Up until March last year, Lavenia Sowane was confident that her career would primarily remain in the tourism industry, however this changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The twenty-three-year-old quickly realised the need to reinvent herself so she can remain financially secure. This led her to enrol at Fiji National University (FNU) to learn an entirely new skillset.
With a tertiary qualification in International Tourism Management under her belt, Sowane enrolled in the Bachelor of Accounting programme offered through FNU’s College of Business, Hospitality and Tourism Studies (CBHTS), Namaka Campus in Nadi.
The choice, Sowane said, was simple and it enabled her to be on par with the changing dynamics of the employment market. “It’s important for people to keep an open mind about their aspirations and be ready to try something new. That’s what I did when things took a turn for the worse. You have to remain positive and keep looking for opportunities in the midst of adversity,” said Sowane.
The Nadi lass describes her journey at FNU as a great experience that will enable her to achieve a new level of success. She adds that the accounting curriculum has a good structure that provides her with real experience for her desired field.
“I chose to study at FNU because of accessibility and because of the diverse range of programmes on offer. At FNU, you will find that academic and support staff will assist and guide you on the path of your degree.” “After completing my undergraduate studies, I returned to Fiji in 2019 and joined my family business, Pacific Destination.”
“However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things didn’t go as planned. I was not disheartened but instead started to research and looked into skills that are in demand and will be helpful in our family business and hence opted to enrol in Bachelor of Accounting in Semester 2, 2020 at FNU.”
“Enrolling in a new programme can sound daunting to some, but it’s an exciting opportunity to take on and learn a new skill set. Reskilling will expand my current skill set, setting me out apart from the rest. At times we don’t feel motivated to learn, especially new things that are completely beyond the scope of what we currently do.”
“We can only unlock our greater potential if we try to overcome the negativity which is rooted in our minds.”
According to Sowane, it is essential to have relevant qualifications. “We live in a world where change comes so fast that whatever tertiary qualifications we may have may not be relevant. Everyone needs to understand that we have to keep refreshing our skill set.”
Sowane is enjoying her virtual studies but said the transition required many adjustments to the household front regarding family support, allocating study time and spaces.
“Given my previous University experience, I’ve been able to adapt swiftly to the change in learning. However, I respect and thoroughly understand my FNU colleagues’ coping challenges, mainly the first-year student.”
“My advice to fellow students is to communicate with lecturers and the supportive academic teams who can assist. It will ease unnecessary stress and pressure that students may face given their various situations,” she adds.
To stay positive during this phase, Sowane encourages students to learn new hobbies or read books to remain positive.
“From my experience, another way I am remaining positive is by embarking on a new challenge of selfdiscipline through intermittent fasting. The goal of this challenge is to reset the body and mind physically and spiritually.”
“I wish to encourage my FNU colleagues to continue to work hard toward their dreams and aspirations in life. We all have our own stories to write, and it is up to us as individuals to pursue and persevere toward achieving it.”
Interested students can apply online for Semester 2 studies by visiting the FNU website www.fnu.ac.fj or text via 857 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if they face difficulties completing the process online or need further information regarding enrolment.