For successful graduate Alexandra Asman, studying towards her Certificate in Business (Small Business) with NMIT and eCampus NZ was an exercise in “feeling the fear and doing it anyway.”
Before enrolling with NMIT, Alex, who emigrated from South Africa to New Zealand just over a year ago, lacked confidence in her academic abilities.
“I went through a pretty old-fashioned schooling system – the goldfish was judged by its ability to climb a wall,” she says.
“As a creative person, I was a fish out of water. I struggled in school and I didn’t get good marks. Because of that, I never saw myself as an academic. I resisted studying because I didn’t want a piece of paper telling me I’d failed,” she continues.
But after working in the fashion industry for 23 years and successfully running her own business, Alex decided that it was time to gain a qualification to recognise her extensive experience and skills.
“I thought, ‘If I’m brave enough to move to New Zealand, why don’t I finally get a piece of paper to validate the work I’ve been doing for over 20 years?’” she says.
Alex decided to enrol with NMIT and study online with eCampus NZ because she wanted her study to fit around her world.
“I have a job as a Senior Production and Designer Manager job for a clothing brand in Tauranga. I love my job, so I didn’t want to do anything to compromise my work. I hunted around and settled on a Level 4 Certificate in Small Business. It has been so good on so many levels,” she says.
Alex has particularly enjoying learning about conducting business in a New Zealand context.
“The Kiwi way of business is very different to the South African way. I learned so much about the way Kiwis do business, which I love,” she says.
While Alex’s sheer determination and dedication went a long way in helping her succeed in this qualification, she is quick to credit the help of her facilitators in supporting her through her learning journey.
“Every facilitator along the way was supportive. As an older student, I might have had the discipline, but I didn’t have the confidence,” she says.
“In the last course, we had to use OneNote, which I’ve never used before. This pushed me out of my comfort zone, but despite having never met anyone in person, I felt so supported,” she continues.
That doesn’t mean it was all smooth sailing, of course. Learning online while working takes perseverance, which Alex has in abundance!
“I found it very intimidating submitting my assignments because my inferiority complex came back,” she says.
When she was stressed, Alex reached out to her course facilitator for guidance and support, and she encourages other learners to do the same.
“If you’re struggling, be honest about it. Talk about it. As long as you ask, there’s always someone there to help,” she says.
“The only person judging you is you. Feal the fear and do it anyway!” adds Alex.
And how did it feel to graduate?
“I’m absolutely blown away that I have a paper that says maybe I’m a little bit clever. It really validated me.”
Congratulations on this amazing achievement from the entire eCampus NZ whānau, Alex!