The age old adage is that when you spread yourself too thin, you risk becoming the jack of all trades and the master of none. Well, TANZ eCampus student Leroy Lakamu is disproving those odds, as an expert in a number of very diverse industries.
“My uncle grew up as a builder and he got our family into building. I started my official carpentry apprenticeship through pre-trade and then I went into acting for a little while and earned my Bachelor of Performing Arts,” Leroy reveals.
The contrast between these areas of expertise is certainly vast, but more so inspiring, just like Leroy, who believes in the value of constantly learning and pushing himself to do better. “After all of this, I wanted to continue learning so I can move up in my career. That’s when I looked at TANZ eCampus’ Level 4 New Zealand Certificate in Project Management.
“It was great to have the opportunity to do it in my own time, and the ability to do it at my own pace.”
Leroy appreciated the chance to learn both practice and theory during his courses and took away a number of new skills he will put into play as he starts to grow his own carpentry business. “It was great learning about gantt charts, as they are a way to create a visual of what needs to be done and are useful for breaking down a big project.
“I also enjoyed learning about conflict and people management. Growing up you don’t often get taught how to handle a situation. The course teaches you that not all conflict is bad, some good can come out of it because it can help build better relationships and get everyone working towards the same thing. Likewise, the stakeholder work we did taught me to always ensure that everyone is informed and on the same page, and how to get to the root of a problem if they are not and the role of great communication in all of this.”
Leroy said the art of juggling a busy career with his study always came down to discipline and great time management. “Now that I’ve finished studying, I feel like during my evenings I’m on holiday! Working and studying definitely can be done. I read a great book called Straight A Student and it taught me that it is better to study intensively for one hour instead of nutting away at things. Often people wait until the last minute to chuck things together but it’s valuable to put aside at least an hour a day.”
With his new business now off the ground, Leroy has big ambitions to one day employ staff and eventually take his project management qualification overseas to pursue opportunities there. “I also plan to use the skills I’ve learnt to open up other business and project manage family events!”