Identical twins graduate with identical degree

11 May 2018
Justin and Josh Wong, Department of Exercise Science, MSc in Clinical Exercise Physiology
Justin and Josh Wong

Identical twins Josh and Justin Wong have a ready explanation for why they are graduating from the University of Auckland with identical degrees.

“We have always been very close, growing up we did almost everything together so we were probably influenced by the same factors and became interested in the same things,” says 22-year-old Josh, who is older than his brother by one minute.

The pair graduate today with an MSc from the Department of Exercise Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology. Unsurprisingly perhaps, both give similar reasons for choosing this area of study.

“The benefits of exercise, no matter your age or health, needs to be advocated for more and I’m really interested in making a difference to people’s lives, so this degree aligned those interests perfectly,” Josh says.

“Being able to see people benefit from exercise over a period of time is a part of the work I really enjoy, knowing that they have made a positive change for their health,” Justin says.

“Utilising exercise for individuals with acute and chronic health conditions is also a part of my work that brings a lot of satisfaction.”

The twins were raised in Christchurch and attended Burnside High School before coming to Auckland to attend university. They live in St Johns. They credit their family, including grandparents who supported and encouraged them, with giving them the determination to achieve at postgraduate level.

They lived with their parents and paternal grandparents in Malaysia before immigrating to New Zealand in 2008. The grandparents stayed behind but Josh says they had a big influence.

“They came from very humble beginnings in a small town in Malaysia and they worked hard to give their children the highest level of education possible and to give them the opportunity to succeed,” he says.

“They taught us to be grateful and humble and gave us a work ethic that has allowed us to achieve whatever we put our minds to.”

Their identical career path causes plenty of comment from people they meet which is fine by them, but just don’t tell them any jokes about twins.

“We’ve heard the best and worst of them, still waiting for an original one,” Justin says.