Success has no age limit
22 March, 2023, 6:30 pm
AGE shouldn’t be a limiting factor if you have a goal to achieve.
This is something that law graduate Hemant Rao believes in. The 52-year-old was one of 36 law graduates who were recently admitted to the Bar of the High Court of Fiji on March 17, 2023.
Originally from Labasa, Mr Rao has an interesting career history which includes working in both government and non-government organisations.
The roles he has undertaken range from being a public relations officer to a television segment producer and even a stint at an overseas dairy farm, where he worked as an assistant herd manager. “I’ve actually tried out many different professions, I’ve been a schoolteacher, a television producer, have been in media, and I’ve been with the bank as well – Fiji Development Bank (FDB) as a public relations officer,” Mr Rao said.
“I thought it’s a short lifetime and I wanted to try out different things in one lifetime.
“That’s when I realised that basically every sector of work involved the law.”
Knowing that there would be challenges and hurdles to face, Mr Rao’s determination to be a lawyer did not waiver once. He left work and got himself enrolled into the University of the South Pacific (USP)’s Bachelor of Law program in 2015 at the age of 46.
“A mature age student will always have challenges joining the majority who they just fresh out of high school. “In my class, there was just a handful of us who were mature students, and it was a challenge fitting into the peer group.
“But otherwise, it’s a plus to take up law at a mature age because you come with a whole lot of real-life experiences. Being the eldest of four siblings, he said one of the reasons he had to put studies on hold was because he wanted to make sure that all his younger siblings completed theirs first.
“My sister, the youngest in the family is a lawyer. “She did flare up my inspiration because she was the youngest one in the family, and we’ve always thought that we will have different professions in the family. “Then later I thought ‘no, I think it’s good that I also follow her footsteps’.
“Now I’m 52. That’s when I graduated and got admitted to the Bar.”
The swearing in ceremony at the Grand Pacific Hotel was an emotional one for the family as Mr Rao’s sister, Darshani Rao was the one who raised his petition for admittance to the Bar. He said he was proud of his sister’s achievements.
“If it wasn’t for her maybe I wouldn’t have been able to gain the momentum in life to achieve this goal.” Mr Rao’s advice to anybody who wishes to pursue a degree in law is that “age should not be a limiting factor”.
“If you have a goal, you should be able to achieve it. But first you need to be focused on what you want in life. “So, age shouldn’t be a limiting factor for anyone and I’m glad to have it done at this age.
“I don’t think there would have been a better time than now.”
While his sister has her own law firm in Labasa, Mr Rao is yet to decide whether he would join her, look for a job in another firm, or continue with his studies.