A long and worthy journey  Mocevakaca attains her masters after 8 years juggling personal and academic responsibilities

Wati Tomasi Mocevakaca on graduation day at the Vodafone Arena in Suva. Picture:

 

Wati Mocevakaca, a veterinarian, has finally completed her eight years of postsecondary study after earning her master’s in agriculture from the Fiji National University.

 

“Dairy production dynamics, prevalence and antibiotics sensitivity patterns of bacteria isolated from calf diarrhoea in Fiji” was the subject of Ms. Mocevakaca’s two-year master’s programme.

With joy shining in her eyes, the Lauan girl crossed the platform to pick up her certificate, her parents looking on proudly from the spectators.

 

She remarked that her academic trip was one of the longest she had ever taken, but it had been well worth the effort.

Nothing compares to how I am feeling right now, Ms. Mocevakaca remarked.

“I am overwhelmed with emotions because, when I reflect on my academic career, I realise how far I have come from the young girl who had no idea what lay ahead of her.”

It’s a unique occasion for my entire family and me. My lovely “salusalu” (garland), which symbolises my native Fiji, was crafted by my grandma.

 

After earning a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science in 2021, she was given the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) PASS-CR Scholarship.

She emphasised the value of time management while sharing her struggles to balance personal and academic obligations.

It’s been a long road, and I’m happy to tell that all of my effort has paid off.

“In the end, I’m just grateful that I was able to produce something truly unique, and I would like to express my gratitude to ACIAR and FNU, my sponsors.”

 

According to Ms. Mocevakaca, maintaining a balance between one’s personal and academic lives is crucial for maintaining one’s general mental and physical health.

A master’s degree requires a lot of reading, research, and study, so juggling work and family obligations was challenging.

“I experienced a lot of ups and downs during the previous two years, but I was lucky to have a strong support network in my friends, family, and coworkers who encouraged me to finish school.

“I personally had to learn how to prioritise tasks and goals and manage my time.”

Ms. Mocevaka exhorts women to not confine themselves to the ideals that society has for them.

“Many women have graduated before me, and I urge all of them to not let their gender into a subject that is predominately male be a barrier.

 

“This is a good field; it has taught me to be technical, sustainable, and to protect the environment.”

According to Ms. Mocevakaca, she works for the Ministry of Agriculture at the moment with the intention of assisting farmers around the nation.

“I wish to strengthen Fiji’s dairy business by putting the technical information and abilities I’ve gained from my study to use.

“And maybe by the following year, I want to continue my education by earning my PhD in philosophy.”

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