“I like organising things. Before I started at UCOL I was on the Board of Trustees and ran a parent group at my children’s school. I led many projects like redeveloping the carpark and playground, events, fundraising, and putting together a Christmas parade float.”
With the encouragement of her husband, Heidi enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Management, majoring in Project Management.
Heidi says the support she received from her lecturers played a big part in her completing the degree, and being set to graduate in March 2020.
“The Business lecturers are amazing. They were always there if I needed help. I would email them if I had any issues and they would always reply or make the time to meet with me if I needed it.”
“Finishing my studies was rewarding for me as an adult student. I came here unsure of what to expect and was made to feel at home and confident in myself studying.”
For her third-year internship, Heidi worked with Bulls & District Community Trust, organising events and projects to benefit the community. Heidi found and started the internship at the beginning of the year, instead of waiting until the second semester when internships normally start.
Heidi had a wide range of responsibilities during her internship, including running events like the Matariki celebrations and the Art 4 Arts Sake Exhibition, securing funding and sponsorship, writing and assembling a monthly magazine, and finding out what the Bulls community and key stakeholders wanted in their town.
Heidi says the internship gave her the opportunity to apply many of the skills she had learnt in class.
“The communication paper I studied helped me address people in a more understanding way and handle difficult situations. I did a marketing paper which helped me promote the Trust and the events I manage. Almost every task I did I could relate to a paper I studied at UCOL,” says Heidi.
Part way through the internship, it was clear that Heidi was the right person for the job and she was hired as a full-time Community Coordinator.
As a mum of five kids, Heidi says juggling study with parenthood has its challenges but is incredibly rewarding.
“From a mother’s perspective it was good because my children got to see me study. They got to see that mum was going to ‘school’ too.”
“A highlight for me was when I came home from my final exam and my 10-year said to me, ‘Hey mum, how was your exam?’ Just to have him ask really made my day because he was taking a lot more notice than I thought. I can’t wait for my kids to see me graduate.”
Heidi manages dance and sportswear retailer Lyrical Limited, having been a partner in the business before she started at UCOL. She stepped down from her shareholdings to put time into her studies. Heidi and her husband have a number of side-business ideas for the future, with wedding-planning being Heidi’s dream job.