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Life experience is opening doors for postgraduate study and new careers

For Amanda Ratuki and Andrew Smith work experience is the ticket to post graduate study in supply chain logistics

For Amanda Ratuki and Andrew Smith, work experience is the ticket to postgraduate study in supply chain logistics at Wintec.

There’s a new wave of students at Wintec studying postgraduate diploma and master’s programmes with no degree. What they do have is years of work experience and this is their well-earned ticket to in-demand career qualifications.

Andrew Smith has worked as a project manager for a global company for the last ten years but didn’t have a formal qualification to back up his extensive work experience.

Luckily this didn’t deter him from looking into study options and he was pleased to discover that he didn’t need a degree to enrol in Wintec’s Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain Logistics.

“I wanted to continue to work fulltime whilst studying part-time so having my work experience count towards my studies was really important to me. My fiancé and I are expecting a baby in December, so the work, study and life juggle is only going to increase!” says the 41-year-old.

For the last 10 years, Smith has worked for a global company, project managing the localisation of the website. This involves managing workflow processes and brand management, overseeing website translators and terminology, and resolving IT issues.

“I love project management and my job, but it has always bothered me that I didn’t get a formal qualification earlier. I decided to study as I wanted to upskill, increase my career options and get more confidence in my abilities.”

“Initially I was a bit unsure about what to study but I like fixing problems and am interested in procurement so supply chain management seemed like a good fit,” says Smith who is his in second semester studying Wintec’s Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain Logistics.

Despite the extra demands on his time, he is relishing his experience as a first-time tertiary student

“I work remotely so it’s good getting on campus and learning some new skills. The tutors have been amazing, and I enjoy the format which has been lots of discussion and practical learning.”

Smith says that studying has already improved the way he works.

“Studying has given me a different mind-set and helped me to understand my clients better. I now have a fresh outlook and I think about things differently.”

His classmate Amanda Ratuki has studied previously but wanted to retrain in something practical that would allow a good work/life balance.

Thirty-nine year-old Ratuki has a Diploma in Youth Work and completed a Bachelor of Media Arts at Wintec. Looking to the future, she was searching for a new opportunity that would fit with family life.

“Supply chain logistics is a growth area in the Waikato and I thought it would suit me as I’m quite detailed, a little bit OCD and I love processes,” says Ratuki who is studying Wintec’s Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain Logistics part-time whilst also undertaking voluntary work and caring for her 10-year-old son.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve studied so I was a bit worried about the academic side of things, but it’s totally fine. As a mature student, I’ve learnt that you need to have more confidence in your life experience.”

“Since I last studied at Wintec, the whole focus has become more student-centric and everything feels more accessible too which is great.”

Since launching last year, Wintec’s NZ Certificate in Supply Chain Management and Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain Logistics are proving to be popular study choices, appealing to a variety of students for a range of reasons.

 “In recent years Hamilton has emerged as a major freight and logistics centre due to its location as one corner of the country’s ‘golden triangle’ along with Auckland and Tauranga,” says Group Director for Wintec’s Centre for Business and Enterprise, Sam Cunnane.

“The Ruakura Inland Port, due to open in 2021, will create even more job opportunities in this growth area.

“Wintec’s supply chain logistics programmes give students the necessary skills to take advantage of the Waikato’s burgeoning supply chain logistics industry.”

For adult learners wanting to upskill or qualify,  Wintec also offers a range of training opportunities through short courses, micro-credentials,  Professional Programmes for workplaces  and postgraduate and master’s programmes that can take into account workplace experience as equivalent to a degree.

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