Originally from Tonga, Latu Bloomfield has lived in Fiji since 2006. She is a second year Engineering Student at USP and GWF’s current scholarship recipient. We had a little chat with her about her male-dominated field of study and aspirations for the future.
How did you hear about the scholarship?
FALE actually circulated the email and only 6-7 of us fit the criteria for this scholarship as not many women are studying in this field. A few others were interested but were either already under contract with the Tertiary and Loans Scheme (TELS) or unable to meet the deadline.
What did you think when approached to apply?
I was really empowered by the fact that the GWF President took the time to email when most of the time, you go and look for the scholarship. While I was not looking for a scholarship at the time, I am was grateful for the opportunity and applied.
How did you get into engineering?
This is my second year in a 4-year programme. I initially started doing Biochemistry but wanted to challenge myself and changed my programme to Electrical Engineering. The programme while difficult is enjoyable. It is a male dominated field and can be intimidating at times especially being one of the few women that have chosen this path. We have faced our fair share of stereotypical behavior but I have my mind set to go against the status quo and am now excelling in this field.
What did you want to be before getting into engineering?
When I finished high school I actually wanted to become a doctor and was keen to do my MBBS but changed my mind when I reached university- I just wanted a change in industry and will be one of the few women engineers in Fiji upon completion.
Do you have a message for young women out there?
Everyone has the capability to do whatever they want to and women in particular should never look down on themselves, you can be whatever you want to be.