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Atelina Muavono Leads By Example

  Atelina Muavono, that is her name. A woman who had no idea what God’s plan was for her from the moment she walked through the doors of BSP Life
09 Dec 2017 11:01
Atelina Muavono Leads By Example
Atelina Muavono.

 

Atelina Muavono, that is her name.

A woman who had no idea what God’s plan was for her from the moment she walked through the doors of BSP Life 35 years ago.

Last week, she graduated with 24 other professional women from the Women In Leadership Programme that was organised by the South Pacific Stock Exchange and the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI).

“When I look back at my journey, I realised that the experience has been amazing although emotional.

“I faced a lot of challenges but I never regret any of those moments.

“For me, I am where I am today because of my persistency and making sure that I work towards my goal,” she said.

Hard work comes with blood and tears, but usually more tears especially when plans do not happen the way you want it to, she added.

Ms Muavono is currently the chief insurance operations officer at BSP Life.

Growing up in a family of eight was tough, she said.

Ms Muavono’s mother passed away when she was five-years-old then was raised by her father in Lomaitivi, Gau.

Before her mother passed away, she would watch her parents struggle everyday to be able to put food on the table.

As soon as she graduated from high school, she joined BSP Life as a reconciliation officer.

“My father was just a villager so finance was a bit of a struggle back in the days.

“I went as far as finance could support me.

“Every day when I am in the office, I would look at my boss and I would tell myself that one day I will sit in her office,” she said.

Her goal in life was to be able to support her father and siblings financially so they can live a life without worrying where to get their next meal from.

As the fifth child in the family, she wanted her younger siblings to be well educated and be able to support themselves financially in the future.

Her hunger for success had led her to climb up the ladder in the company over the years.

Although she moved sideways instead of the top most of the time, she said it was a great opportunity for her to learn more about the company.

According to her, it was her family that drove her to success.

“I wanted to get my family to a certain level where they could be self sufficient.

“When I saw my father struggling back in the village, I told myself that this just could not continue to happen to me and my siblings.

“That was the push for me,” she said.

Joining a financial institution was not what she planned while growing up, but becoming a doctor was.

However, due to her financial constraints, striking the first available job became her aim after graduating.

After high school, she did not go to University although she was granted the Public Service Commission scholarship.

But how was she able to succeed?

Through the company’s internal trainings and other external trainings with Australia and New Zealand Institute of Insurance, she said.

“What brought me to where I am today is through my work experience and commitment to my goal,” she said.

When asked to weigh the importance of work experience and formal qualification, she said they are both equally important.

“I usually tell the young one who join the company that having the right mind set and attitude towards their work is important as having a certificate or degree.

“However, the certificate or degree becomes useless in the business world if you are not eager to learn,” said Ms Muavono.

After reaching the position that she set as her goal, she would tell herself that she will aim for the next managerial position until she finally reaches the highest peak of the mountain.

“It is about you challenging yourself and being positive.

“My next aim is to be the chief executive officer or a board director.

“With BSP Life, I don’t see becoming a board director as challenge because it is something that the employer encourages.

“BSP has been very supportive towards women by putting policies to support women in the business,” she said.

Atelina is thriving in that environment  through her own hard work and eagerness to learn.

Feedback:  monica.aguilar@fijisun.com.fj

 



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