Finding the time to study during lockdown

Like many of our learners, Richard Payne found his already busy life got a whole lot busier throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

As a senior security officer (2IC) at his local hospital, Richard and his team played an important role in keeping his community safe throughout the lockdown, with responsibilities that included controlling hospital entrances and exits, supplying security to an additional site, and training staff to meet demand. As Richard says modestly, “It was pretty full on.”

As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, Richard, who also has three kids at home, finished his New Zealand Certificate in First Line Management (Level 4) last month!

Richard, who enrolled in the qualification to develop his leadership and management skills after about a year in his current role, was particularly interested in the course content around team engagement and motivation.  Sometimes, he found that what he was learning was new to him. At other times, it gave him an opportunity to reflect on the leadership skills he has developed through gut instinct, boosting his confidence in his approach.

Of course, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Richard admits that it took him a while to adjust to further learning after being out in the workforce for many years. “I had to motivate myself to do the course at the beginning.”

Asked how he managed to find that motivation, Richard is quick to credit the support of his family. “My partner pushed me the whole way to succeed because she knew I could do it. She was great.”

His qualification will be recognised by his employer, who rewards employees who undertake further training. However, Richard was also intrinsically motivated by the feeling he got when he received his feedback and marks for each assessment.

If you’re wondering how Richard managed to find the time to study, it seems it came down to pure determination. After a long day, Richard would sit down at nights to study, sometimes working late to complete his coursework and assessments. “I had to do the hard slog,” says Richard. “If you want it, you’ve just got to go out at get it.”

Of course, with everything that was going on, Richard did get behind with coursework at times. He admits that he works best under a tight deadline and found himself working his hardest in the lead up to assignment due dates (which a lot of us can identify with!). Even when he was stressed, he persevered, refusing to give up when many in his situation may have.

Richard is pleased to have completed the qualification and is already using the skills he has learned to motivate his team as they work to catch up on the day-to-day work that accumulated throughout the lockdown.

A massive congratulations from the whole eCampus NZ whānau for your achievement, Richard, and thank you for your work in keeping your community safe!

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.