Ilisoni Vuidreketi -  USP Alumni Network

Name: Ilisoni Vuidreketi
Country: Fiji
Programme: Bachelor of Arts (1991), MBA (1996)

Why did you choose your field of study?
Saw the growth in demand for and in the field of business.  I am passionate about Tourism for it empowers local communities to recognize opportunities, create business activities that help improve their livelihoods, preserve their cultures and protect their surrounding natural environment. 

Briefly reflect on your student life at USP?
Best and most memorable time of my career life. Met and got to know future CEOs, future politicians and future successful leaders as they are today.

Greatest achievement[s] as a student
To be part of the pioneer lot of 12 students who were the first graduates of USP's MBA programme.

Career Highlights since Graduation

Appointed Fiji's Trade Commissioner in Los Angeles (2005-2009) and then CEO of the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (2010-to date).

Who/what do you credit your success to? What inspires you?
My late mother inspired me greatly, especially in how she planned and organized our daily family routine when we were growing up - six children in the family and my dad was always busy at work trying to make ends meet. My (housewife) mother would be the first to wake up in the morning and the last to go sleep at night. She would organise family matters during the day to make sure all family members were clothed and fed with the little we had. She would never complain and always advocated the importance of humility and respect for others. I think these stuck with me (the humility and respect for others) and I believe helped me in my career path to where I am now.
How do you think USP helped you in your career?
The MBA training lifted my management knowledge and professional skills to another level.
Describe any challenges you face to reach where you are today and how you overcame those challenges?

How to bring effective changes to an existing situation. There are two primary ways I do this and they are:
1) by assessing and then improving current systems and processes; and
2) by introducing new ideas to boost organisational performance and outputs for the benefit of stakeholders

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A retired self-sufficient farmer.

What advice would you give to current and future students of USP?
Research and pursue areas of study that you feel comfortable with; and explore areas of specialisation, i.e. become an expert rather than being a generalist.

Share top three tips that you think are most important for our current students or recent graduates that will help them when starting out on their career paths.
1) Know which route you intend to take, by researching before pursuing the type of work areas or industries that show future growth prospects.  
2) Gain work experience - by carrying out any job responsibility that is thrown at you (don't try to pick and choose jobs, especially, when you look at the pay) as the more work experience you gain, the more you will build your confidence and maturity in the job market.
3) Always build good relationships with everyone as this will come in handy sometime in the future.
What has your involvement been with the University since you graduated? (if any)
Have participated or spoken at a few USP meetings and conferences.

Any other information you would like to share.
Life at QVS boarding school was such a blessing. We were not only taught academic subjects but also leadership, Fijian culture, disciplined military training and sports (primarily rugby). The school brought a convergence of students from all different backgrounds and different provinces in Fiji, which promoted the sharing and learning of different personal experiences, skills and personalities

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