Having grown up in Canterbury, Gillan was in his early 20’s, employed in a commissioned-based insurance job and struggling to find a happy work-life balance.
The decision to leave his job and move to an unfamiliar city to study for a Bachelor of Commerce, Management and Marketing was a gutsy move for Gillan. Just a year later, his decision began paying dividends.
Gillan has been lucky enough to be nominated by NMIT for a business programme aimed at helping improve the Māori economy and its business capabilities. The programme, normally reserved for third-year students, was offered to Gillan based on his academic achievements.
“This is an opportunity for me to really demonstrate what I’ve learned so far,” says Gillan, “We connect with Māori businesses and gather insight into how we can improve them in an international context; basically, bringing Māori business into the world.”
Gillan says returning to study did pose a few initial challenges but as soon as he accessed NMIT’s student support services, he was set up for learning success.
“I utilised some of the student support available, including the academic writing and referencing system workshops, because I had been out of school for quite a while,” says Gillan.
Gillan says studying for a degree at a smaller learning institution like NMIT has some real advantages.
“I love NMIT, it’s so easy to connect with the tutors and touch base to make sure I’m on the right track,” says Gillan, “If I was at a university doing this degree, I’d just be a number.”
Gillan says if you’re stuck in a job you don’t like and thinking about returning to study, just go for it.
“If you have doubts or are hesitant, there is a lot of support here at NMIT,” says Gillan, “They go a long way to help you prepare for getting back into study.”