Wednesday, September 19, 2007


PATIENT, humble and confident are three words that aptly describe Arvind Maharaj.
It was those qualities that enabled the Fiji-born man to win the Sydney Institute TAFE International student of the year award.
Arvind said it was the first time a Fiji student had won the award and he was proud of it.
Arvind is a cool and collected young man.
You can tell he is a man of his words and holds his principles in life close to him.
With a humble beginning at Vuci Methodist Primary School, Arvind said he had a dream to achieve a feat no one in his family had done.
"I wanted to be an electronics engineer and nothing was going to stop me," Arvind said.
"I did not only dream about it, I hard to work hard for it."
From Vuci Methodist, Arvind went to Vunimono High School in 1996 and spent four years there.
He said at Vunimono High he realised he was destined for greater things in electronics.
"I was so interested in the subject and my teachers were very supportive of my ambition," Arvind said.
"They inspired me to work hard to achieve what I wanted."
In 2000, Arvind started at the Fiji Institute of Technology.
"We had a lot of time to ourselves at FIT but most of this time I had to sacrifice and studied and explored the world of electronics.
"Like other students straight from high school, the transition took time and I had to adjust."
After three years at FIT, Arvind graduated with honours in Electronic Engineering.
"I was overwhelmed after graduating but I knew it was not the end of it because I was young and had all the time in the world to continue with my studies."
But because of unforeseen circumstances, Arvind found a job as an electrical engineer with Courts Homecentres.
Lucky for him, it was not job alone he was also trained as engineer for the brand name NEC Asia Pacific.
Arvind said the opportunity was one he was glad to take.
"I did not know that I was going to be trained in while working and I never regretted taking the employment opportunity."
In 2004 it was the grand opening for him to join South Western Sydney Institute where he furthered his studies in network engineering.
Arvind admitted it was the best thing to happen to his life.
"Being enrolled in an institution with such a reputation was awesome and I made sure I made the most of the opportunities they gave me."
Since he enrolled as a student Arvind has always been recognised for his hard work.
For three years he has been a finalist in the international student of the year award.
He finally won this year.
"This award means a lot to me personally, because it recognises my contribution, dedication to the work I was sent here to do and I'm proud of it."
Arvind said the award would not have been possible if it was not for the support he had received from his family.
"This award is especially dedicated to my aji and aja (grandparents), my parents, my sisters and brother and all those who have been helping me during my education years."
Arvind said he hope more students from Fiji would enroll in such a reputable institute and stamp their mark for themselves and for Fiji.

Adapted from Fijitimes Online