Helena Lawrence

The marine environment captivated my interest ever since I was a child. To my surprise, I also enjoyed Statistics which became one of my favourite subjects!

Helena Lawrence
Helena Lawrence

Degree: Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine Biology and Statistics

My name is Helena Lawrence and I am of Samoan, Tokelauan and Tuvaluan descent. I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine Biology and Statistics. I am now in the process of completing a Master of Science in Marine Biology.

The marine environment captivated my interest ever since I was a child. I found my passion for science while I attending high school. My teachers noticed my potential and motivated me to continue studying science at tertiary level. To my surprise I found that I also enjoyed learning about Statistics which became one of my favourite subjects at Victoria University of Wellington. I never would have thought I would be into statistics yet through the programme here, I have realised how interesting and important the skill is to have. My Marine Biology course has really challenged me to think critically about information and provided me with viewpoints I would not otherwise have developed.

In my spare time I enjoy playing sports particularly rugby and netball. I admit at times the workload can be overwhelming, especially with sporting commitments. But I have learnt that a well-kept diary is key and setting realistic short term goals.

I have received six scholarships and awards during my studies. The ‘Pasifika Award for Excellence in Academic Achievement’ is one of my recent awards which I received at the Pasifika Graduation ceremony in May, 2014. I felt honoured to be a recipient and I also felt a sense of belonging while attending Pasifika Graduation. As one of the only Pasifika students currently studying Marine Biology at postgraduate level I urge other Pasifika students to take the plunge and not be scared even though it can be intimidating.

My culture is very important to me. I also value my tight knit family.

My grandmother is from the village of Falelatai in Upolu, Samoa and my grandfather is from the island nation of Tuvalu. When I am not busy studying or playing sport I ensure I spend as much time as I can with my family. I am not tying myself down in making plans for the future just yet, I am keeping my options open. I am not certain what my future holds and I am not set on any one career. I am sure that through further study the door to my future career can only get wider. I know that whatever path I will take I am determined to aim high and will strive to be at the top.