Careers

Kobiti Defies All Odds, Graduates With Masters At 26

“My journey was challenging at times to be honest, sometimes seeing my friends earning and supporting their families made me question if I made the right choice studying further but then I realised that everyone’s journey is different and it taught me to trust God and the season He had me in.
28 Mar 2019 14:12
Kobiti Defies All Odds, Graduates With Masters At 26
From left: Lisa Ann Kobiti, Sera Kobiti, Telesia Kobiti and Nemani Kobiti after the USP graduation on March 22, 2019. Photos: Marau Images

Growing up I was labelled a slow learner, a failure and a not so bright student, I bear no shame of those former labels, instead I used those words of discouragement to be stepping stones to all that I have accomplished today.

These were the sentiments shared by Masters of Arts in Diplomacy and International Affairs graduate, Telesia Kobiti after graduating from the University of the South Pacific last Friday.

While many saw it impossible, the Tubalevu, Namara, Tailevu lass defied all odds to graduate with her Masters at the age of 26.

“Looking back at how far I’ve come, I can tell you I was never a bright student but I have always been the type who tries her best,” Ms Kobiti said.

“I endured a lot of criticism in primary school and growing up, it taught me that the power was in my hands, whether to choose to let such words take root in my life or help them build me,” she said.

“My journey was challenging at times to be honest, sometimes seeing my friends earning and supporting their families made me question if I made the right choice studying further but then I realised that everyone’s journey is different and it taught me to trust God and the season He had me in.

Ms Kobiti said there were many times she thought she would not make it because things were getting harder but it was through words of encouragement from her family and her peers who were mothers and career women that gave her the urge to keep pushing forward.

From left: Lisa Ann Kobiti, Sera Kobiti, Telesia Kobiti and Nemani Kobiti after the USP graduation on March 22, 2019. Photos: Marau Images

From left: Lisa Ann Kobiti, Sera Kobiti, Telesia Kobiti and Nemani Kobiti after the USP graduation on March 22, 2019. Photos: Marau Images

“Imagine being the youngest in a ‘Masters’ class with experienced and skilled students, it felt intimidating at times. Contributing to discussions felt overwhelming, I dreaded that a lot, I often wondered if I made sense and at certain times, my confidence would deteriorate,” she said

“I’ve learnt so much in the past few years and I’m blessed to have made it this far. Even ran away to China at one point to get away from completing my Masters but came back re-energized to tackle this mountain.

“At times I’d struggle to understand some of my politics readings and cry in the library or postgraduate lab and then I’d pray and ask God to give me knowledge, wisdom and understanding.

“Words I never understood would start to make sense and I would look outside the window to the sky and whisper, Thank You Father.

“Can’t thank my family and friends enough for their encouragement and countless prayers.”

She said: “While studying, I applied literally to more than 10 places but didn’t get much response. I juggled three jobs at one point which was in Semester 2, 2017. I was a part-time ESL tutor, a runner for my brother’s construction company All in One Pacific Works (AIOP) and a part-time student assistant at the Student Administrative Services at USP.”

“My final Semester which was Semester 2, 2018, I had to work on my final unit which was a research paper and was also a part-time Research Assistant at Pacific Disability Forum.

“I mean everyone had a lot to juggle and here I was complaining and worrying I wouldn’t be able to make it but it was the few women in my class that truly helped me with their words of encouragement and support.”

Ms Kobiti acknowledged the support of her immediate family members and all those that contributed to her success.

Telesia Kobiti.

Telesia Kobiti.

“I would like to thank God, first and foremost. He is the backbone of my success and life story. I can’t thank Him enough for this milestone.

“Also, to my mum and aunty Hannah for their continuous prayers and support, my dad for paying my way through Graduate School and his words of encouragements or weekly check ups to see how I was far- ing with studies.

“I also attribute this success to my late grandparents, my siblings Nemani, and Lisa, cousins Luisa and Una and all my friends for standing with me in prayer and their unwavering support.”

She advised youths never to doubt or limit themselves and their capabilities and keep moving forward.

“Whatever words of discouragement have been spoken over you, never allow them to take root in your life, remind yourself that you are more than that,”

“Words are important, so speak positive words over your life always.

“Work hard, give your utmost best in whatever task you’re given and most importantly, never lose faith in God, for He can make the impossible, possible.

“Don’t worry too much if you’re far behind your peers, you’ll get there,” she concluded.

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