What made you decide to do Pharmacy?
I decided to do Pharmacy because I thought it was a good career to explore. Considering that my father was also a pharmacist in Tuvalu, it inspired me to also follow in his footsteps and in a way serve our Pacific communities.
What did you know about Pharmacy before you started your BPharm?
To be honest I didn't know much about Pharmacy, apart from the things pharmacists do when I visit the Pharmacy when I require their service.
Where do you hope a career in Pharmacy will take you?
I'm hoping that maybe I'll be able to work around the hospital and if I get the opportunity maybe continue my studies into Medicine if I'm still passionate. Also if I ever get the opportunity, I would love to work in the Islands—preferably in Tuvalu where my parents are from—and help to serve the people there.
Why did you choose Otago?
Otago was my only choice because it is the best University in New Zealand.
What is the best thing about being a Pharmacy student at Otago?
I believe one of the best things of being a Pharmacy student is that you are health professionals in training, which is something that is exciting and respected by your peers.
Do you have any plans for you internship?
If I decided to do my internship year, I would love to do it in Dunedin, which is home for me.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
My name is Warren Penaia and I'm a second-year pharmacy student. I was born and raised in Auckland, and moved to Dunedin for school purposes. My parents were born in Tuvalu and migrated to New Zealand to live a better life. They raised me and my siblings up the same way they were raised up in Auckland—through Church and Island discipline. I was taught to know the values of respect, honour, freely giving, and love for others. Education had always been a key motive for my parents to move to Dunedin and always pushed me to look for a good career to study. Now I'm at university doing Pharmacy, which is a profession that I never thought of doing but I'm thankful and grateful I am where I am now.