Tebetiraoi Inatoa was not expecting that she would graduate from The University of the South Pacific (USP) one day and that somehow changed when she was presented with an opportunity to study at the institution’s Laucala Campus three years ago.
Inatoa completed the Bachelor of Arts in Marine Management and was among the 1786 students that graduated from the University last week and now plans to return and serve her country of origin, Kiribati.
“I would have chosen Marine engineering but trust me, we all have our plans, but God’s plans are always the best,” she said.
“Kiribati which is my home has the largest ocean and fish is our main source of living and income. From this study, I would possibly contribute to managing marine resources and their environment for a better future and the next generation.”
She said that Suva was new when she first set foot in Fiji, and it took months for her to adjust to university life and get to know the streets of Suva.
Inatoa stated one of the skills she mastered well was proper time management and prioritising her studies which enabled her to complete her study successfully.
“For me, working with a schedule to know what is due for the week, especially with my assignments. I made sure to always know and keep my priorities. I also made it my business to always do my part wholeheartedly and leave the rest to God,” she stressed.
“Teamwork has been of the best things I have done in university. Most of our courses would require or need group work. We had no choice but to work in a group and we must learn to get along with each other. However, I was so blessed to have crossed pathways with such committed friends from different Pacific islands who have become lifelong colleagues,” she said.
She added that her favourite hangout spot would be the USP Lower Campus PIMRIS Library. Inatoa added that the spot was peaceful where she would eventually have time to meditate and pushed herself to complete every task that ought to be completed.
“As my classes are all located on the lower campus, PIMRIS Library has been the best spot for me to study,” the Kiribati lass stated.
“Throughout my academic journey, there were times I cried because I failed some of my assignments. However, I learned that setting my priorities right was very important. For me, I am thankful that I have learned that in all that we do, we must prioritise God’s business first, and then He will take care of all our studies,” she echoed.
Inatoa has also expressed her appreciation to her parents and families for their unwavering support throughout her academic journey at USP.
Her only words of encouragement to the ongoing students at USP are to set realistic goals and work towards achieving them.