer session.  

This news item was published on 2 Sep 2016 10:05:54 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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