Susan Coates

Susan CoatesAdvanced Diploma of Management
GippsTAFE Warragul Campus

What was it that first got you excited about your chosen study area and future career path?
I currently work at Flinders Christian Community College and I was challenged by the Principal to have a 5 year plan that included gaining a qualification. I had been promoted to an Executive position and having a qualification helped to solidify this move and gain respect in a field where qualifications are considered vital. My workplace was very encouraging and supportive, releasing me to attend workshops and providing financial support.

Can you remember how you felt in the first week of your course?
Attending the first week, I was very nervous. Not about the environment but about whether I would be able to achieve the standard required and keep up with the workload. I had not been a study environment for a long time and I was concerned that I would not meet the high expectations. I was pleasantly surprised by the support and encouragement that I was given each week and found that once I had received my results for my first assignment, my confidence grew.

Staying motivated can be a challenge for a lot of new students, what challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The only way I managed to study, work full-time and look after my family was to be very organised and structured. I set time aside each weekend to write my assignments and did my readings during the week. I was very strict with myself and found this schedule worked in well with my family.

By doing my studies this way, by sticking to deadlines and being structured, I was able to manage the workload and achieve high results. It was easy to be motivated because I was studying alongside a great bunch of people and the course work was engaging. The lecturers were excellent and their knowledge and experience enriched the program.

What practical training experiences have you had as a part of your course?
The workshops were a valuable tool and enabled students to apply their learning in a safe environment. The lecturers enabled students to share their own workplace experiences and to provide feedback on relevant issues.

Application back in the workplace was relevant and it was easy to apply the skills learnt to make a positive change. The course also enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of my workplace and how it functions. Already in management, the course expanded on my own experience and gave me techniques to improve my own performance and of those around me.

Have you had success as a result of your training?
I received the GippsTAFE 2011 Outstanding Student Award for the Advanced Diploma of Management. In 2012 I enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Management and am enjoying the course. My accomplishments have also been acknowledged at Flinders Christian Community College amongst staff and the College community.

Where to from here?
The GippsTAFE course enabled me to enrol in the Bachelor course at University of Ballarat. I have plans to go on to do a Masters or postgraduate course. My training is expanding what I can do in my current employment and I am able to implement what I have learnt on a day-to-day basis. By receiving this qualification, many more avenues are open to me such as further study and job prospects.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about studying at GippsTAFE?I would encourage anyone seeking to gain a qualification to consider GippsTAFE as they are a provider that strives for excellence. I have recommended GippsTAFE to family and friends and am proud that they are part of my educational journey.