Alofa Tasi

Alofa Tasi

Programme: PGDip in Science - Clinical Exercise Physiology, BSc in Biomedical Sciences

“I’ve always enjoyed the Sciences, and more specifically human biology and how the body works and adapts to change. For this reason, I enrolled in a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biomedical Sciences.

“The degree also sparked interest in several other areas such as endocrinology, microbiology, physiology and the exercise sciences. Exercise science being what I’ve decided to pursue a postgraduate qualification in – although it is slightly different from my undergraduate degree, there are still elements which are very relevant.

“I’m currently studying a Postgraduate Diploma in Science - Clinical Exercise Physiology (CEP) which I hope to complete by the end of this year (2022).

“Exercise is an important part of my life, whether its training for an event or to remain active and healthy. CEP offers an opportunity to use Exercise as a tool to help others improve their quality of life. I like the idea that I can use something important to me to benefit our diverse community.

“The “why” and “how” also attracted me to the subject - why are we seeing these results and how can we work towards the best solutions.

”I am currently working towards becoming a qualified CEP. The role works as a part of a multidisciplinary team that provide specialised testing, exercise programmes, and client education in conjunction with other medical and allied health professionals. This is achieved through the delivery of exercise, lifestyle and behavioural modification programmes for the prevention, management and rehabilitation of chronic conditions, diseases, and injuries.

“Cases we work with range from healthy individuals to those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases, chronic pain, or injury. Using data collected from testing, we can prescribe an exercise plan specific to the needs of each individual to help them reach their goals.

“The programme has a nice balance of practical and theory components. We practice with our peers and complete supervised practicum hours in the health and rehabilitation clinic. The class sizes are generally of a smaller size, so we get more time with tutors and lecturers to ask questions – something which can be difficult in undergraduate classes that are larger.

“I enjoy how much the programme focusses on the importance of interprofessional relationships and assessing a client/situation holistically. It emphasises we are part of a wider team, all contributing to provide the best solutions for our clients. I like that I can play a part in finding a solution for a client in need.

I chose the University of Auckland because it offered opportunities that extended beyond the scope of the degree I was enrolling in, allowing me to explore other options. The more I progressed through my undergraduate degree, the more open I was to specialise in specific areas of the Medical Sciences and Biology – both human and environmental.

Alofa Tasi

“I hope to move on to a Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology, with an end goal of becoming a registered CEP. I would like to work with both the aging population and high-performance athletes from various sporting codes. I also look forward to the opportunities this qualification will bring not only here in New Zealand but also abroad.

“During my undergraduate degree I was part of the Tuakana Science programme. They offer both general advice, pastoral care and degree planning when needed. Having this support enabled me to get my footing when starting out at university and also allowed me to connect with others within my faculty. The programme helped me establish relationships with people I am still in contact with to this day.

“I also visited the career development and employability services centre (CDES) for advice throughout my undergraduate studies, who were helpful in identifying opportunities and different career pathways I could pursue with my chosen degree. Initially I thought my job opportunities were very restricted and limited to lab work & research. However, CDES exposed me to other avenues that include working with the DHB in Health Management, or with various different Ministry organisations.

“Te Fale Pouāwhina was another great resource I was introduced to during my undergraduate years and still use today. Their academic writing seminars help to structure and tidy up rough edges when writing my assignments.

“It was assuring to know that these support services were available, and that they were always willing to help and bring clarity.

“There have been plenty of highs and lows during my time at the university, but these challenges and achievements have helped make me the person I am today. I am grateful for this experience, the opportunities God has given me, and the sacrifices my family and friends have made for me to be here.”