USP Alumni Network

Name: Radkiha Devi

Country: Fiji

Programme: BCOM (2010), PG (2014), MCOM (2015)





Why did you choose your field of study?
I initially enrolled in Computer Science and Information Technology, a major which was chosen by my brother . However, I realized my interest was not all in computer language so after the first year I changed my majors to Management and Public Administration with Information System. It is actually a very unique combination especially as a manager, you have adequate IT skills together with management skills. In today’s world where technology is shaping the livelihood of the people, such majors actually help you to advance in life personally and professionally.

Briefly reflect on your student life at USP?
As a bachelor’s student I believe I was just like any other average student at USP. I even failed one unit in my first year. However, after changing my majors my GPA improved. I liked how the lecturers always allowed us to think outside the box which enabled us to come up with unique strategies and concepts, especially in the management units. .
Moreover, I always liked being organized with my assignments, short tests final exams. I had timetables prepared for myself which I followed throughout the semester.
However, Masters was totally different, the assignments were more practical and work based and we were allowed to work independently. Final exams were replaced with coursework and that totally made sense especially for working students since we could juggle well with our work commitment and still be able to complete the required tasks.

Greatest achievement[s] as a student
I would say my master’s program was the most enlightening period spent at USP. During our summer class of MG403 Human Behavior, which was taken by one of my favorite lecturers who had just moved from India to take up this unit as a part time lecturer. Once, during the class he asked a question which he said he had  discussed previously with MBA, Masters and PHD students in various universities including Harvard Business School. His question was “Imagine you are a Human Resources Manager of a big company which is located on the 18th floor of a building. You receive about 200 complains per day from employees complaining that the lift is too slow. Provide the most cost effective solution for such a situation. There were about 40 of us students in his class and he started asking each individual student for the solution, each student had very creative ideas and everyone gave answers such as shift the office, get the lift fixed and many more, I was sitting in the front row so when my turn came, I said “well the most cost effective solution is to put a mirror on the wall outside the lift and one inside the lift”. The lecturer looked at me and without saying anything moved to the next person. Some laughed at my solution and when the lecturer didn’t respond, I felt weird.  When he finished asking everyone, he came and stood in front of me and said in my 20 years of teaching, I have discussed this question with top students and till date no one could answer this question as precisely as you. There was no real problem with the lift, the problem was with the behaviour or attitude of the employees whilst waiting for the lift so placing a mirror will distract them from being aware of the time constantly. They will look at themselves, groom themselves, comb their hair, put on their lipstick check their clothes and by the time they enter the lift and get into their specific office they don’t really feel the time was that long. So the answer is to change the behavior of the people when there is no actual problem as problem is just the perception.  I will never forget that moment.
 I felt  satisfaction  choosing the management major and thinking outside the box because people are so complex and it is so difficult to understand their behavior. However, it is not impossible and with situations and scenarios as such you have to think if there was an actual problem or was it just the behavioral issue which can be very easily resolved with minor changes but has positive impact. Since that day I believe in one philosophy and that is, in the office every problem has a solution but you have to be creative and passionate enough to be able to come up with a solution.

Career Highlights since Graduation
Straight after graduation I worked at DHL as Key Account Executive in the Customer Service Department. Since it was my first employment, I have always been passionate about DHL. I still follow the company, read news about them and enjoy their growth on social media such as LinkedIn
After DHL, I moved to ZTE Singapore International PTE LTD- Fiji Branch as the Administration Manager. Upon completion of 2 years in the Fiji office, I was sent to the Headquarters in Shenzhen, China for training and while there, I was offered a position as the Technical Manager – MICT solutions. Being the technical Manager when I have just done Information System during my bachelors was a challenge but I believe no challenge is bigger than you. This role gave me exposure to travel to various countries such as Seoul Korea, Dubai and Spain which is a big achievement for a girl coming from a small village of Rakiraki.

Who/what do you credit your success to? What inspires you?
Who? The only person I credit my success to is my mother, she is the rock of our family. Ever since I was small I have seen my mother struggle to provide for my three siblings and I, mostly me because I am the youngest in the family. She used to ensure that we had our basic needs and we studied.
What inspires me is hard work, determination, passion and challenges. I remember when I was in my last semester while undertaking my Bachelors, I told my lecturer that I am taking 4 units whilst working full time as an apprentice. He said that you are preparing a disaster for yourself and you will fail if not all, then atleast half of your units. Luckily this lecturer wasn’t taking any of my units that semester because I would have surely failed since I felt very demotivated. But I accepted his words as a silent challenge for myself and I passed all the units.  

How do you think USP helped you in your career?
When we were in primary school, we looked up to anyone who studied at USP. It was like a great achievement and when I got enrolled in USP, it was an amazing feeling. With the education that I attained through my bachelors and masters, I applied many concepts in my work place.  As such, being at USP, it not only helps you find a better job but also gives you academic recognition

Describe any challenges you face to reach where you are today and how you overcame those challenges?
Well working abroad, as amazing and twinkling as it sounds, it is also very difficult. Especially if you travel abroad without family and friends to a foreign country where the culture, language, food and basically everything is new. I was faced with same challenges as a foreign employee when I first came to China. Compared to Fiji, China was so much bigger and developed, technologically advanced and economically too. I started making friends, meeting other expatriates living in Shenzhen and it slowly got better.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years (career and/or personal goals)?
In 10 years, that being such a long way away , I see myself holding a Doctorate, working in Human Resources Management or an Academic field. I don’t know yet if I still want to work abroad 10 years from now but if I do then maybe in Germany or in New Zealand. I would probably go for a career change in 5 years and then see where life takes me from there.

What advice would you give to current and future students of USP?
For students who are currently studying or are about to start their studies, I would say enjoy your education while you can. Because this period does not come back. Do not have regrets. Pass your units, do not ponder about GPA as much since none of my employers ever asked me what my GPA was however do not fail units because then you are just wasting your lecturers, your parents and most importantly, your own time which could have been utilized doing things you are most passionate about. Abdul Kalam said in one of his Education speeches “Sometimes it’s better to bunk a class and enjoy with friends, because today when I look back, marks never made me laugh, but memories did”. I am not saying to miss classes every day because then you will just fail so you might as well save your parents or governments money which can be used by a better deserving student. As a student enjoy student life because once you enter the work field, life has many more challenges and responsibilities so while you can, grow up slowly and savor every moment. You will have plenty of time to go into work field and earn money however when you are a student, be a student and make your USP life memorable.

Please 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.    Start from the bottom, when you have mastered the basics, , you will find it easy to move up the leadership hierarchy.  
2.    Do not rush with you career choices, look for a job you are passionate about, sometimes you might lack experience as a new graduate, that’s when you follow my tip number 1. Do not change employment every year. Master the skills then develop yourself and your career
3.    No matter how important your work is, or important your designation is, never look down on anyone who is at a lower position than you. Remember that its them who are holding your chair from the bottom so that you can sit on top and when you are on top, you head is always bowed looking at them while theirs is always up in front of you.

What has your involvement been with the University since you graduated?
I have been a part time marker for School of Management.

Any other information you would like to share.
I have hosted the prime minister of Fiji and his 22member delegation when they were on a tour to Asia in 2015.

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