While volunteering at his local church, David realised he wanted to set his sights higher and make a bigger impact in his community - which led him to study at UCOL | Te Pūkenga.
"I came to UCOL because I wanted to deepen my understanding of business management and build on my leadership skills, which I did through UCOL's Assessment and Recognition of Prior Learning service (APL & RPL). I've been told that you need to have experience with leadership to be in leadership, so I was recommended to do the New Zealand Diploma in Business Level 5 at UCOL."
"I currently volunteer with management at my church, where in the past I had helped manage the response for COVID-19 along with the senior pastor. I now organise special events in the church and am hoping to work my way up to a paid position."
"I am also part of the 60th Anniversary Advisory Committee for The Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award. We're working on organising the celebration of the Award's 60 years in New Zealand."
Through his studies at UCOL, David gained valuable insights that complemented his existing skills.
"The papers I completed were incredibly useful, expanding my knowledge in areas such as business management, event planning, and administration."
Living in Auckland and studying the remaining three papers online for his qualification, David says he appreciated the online learning resources and virtual classes.
"The management of the online classes was great. All the lecture notes were online, so I was able to focus on the coursework and complete the assignments with ease."
David expresses gratitude for the unwavering support he received from his lecturers at UCOL.
"Being someone who has had dyspraxia (a developmental coordination disorder), a mild autism diagnosis, and who has overcome bullying at school, it can be sometimes challenging studying via distance. I am grateful to my lecturers, who were always available for guidance when I needed it. They helped me to do better in my assignments and taught me how to tackle them head-on. I especially thank my mentors and my course advisor who assisted me greatly on my journey."
With four qualifications under his belt, including two ICT qualifications (Certificate in ICT Level 4 and a Diploma in ICT Level 5) from Manukau Institute of Technology and a Certificate in Health and Wellbeing in Aotearoa from Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, David already has his sights set on his next achievement.
"I'm now working through my fifth qualification in theology studies at Carey Baptist College, so I can help more in my church. I want to continue climbing the ladder, and I need to have this qualification to do that.
David urges anyone who is considering studying business at UCOL to give it a go.
"If you're passionate about business or volunteer management, or whatever it may be, take the plunge and challenge yourself - because you don't know what you don't know, and what you already know you can learn to improve!"
Learners can study the New Zealand Diploma in Business Level 5 on campus at UCOL Manawatū, Whanganui, or Wairarapa, or online through Open Polytechnic.