In keeping with the University of the South Pacific’s (USP) strategic objectives, USP’s Careers office, in collaboration with the Alumni team and Westpac Fiji, held the first of its financial literacy workshops on April 27, 2023, at the Laucala Campus.
The target audience was 300-level students who were nearing completion of their studies.
Career Counsellor Jessica Singh said, “The hour-long session from Westpac Fiji, titled Financial First Steps, covered topics such as setting smart goals, how to build a budget, the importance of savings, tools, and skills to develop in that process, as well as practical exercises in a booklet, which were given to all students present.”
“The topics and exercises gave students a realistic context on managing their finances, starting with their allowances. Savings as little as $2 a day was forecasted and shown how it can accumulate over a 12-month to 3-5yr period, leading to big savings,” she added.
Singh said, “This financial literacy workshop will help students realise the importance of managing their finances well and learning the discipline. This forms part of the Careers office’ support of USP’s strategic plan to contribute to the holistic student experience, empowering graduates and preparing them for life after USP.”
Westpac Senior Manager Sustainability & Engagement Specialist and USP Alumni Eseta Nadakuitavuki said, “One of the purposes of the Westpac training session is to provide and empower participants on the skills of managing their finance. This will greatly benefit the students as they progress to completing their studies and have acquired the basic knowledge to make informed decisions with their money.”
“This will again help them achieve their small, medium and long-term financial goals. The training covers information from Planning, Setting Goals, Budgeting, Spending, Borrowing & Investments/How to protect yourselves and your savings,” she added.
Alumni Affairs Coordinator Ms Salaseini Toganivalu Lesuma said, “Soon, the 300-level students will graduate, and they will go on to find jobs, building their professional careers and families. This financial literacy workshop, in collaboration with the Careers Office and Westpac, is important because it is an opportunity to engage and educate Pacific students who become Alumni.”
“USP’s vision is to “Shape Pacific Futures”, and in addition to academic learning, we support programs that prepare future alumni to lead successful lives. Financial literacy is an important part of growing economic resilience in our Pacific communities,” she added.
Meanwhile, the student’s response to the session was encouraging, and the Careers Office intends to introduce similar workshops for the other Pacific campuses.
The Careers office will host other workshops and encourages graduate students to take advantage of their Office support services, which includes working with the Alumni Office to grow their professional network.