National Diploma in Architectural Technology graduate, Amanda Cameron’s passion for architecture began as a child building houses from Lego, an interest which only continued to grow with her favourite subject at school -graphics.
After finishing school she went on to study at different tertiary institutions, but found campus life didn’t suit her needs.
“I’m deaf so I found lectures and tutorials extremely difficult for me to follow and I missed out on valuable information especially when students were interacting with each other and I couldn’t follow the conversations.”
That is when Amanda discovered she could study what she wanted at her own pace through distance learning at the Open Polytechnic.
“Distance learning allowed me to learn everything, just like any other student in the same course. It was perfect for me.”
Amanda says the support she received from her lecturers has greatly benefited her, especially in times of need.
“My lecturers were all extremely helpful and friendly, I used e-mail often to communicate with them and that was great, especially since I don’t use the phone.”
“There have been several periods when I found it extremely difficult and have been unmotivated to carry on or hand in an assignment on time. Fortunately, my lecturers were very helpful and encouraging at these times, and with their support I was able to complete my qualification.”
Amanda first started her diploma with the intention of being a full time student, however due to the flexibility of distance learning, she was able to pick up a part time job and go on several overseas trips. She even found the time to become a representative on the Open Polytechnic Student Advisory Group.
Five months before finishing her qualification, Amanda secured a full time position as an Architectural Technician; working both individually and within a team on documentations for tender and construction. This meant she had to juggle fulltime work on top of her studies, something that would have not been possible without being able to study by distance.
“Without study, I would have not been able to get a job in the architecture field so it was important for me to finish the qualification. However the industry is always changing so keeping an open mind for further study is essential – and knowing you can do it via distance learning is really reassuring as it allows much more flexibility.”
Amanda successfully completed her diploma in 2013 and proudly graduated in front of her family in May. She now looks forward to building her career and taking her passion for architecture to the next level.
“I also completed a qualification in interior design online so I would eventually like to work as both an architectural and interior designer for the residential field, or even start my own business. Right now I’m focussing on getting as much experience as I can and doing some additional training such as barrier free and universal design. I also aim to become a licensed building practitioner.”
With her qualifications completed and great job secured, Amanda has now taken on the next challenge in her life and has begun training as a para-cyclist!
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