Audrey Pina Ah Tong–Liti of Luatuanu’u was awarded the gold medal and the H.F.C. Bank Prize for the Most Outstanding Master of Business Administration at the U.S.P graduation in Suva, Fiji, last Friday.
Married to Charlie Havea Liti of Tonga, Audrey is the eldest daughter of Luamanuvae Gaugau Mateo and Salafai Ah Tong. She is currently residing in Tonga and a Deputy Manager for Corporate Services at the Tonga Ports Authority.
A former dux student of St. Mary’s College, the mother of two dedicates her award to her family. Her parents and close relatives there to witness her graduation.
Her story below in her own words:
“It is no secret that there are a lot of challenges that one could face once taking up M.B.A. but I personally believe that Home and Family is the most common challenge that most mothers face when they go back to studying.
As a mother everything else came after studies including my duties as a mother and a wife. Studies had to come first above all others not because I didn’t value/love my family but because I knew this was the stepping stone for our family to greater and better opportunities.
In addition, I was raised by parents who taught us the value of education not only to one’s self but also to the whole family, village and country.
Completing this M.B.A. was a whole family commitment.
Before I made the commitment to this study, my husband and I together with our children talked about it and were prepared for it.
Some of my normal roles as a mother were taken up by my husband like getting our kids ready in the morning for school while I sleep in after a late night at school and we also taught our kids to be independent. It was a tough transition at first but it was a sacrifice that we had to do as a family in order for it to work.
Thank you Charlie, Alejandro and Arcangela. We did it!
What inspired me were my children. I think it is natural for any parents to want only what is best for their children just like how my parents did for me and my siblings.
Therefore, as a mother I wanted to set the bar high for my children to follow suit and set goals for.
I also wanted my children to be first eye witnesses to the fruits of hard work, perseverance and determination. During my studies, my kids have seen how late I have stayed up most nights, how I have no social life except for work, school and home.
They have seen with their own eyes how much that I have sowed in tears during my studies and I am very glad to say that at graduation on Friday they witnessed a great harvest and in tears of joy.
I wanted them to see that they could accomplish anything that they could set their hearts on, with hard work and the right attitude and with God on top of it all."