John Pulu, Dave Letele & Jordan Maeataanoa share their journey

Jordan Maeataanoa: My name is Jordan Maeataanoa or Jordan Maea, I'm 26 years old and I'm a doctor. Serve was a big part of Fa'a Samoa and I love the fact that you can help someone who's sick get better. It looked fun as well, like you watch TV programs, you watch surgeries, and you watch them talk about all this crazy stuff and you're like 'aw that looks cool'.

Dave Letele: When I was 14 years old, I'd seen my uncle had done quite well in business so I really wanted to go down that field and also I really wanted to be a rugby league star but I knew I had to have a backup of business or something just in case league didn't work out. I had one family member who had done very well and my other family side, which was my dad and my uncle, who didn't do very well. They didn't stay at school and wound up spending a lot of time in jail, so I never wanted to be like that, and so you know there was two sorts of family guidance. There was from my parents 'don't ever go down that path', and then my uncle who was something that I wanted to work towards.

John Pulu: I was nine years old when I left Tonga for New Zealand, and one of the barriers I first had to overcome was the language barrier. I spoke Tongan and I was trying to understand what everyone else was saying. When choosing a career, I seeked help from our careers advisor and they signed me up in this program called Gateway, and that for me was the gateway that got me into the industry. So they allowed me to leave Otahuhu College and go into TVNZ and I did some work experience at Tagata Pasifika. 

Jordan Maeataanoa: I didn't know anyone that was in medicine so I tried to ask, tried to look on the internet how I get into medicine. I knew I wanted to be a doctor so I asked at school 'hey miss, how do I get into medicine? I want to be a doctor'.

Dave Letele: My career journey has been one of a roller coaster, there's been ups and downs, from rags to riches and back to rags again, but you know what - that's the journey. It's never a failure if you learn from it. As long as you learn from your mistakes, they're not mistakes because you will never make them again.

Jordan Maeataanoa: Do the subjects that you're better at, I was not that great at science so I did English subjects instead and biology to try and get into medicine. Or if you're better at science or maths, then do chemistry and biology and physics.

John Pulu: It was a huge help having a program like Gateway because that was my only opportunity coming from a school in South Auckland to going to somewhere like TVNZ. It allowed me to have a hands-on experience and I got to meet people in the industry.

Jordan Maeataanoa: If you're brown and you want to be a doctor, there will be scholarships. One of the scholarships that I got was the Health and Workforce scholarship from Le Va. It paid for the whole degree basically.

Dave Letele: Never give up, keep pushing forward. You're going to come across road blocks and speed bumps. You just have to persevere, consistency, and work hard. Nothing is going to be given to you in this life, you have to work hard and you have to be consistent.