Student Story – Leading by example

The professional path is never linear – it comes with many twists and turns – and sometimes it takes an epiphany a bit later in life to inspire new goals and personal development.

James Witanga can relate to this. The hard-working and humble eCampus NZ student didn’t manage to finish high school, but his success story today is testament to the many blessings that flexible online study and learning can afford.

Having completed his Level Three New Zealand Certificate in Business (Introduction to Team Leadership) through Otago Polytechnic via the eCampus NZ platform, James is thrilled to take his learning and apply it in a practical environment.

“I work full-time as a Health and Safety Representative in a wood factory. While working in this role, I began to realise that as a representative and a team leader, it was important that I could improve my communication with others.

“I have people taking instruction from me and I wanted to be able to be clear about the value of health and safety and to have the confidence to get people to understand their responsibilities. Previously I wasn’t very good at talking to other people. I did find it hard.”

Having left high school without qualifications, James took up the opportunity to undertake health and safety training through his workplace, but he wanted to pursue new academic opportunities and knew the only way this was possible was through online learning.

“The attraction to eCampus NZ was the opportunity to further my study and learning in a way that was cost-effective and flexible. As I work full-time, I used my evenings and weekends to complete 20 hours a week of study and holidays to catch up.”

James maintains his appetite for work and study through a healthy balance of working hard with some vital downtime in the mix. “I try hard to stay focused and motivated – these qualities are really important to stick with study. Exercise is also really important to me. It’s a great way to take a break and refresh your memory. When you take breaks, you can go back to your study with a different approach and a clear head.”

Looking towards the future, James is proud to have caught the ‘study bug’ and has plans to continue upskilling so he can truly fulfil his professional potential. “My ambition now is to further my study. I want to continue learning about project management so I can pursue a role like this in the future. I have enrolled for an Otago Polytechnic Level 4 Project Management Certificate via eCampus NZ.”


Be sure to check out our full range of Student Success Stories and if you would like to learn more about the qualification that James achieved take a look at the New Zealand Certificate in Business (Team Leadership).

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