Thu 22 Jul 2021

You're never too old to start

Degree student, international student, part-time project manager, full-time mum and all-round achiever Alison Isaac is about to complete a three year journey at WITT that gives her much to be proud of.

Alison moved her family to Taranaki from Papua New Guinea to create a better life for her children.  She enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Management degree at WITT in 2018 and will graduate with a double major in Human Resource Management (HR) and Project Management.

Alison was able to work in her chosen field at the same time as studying, saying that the experience gave her an understanding of what the working environment would be like after she graduated.

She started part-time work at the Taranaki Regional Council in December 2018, juggling her studies, work, family commitments – as well as travel from Hāwera to Bell Street every day.

“I started off as an administration assistant – record management, then occupied the human resource administrator role for seven months and more recently at the start of 2021, was employed as a project manager,” she said.

“I enjoy my roles in HR and as a business analyst working on different projects.”

She backs her natural communication style and people-centric nature, which apply to her various roles. It has allowed her to develop excellent interpersonal skills when working with people to empower them. 

In the next five to ten years, Alison wants to work with the Taranaki iwi, as a Pacific person, she said.

That goal is coupled with becoming a human resource practitioner – working in project and change management or an HR information systems specialist.

Alison found the Bachelor of Applied Management degree very current, saying it dealt with contemporary industry processes and encouraged strategic and critical thinking.

She said she gained skills to be able to analyse a business problem and research the appropriate method to finding results, which lead to solutions and planning. She also now understands how to ask the right questions.

During her time at WITT, Alison has had plenty of highlights.

She has been a Student Leader for two and a half years – acting as a voice for students, particularly international students. She also put her hand up to be a Kaiāwhina/student helper this year.

“Both of these positions and experiences have allowed me to work with different groups of amazing students and develop wonderful friendships which will last me a lifetime,” she said.

“Choosing to study at WITT was the right choice for me as an adult learner returning to study. WITT tutors and support staff are extremely approachable, friendly and eager to help you succeed.”

She hopes her journey will inspire and encourage her children and others to embark on their own.

“You are never too old to start.”