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Caroline defies all odds to gain MBA

MVIL Branches Manager Ms. Caroline Anselem seated with fellow graduates at the University of Papua New Guinea. 

“It’s a competitive world. You cannot rely on your degree or diploma to fulfill your dreams. To move a step up, you need to have the qualifications to do so.”

These were the words of Ms. Caroline Anselem shortly after graduating with an Executive Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Papua New Guinea in April.

Ms. Anselem, who is MVIL’s Branches Manager, under the Operations Division, pursued studies in 2018 while working. However, the two-year course took longer than expected due to the fact that she lost her husband in 2019 and had to withdraw from studies to fulfill family obligations, including caring for her son, who was four months old at that time.

Ms. Anselem began her employment with MVIL in 2014 as a Customer Service Officer, working as a VIP cashier at the NCD Customer Service section.

“As a front-line Customer Service Officer, I was multi-skilled in collection, issuing of CTP certificates, general enquiries, motor vehicle inspection and issuing of driver’s licenses, and data integrity examining.”

She was then promoted as an underwriting officer where she was responsible for examining CTP insurance policies, data integrity, issuing of CTP insurance stock and endorsement of CTP insurance policies for all MVIL branches.

In Ms. Anselem’s line of work as a senior data examiner, she had the opportunity to work closely with the company secretary to enhance the process of endorsement of motor vehicles third party insurance.

“In my line of duty, I had to identify loopholes,” Ms. Anselem said.

Identifying loopholes and managing the breakdown in the system was a collaborative responsibility for front-line customer service officers, back-office underwriting officers, the company secretary and the Operations Management Team.

After much deliberation on what could be done, the team came up with guidelines to enhance the process.

That resulted in the production of the Motor Vehicle and Insurance Guideline Booklet, which is continually being updated.

“I am happy to have been a part of that process,” she said with a satisfying smile.

In 2017, she was promoted from a Customer Service Officer to a Senior Data Examiner. She was then promoted to Senior Stock Officer in 2019 and was given a contract for Branches Manager in 2021.

Asked about the challenges she faced while studying, Ms. Anselem said: “There were challenges then, and there will always be challenges. Being the Branches Manager, you have 25 branches reporting to you.”

“You have a family in the house, a son who is now two years old, but during that time, he was very young and being the only parent, he needed me. That is why I had to withdraw from studies. After work, I had to drive to school for evening classes then drive back home to attend to family obligations. You suffer from lack of sleep or none at all, so yes, there were challenges. Those of you that have gone down this road will relate.”

She added that those challenges were what made her the person she is today – giving her the strength and courage to persevere.

“I am the happiest woman having achieved this. And two to three years from now, I know for sure that I will go back for further studies. Learning never stops.”

Her encouragement to those who want to pursue studies while employed is: “Some organizations allow for studies while employed, others don’t. However, do not let that stop you. Go for after-hours classes. Looking for a job is very hard these days. Utilize the flexible or distance learning. If you have a certificate, make sure you get a diploma, if you have a diploma, then get a degree, if you have a degree, get your masters and so forth.”

She acknowledged her family in supporting her through it all even when the odds were against her.

“I come from a family and area where tribal fighting is the norm and education, especially for women, is not something that is regarded highly. I am the only female in my family who has reached this level of education so I am a pride to them and the Hela women have seen me as their role model regardless of everything that life has thrown at me.”

Ms. Anselem acknowledged the management of MVIL, especially the CEO Mr. Michael Makap, her immediate boss Ms. Helen Koka, Executive Manager Operations, and colleagues whom were always supportive of her.

“I would not be where I am today if it was not for them, for their management and encouragement. I also remember my late husband.

“If he was alive, he would have been the happiest man. I made a small feast and dedicated my achievement to him. Most of all, I thank God for giving me the courage and strength to take each step at a time.”

In conclusion, Ms. Anselem said: “I love MVIL because after graduating in 2012, I was unemployed for a year. In 2014, I joined MVIL and I am happy where I am. I am not one who likes looking for greener pastures. I thank MVIL for giving me the opportunity to work for such a great organization.”

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