His studies with SIT2LRN have played no small part in giving him the skills needed to attain and excel in the role.
James has lived in the suburb of Whatawhata, on the outskirts of Hamilton, all his life, attending Hamilton Boys’ High School and obtaining his NCEA Level 3.
“After leaving high school I was then faced with the situation many 18 year olds find themselves in, of not knowing where to go or what to do now.
“Initially I started working full-time at West Construction, which works in the civil construction industry. This involved the three waters (waste, storm and mains), subdivisions and earthmoving.
“So I began to study civil engineering at Wintec in Hamilton. I quickly came to the realisation that this path was not for me, although not quick enough to avoid hauling in a first semester student loan with nothing to show for it.”
After a few months of searching for a direction he truly wanted to follow, he became set on the idea of a managerial role.
“That led to me coming across the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Project Management Strand) and it ticked all the boxes I was looking for, especially the diversity that it offered in terms of where the knowledge can be applied.
“The next hurdle I faced was location of study. To my relief I saw that SIT offered distance learning, which I discovered through their website, and thought I would give this style of learning a go.”
While James found the course rewarding, he admits it was challenging at times.
“Being a distance learner requires being fully committed to your study, as well as having great self- discipline and time management, as missing deadlines on any work can jeopardise your success. This meant many Saturday nights spent completing work rather than going out.
“If I was to offer any advice to new students considering distance learning, it would be to make sure you are 100 per cent committed and want the qualification. It will test you at times – but receiving that certificate at the end makes it all worth it.”
Since graduating with the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Level 5), James has continued to work at West Construction, and is enjoying being able to put his new skills into action and reaping the career benefits.
“In this role I have been able to implement skills learnt from my qualification, in conjunction with life experience and a level head, allowing me to excel in my role.
“In terms of study, I am looking at doing another paper in a more specific field, but I’m yet to determine what that will be.
“My plans for the future are to continue working where I am and see where things take me - but I am always open to opportunity.”