Digicel scholar off to Auckland University

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In March 2016, Filifilia Gafa was selected from a pool of more than a hundred applicants to be a part of the Digicel Scholarship Programme. 

The programme awarded applicants who, among other criteria, demonstrated a clear commitment to pursue their studies in technology.

 Filia was one of five students welcomed into the Digicel Family with a laptop, a smartphone with credit and data, and, of course, payment of University fees and resources. 

Following a successful academic year, Filia has been further rewarded with a scholarship sponsored by the New Zealand Government to study in Auckland, an exciting opportunity for the young Samoan. 

Filia is one of 66 National University Foundation students who have been selected to further their studies in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.   

DIGICEL SCHOLARS: Johnny Fiu and Filia Gafa with Products Manager Bella Kirisome at Digicel’s Red Run & Fun Fair event.
DIGICEL SCHOLARS: Johnny Fiu and Filia Gafa with Products Manager Bella Kirisome at Digicel’s Red Run & Fun Fair event.
Digicel Scholars Filia Gafa and Margaret Sootaga having some Christmas fun in the Digicel retail store
Digicel Scholars Filia Gafa and Margaret Sootaga having some Christmas fun in the Digicel retail store

Filia will begin the new semester studying a Computer Science degree at Auckland University and hopes to return to Digicel Samoa during his breaks to continue to increase his knowledge base within the busy organization. 

Filia will be joined in Auckland by Ronaldo Pose, another New Zealand scholarship awardee, who has also been gaining work experience at Digicel’s Head Office as an IT Technician. Filia says “it’s been a lot of fun working at Digicel. It’s helped a lot with work experience but, more importantly, it’s also made me more confident that computing and technology is the field that I want to work in”. 

Having just completed another stint at Digicel during the university break, Filia and his fellow scholarship students Margaret Sootaga, Lisi Seumanatafa, Johnny Fiu and Fausaga Afaese have been able to work alongside industry professionals, gaining valuable experience and first-hand knowledge of the telecommunications industry. From serving customers in Digicel retail stores, manning the help-line, visiting towers with the technical teams and even getting into the Christmas spirit with the Digicel Choir, the group have had an inside look at what life is like at the international communications and entertainment company. 

Digicel CEO Milos Surla acknowledged the success of the scholarship programme, “the future economic success of Samoa is wholly dependent on attracting and developing the brightest minds. We always enjoy having our Digicel scholars in the office, teaching them on-the-job skills and exposing them to the world of telecommunications. We’re also proud to have had Filia as part of the Digi Family and wish him all the best in his next adventure. We look forward to following his academic success and possibly welcoming him back into the fold once his overseas studies are complete”.

Applications for the Digicel Scholarship Program will open again in 2018 for the 2019 Academic year. An announcement will be made closer to the date.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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