Don’t lose focus while studying

Don’t lose sight of why you are going to study is the message of Helen Lei Sam to those who will be studying under the Australia Awards programme next year. 

Helen, from Sapapalii in Savaii and Fasitoouta in Upolu, graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, where she studied for four years under the same awards.  

“I leave next year to do masters in engineering.  The second time around you know what to do. You are better equipped, better prepared, not only that academically, when you have work experience it helps you in school,” she said in an interview with Samoa Observer. 

Being the eldest of six, Helen has to ensure that she plays a good role model and that she succeeds in whatever she pursues. 

“I worked at the Samoa Water Authority, and now I am working for a private construction company, I am the project manager for the Apia Waterfront project, just waiting for time to leave for my scholarship. 

“I have worked more than four years. I have a lot of experience and wisdom to take with me to my studies. I wanted to do Engineering and Australia is the best place in the region to do it.”

Growing up wishing to be a doctor, Helen said she faced all the challenges a student faces in university. 

“Home sickness, loneliness sometimes, academically there are many struggles, trying to balance my personal life with my academic life. Engineering is very demanding and stressful.”

Helen looks forward to returning, and to help contribute to developing Samoa. 

“I think that my current and previous employers can attest to the fact that I’ve contributed a lot in terms of the projects I have worked on,” she said.

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