After completing his Bachelor in International Business Management in the United Kingdom, Sri Lankan national Ruchira Nanayakkara wanted to try something new.
After researching his options and discussing them with colleagues and friends, Ruchira decided to look towards New Zealand and enrol in the new Graduate Diploma in Project Management (Level 7) at UCOL. UCOL is a government funded tertiary institution, located in ‘Student City’, Palmerston North.
Ruchira had never been to New Zealand before but had heard about the quality of the education.
“In New Zealand, qualifications include a lot of practical experience, alongside the theory based learning which matches what the job market is looking for. This practical experience was a really important factor for me when I was making my choice about where to study.”
Ruchira had no prior knowledge of Project Management when he began his Graduate Diploma but soon found his feet through help from his experienced lecturers.
UCOL lecturers are experienced in the industry in which they teach, which helps to ensure that the students learn the skills that they will need in the workforce.
“My lecturers had really good knowledge of project management and were really helpful,” Ruchira says. “Their experience gave meaning to the examples and their help got me through.”
Students of the Graduate Diploma in Project Management at UCOL complete an industry project which includes 200 hours working in industry, which enable them to demonstrate their abilities in a real-world business environment.
To fulfil his work experience requirements Ruchira has gained an internship with multinational company Holcim, based in Christchurch.
“My industry project gives me the opportunity to show my colours, and really put what I have learnt this year into practice,” Ruchira says.
“The industry experience was a huge plus point for me as I can go into the work force and prove that I already have Project Management experience.”
Ruchira says it is worth investing in education in New Zealand. “New Zealand is friendly, and my UCOL programme is recognised all over the world. Once I have completed my industry project I will have the skills to enter industry with the support of my experienced lecturers. I would really recommend studying at UCOL as a way to further your skill base.”