Nicola O'Sullivan

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For many people a career change can be a daunting prospect, but for recent graduate of the National Certificate in Real Estate (Salesperson), Nicola O’Sullivan, being able to study through the Open Polytechnic meant she had the flexibility to continue working while gaining her new qualification.

Although difficult juggling work and study, it paid off. Nicola has not only been offered a position at the Elite Training program with Barfoot & Thompson and a work placement  on the North Shore while still studying, but she also managed to complete her qualification in just four months.

“Once I had decided that I wanted this new career I focussed my mind and energy on it and set myself weekly tasks.  I enjoyed the course and can’t wait to start in my new role as a Real Estate Salesperson!”

The unique combination of distance learning and contact workshops offered by Open Polytechnic for Real Estate meant Nicola could pick and choose which assessments to focus on with the different learning formats when it worked for her schedule.  “Studying Real Estate with Open Polytechnic was the best solution. It allowed me to study in my free time while also offering me the chance to join a course for Real Estate (Salesperson) for several weeks at a time which suited me. It was a fantastic mix.”

The workshops offered were one of the best parts of Nicola’s study.  They helped her to “study much quicker and to finish the assessments in half the time because of the strong support Open Polytechnic offered. The workshop provided students with all the necessary tools in order to pass the assessments and start in their new careers.”

Nicola also thought the workshops were engaging and enjoyed having access to tutors with real life experience in the industry and the opportunity to network with other real estate students.  “Our tutor Yvonne had a huge repertoire of real life examples, which made the course lively.  It also helped to meet people who were studying the same subject matter as me.  We were all working towards the same goal and could support and motivate each other.”

Even though Nicola had many other demands on her time while studying, the flexibility of this qualification and her own personal drive has allowed her to successfully transition into a new career.

“It was difficult when I was working full time, as I have three children and a full program after school. But I set myself goals, which kept me motivated. I have just finished an intensive week of Elite training and will now focus on building up my new business within Barfoot & Thompson.”

If you’re thinking about studying Real Estate, Nicola recommends studying with Open Polytechnic. “I would encourage anybody to do further studies and to venture out for a new start with Open Polytechnic if they feel like trying something new.  It’s a friendly, encouraging and helpful environment with many approachable people who are happy to help with whatever queries you might have.”

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