By STACEY TARURA
LYDIA Junias has achieved her childhood dream to work for a bank.
But she is not stopping there. She plans to pursue further studies to become a qualified accountant and move up the ladder in her career at the Bank of South Pacific.
Junias is from a mix parentage of Morobe and East New Britain. She spent most of her childhood days in Pomio district, East New Britain, where her dad worked as a forest monitoring officer.
She completed Grade 11 and 12 at Keravat National High School in Gazelle district, East New Britain.
But despite having very good marks, she missed out on selection to the tertiary institutions she had applied to.
She was forced to spend a year at home.
“At first I was so depressed that all my hard work was in vain. But my parents were very supportive. They encouraged me to reapply the next year, which I did, to various institutions,” Junias said.
It was in 2011 when Junias received two acceptance letters from the Kokopo Business College and the National Polytechnic Institute of PNG.
She chose the latter and took up a Diploma in Accounting course for two years. She graduated in 2012.
During the daily banking trips she took with her parents when she was small, Junias dreamt of becoming a bank worker.
She started work with Bank South Pacific in May 2013.
It was a dream come true for her despite the fact that she had to leave her family behind to take up her posting at the bank’s branch in Wabag, Enga.
She accepted that she had to leave her comfort zone in Warangoi, East New Britain, to take up her posting.
“Three years with BSP Wabag branch is an experience for me to work in a big organisation. But I love learning new things every day.
“Some of the challenges I faced were peer pressure outside of work, and work-related matters.
“I do encounter some difficulties especially, when dealing with difficult customers every day.
“It is part of my duty to make sure that the customers are satisfied with the service they receive.
“At the end of the day, it is the bank’s core value to be professional and to maintain its integrity at all times.”
She thanks her parents for providing the support and encouragement to drive her on.
“The main people behind my success are my parents. One thing I learnt from my dad is too have big dreams despite where you come from, or whatever your family background is.
“You can make a change you want in the present. The past is history.
“Grab the opportunity in front of you and make the best of it.”
She says living away from her family has been difficult but she is doing this for them, especially her eight-month-old daughter Elmah and husband Jacob Mahani who is still studying at the International Training Institute in Lae.
“My achievement in life is obtaining my diploma in accounting and doing my dream job.
“I am currently supporting my husband with his studies but I have greater plans ahead to pursue my studies after he graduates,” Junias said.
Her advice to others who are still studying or want to further their education is: “It is never too late to achieve anything in life. You just have to have faith, work hard and be determined to achieve your aims despite any circumstances.
“Life is full of surprises and there is always going to be dark times on your way to achieving what you aim for. So stick to your path and never lose hope.”
Junias is doing just that. She has already achieved her dream of working in a bank.
And she does not want to stop there. There are bigger challenges up the road.
And she is banking on her zeal for success and enthusiasm to achieve her targets.
By STACEY TARURA