Student Story – A Silver Lining

While the breakdown of a relationship is never ideal, Rachael Hurst was never defined by her situation. In fact, she took the opportunity to completely reinvent herself through the pursuit of education at eCampus NZ, completing a Level 3 New Zealand Certificate in Business (Admin & Technology). Needless to say, she has set an incredible example for the children she is raising as a single parent.

“I did end up on my own as a solo mum, and it was at this time, I asked myself, ‘What am I going to do next?’ Up until then, I was doing the books for my former partner’s business, and prior to that, I was in hospitality, but I wanted to find a new opportunity – one that would work with the kids and within school hours.

“Hospitality has limited job opportunities if you can’t work nights which are the busiest times, so I settled on administration – I knew this would be the best option for me job wise and I didn’t want to be doing nothing. While my situation wasn’t where I saw my life going, I wanted to make the most of things for me and the kids.”

Once Rachael had identified her career aspirations, she went in search of an educational service that would enable her to develop the skills and acquire the knowledge to qualify for her dream job – she found this with eCampus NZ. “I wanted to study online as I was going to be studying with three children. Although I did have some childcare – including my sister who supported me – I needed to find a way to use the time I did have available to my advantage.”

Conceding that the early days proved challenging as she got into the swing of study life, Rachael says her secret to success was ensuring she studied at the times when she was least likely to be distracted. “It can be hard sitting at home trying to concentrate when there are dishes to be cleaned and washing to be done, but my main advice would be to study while the house is quiet and to draw on your cheer squad for support.

“I would say to others, ‘Don’t be scared’. I really found my confidence as I got underway, and when I started to get good marks back. It was such a great feeling to have the kids proud of me – especially my daughter. She would see how hard I was working on my assignments and would get so excited when I got my marks back.”

In 2018, Rachael will continue to fulfil her potential by pursuing a Level 4 New Zealand Certificate in Business (Admin & Technology). “I’m looking forward to the future.”


Be sure to check out our full range of Student Success Stories.


Important information for new learners

eCampus NZ as a business unit of Open Polytechnic, is now part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology.

From 1 January 2023, eCampus NZ will no longer enrol new learners into study plans delivered on the eCampus NZ learning platform.

However, all courses/programmes will still be available for online study through Open Polytechnic - Te Pūkenga.

The eCampus NZ team is here for you. If you are still experiencing ongoing issues related to Cyclone Gabrielle, please contact your advisor or facilitator so we can work with you to get you back on track.