From pause to progress with Foundation Studies success

Wednesday 17 January 2024

After a series of unexpected complications during Lilly Feleti’s final year of high school, it was the Foundation Studies programme that helped her pursue tertiary education.

Last updated: Thursday 18 January 2024

Lilly is now enrolled in a Bachelor of Social Work with Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University, but she says there was a time where she wasn’t sure if that would be possible.

“Life has thrown me some curveballs. While finishing high school, I lost my mum and dealt with a long illness that made me take three gap years. During this time, I worked different jobs but found study was always on my mind. I wasn’t sure if it was my thing, until I found Massey’s Certificate of Foundation Studies programme. It felt like a chance to give studying another shot.”

While her family hoped Lilly would follow her brother into a different tertiary institute, Lilly says she felt it wasn’t the right fit for her and began exploring other options.

“There were two institutes that I was considering which led to me writing a pros and cons list. In the end, I choose Massey as it has a fantastic foundation certificate and a vibe I felt comfortable with, and I’m glad I did. Massey was a game-changer!”

The Certificate in Foundation Studies provides students with an opportunity to gain university entrance. It also acts as a pathway into undergraduate study by preparing students for the next step on their study journey.

While there were challenges to overcome, Lilly says she had support to help her through.

“At first, learning things like referencing and research methods felt a bit overwhelming, but as time passed I got the hang of it. Massey provided everything I needed, including resources, helpful tutors and well-structured lessons that encouraged critical thinking. It made the transition to higher education smoother. The best parts were the subjects themselves and the awesome support I got from my tutors.”

Looking back at her time with Massey so far, Lilly says there have been lots of highlights.

“Completing the certificate is a big one. I was born and raised in Aotearoa New Zealand but come from a Samoan background, so joining the Massey University Pacific Association was fantastic. What I’ve enjoyed most has been constantly learning new things with amazing tutors and other students.”

Lilly says resilience and perseverance have been two key skills she’s gained during the certificate and she highly endorses it to those considering a university preparation course.

“Never giving up was the most important lesson I learned. Knowing how to tackle challenges and how to keep moving forward has been super helpful in my current studies. My advice for anyone thinking about enrolling in the programme is to go for it and enjoy the experience. It’s a great way to get ready for a degree and learn important skills. Just keep your eyes on your goals and remember, persistence pays off!”

As she continues working toward her bachelor’s alongside working at a bookstore, Lilly says she’s keeping her eyes to the future while enjoying the present.

“I hope to become a social worker in impactful organisations, but let’s see where the journey takes me!”

If you’re interested in university but don’t have the requirements for admission, learn more about whether the Certificate in Foundation Studies is a good fit for you here.

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