PhD student talks about her passion for teaching

What were some of your turning points that have helped you get to where you are today?
I've had a large support community behind me both in my personal development and academic journey. My grandparents, grandaunt & siblings have been my main inspiration and motivations. My circle of friends who shared the same goal as me to attend university and graduate have been there the whole way cheering me on. A big thank you to First Foundation for providing me with the opportunity to attend university by financially providing, mentoring, and also giving the opportunity to work at Spark with a great team (Telecom Wholesale Ltd).  Being a recipient of a First Foundation scholarship gave me the chance to connect with other FF scholarship recipients whom we created and shared a close bond. Having all this support has truly made my journey smooth and much easier. Mathematics has always been my favourite and strong subject. I went into university hoping to pursue a degree in Science majoring in Mathematics, instead I left the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in Linguistics & English Language Acquisition and a Master of Arts in English Linguistics from Birmingham City University, UK. It takes a village to raise a child, and it's my village above and their support and encouragements that have mould me into the person I am today.

What are your future aspirations and why?
My background is in Linguistics and I've always wanted to teach at tertiary level. I have a passion for research especially in the field of Pacific Linguistics particularly working with the LGBTQUI community. I am currently in my first year of PhD studies at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). My research will look at the Third Gender Dialect in Samoa & Pacific Communities. At the moment I am working to get through this degree and at the end I want to get into lecturing at tertiary level and continue to do research.

Do you have any tips that you would suggest to other students wanting to pursue a Masters and/or PHD qualification?
People have different reasons for studying at postgraduate level, but most do so in the hope that postgraduate will improve their career prospects. Studying at postgraduate level a Masters and/or PhD won't just ask you to tackle to tackle more complex material but it will also challenge you to take more responsibility for the way in which you do so. Nearer to submission dates are the most crucial times of postgraduate studies, most stressful too. Maintaining your wel-lbeing is important in order to pull through- this includes sleeping well, eating right and getting a lot of rest. 

What have been some of your highlights whilst studying in Birmingham University?
Studying overseas allowed me to get an insight to different education curriculum systems. I spent a semester during my undergraduate on a formal exchange program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada and a semester during my one year honours program at the University of Birmingham. Some of my highlights include meeting and working with new people who have now become very good friends, exploring and experiencing new culture, emerging myself into new communities, volunteer work in under privilege communities and also network with people & organisations in my field of study. I had the privilege of being part of the Commonwealth Day celebration in March 2015, where myself and 30 young people from around the world were flag bearers and were in the presence of Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family.

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