A new side hustle in property development facilitated a need for Carmel Wackrow to upskill in the field of Interior Design; engaging in a programme which was practical and able to be studied from home, she took to the learning like a duck to water.
After beginning a side hustle in property development, Carmel said “I realised the advantage having interior design skills would bring to providing superior quality homes for buyers”.
She knew about SIT2LRN’s distance learning course in Interior Décor through a friend, who had studied it a couple of years earlier and thoroughly enjoyed it. “When I decided I wanted to study interior décor SIT2LRN was my first port of call.”
It wasn’t just her friend’s recommendation which drew Carmel to the SIT2LRN programme, there was also the flexibility of it being a distance learning course, and on top of that, it was competitively priced. “As I currently work full-time, I chose SIT2LRN as it allowed me to study from home and do it in my own time, around other commitments - work, kids etc. The cost effectiveness of the course was also a big drawcard.”
Enrolling in the NZ Certificate in Interior Décor, Carmel completed the qualification at the end of 2021. She said heading into the course, she wanted to study something which would give her a broad range of skills that were applicable in a real-life environment. “The course definitely delivered a good mix of both theory and a chance to apply this practically through the assessments.”
Carmel said one of the most important aspects learnt on the course was about colours and how they work together, as well as the use of textures and patterns to bring life to a space. “I also benefited from learning how to read building plans and to challenge myself to draw a room in different dimensions.”
Due to working full-time and family commitments, the biggest challenge Carmel faced during the programme was managing her time. To overcome this, she put assessment dates in her diary and then would work back from there to allocate time each week. “It helped to ensure I wasn’t leaving things until the last minute,” she said.
After being out of the education mindset for more than 20 years, Carmel found it very rewarding to have another qualification under her belt. “It helped immensely that interior design is something I have a personal interest in, so I did not find the study or assessments to be a chore, and once I was in study mode, I could carry on for hours!”
She enjoyed the easy-to-use online system to access study materials, results, submit assessments and connect with tutors, and it was advantageous “just being able to complete the study in your own time”, she said.
Having done a considerable amount of study in her twenties, Carmel noted that technology has come a long way since then. “I actually wish I had done this course about 10 years ago, it was thoroughly enjoyable and nice to be studying something that I am genuinely interested in!”
“I think SIT2LRN do a great job of providing practical courses, giving you skills that can easily be applied in the workplace or general life. The content of the course was easy to follow, there was not too much reading and the tutors were approachable and highly responsive,” she added.
Carmel is already employed full-time as a Business Support Manager, but the property development side hustle is sufficiently important to invest her time and newly honed talents into. However, it doesn’t stop there; she can see herself using her abilities to guide friends and family as well.
“I won’t enter into interior design as a full-time occupation, but the skills I have learnt will help me design beautiful spaces in our own home, our development properties and it’s also rewarding to be able to help family and friends with their design processes.”
And she has some great advice for those considering distance learning. “Choose to study something you are passionate about and you won’t regret it! SIT2LRN delivers a cost- effective, superior education experience, providing graduates with practical knowledge and skills.”