Stepping up into management

Watch Nikki's story

Looking to progress in her career, and with the support of her manager, Nikki Liddell decided to study a Bachelor of Business, majoring in management.

Studying enabled Nikki to seize career opportunities within McConnell Dowell Constructors where she worked full-time whilst also studying part-time. Soon after starting to study, Nikki’s commitment to progressing in her career was recognised by her manager, who quickly promoted her from an Accounts Administrator, to Assistant Project Accountant, and then to Project Accountant - the role she is in now.  

She explains, “Studying opened up a lot more broader areas, especially within the industry I am in. It gives me the ability to move on to different management roles within the company.”

Real-time practice  

As Project Accountant, Nikki monitors the finances for her assigned projects. She looks at the monthly forecasts, making sure the project stays on budget, reports findings to head office and helps the Project Construction Manager to do monthly reports on statistics for the job.

By working and studying at the same time, Nikki was able to integrate her learning into her job. “Paper by paper you learnt new skills that you could incorporate into your current role.”  

“The skills that I learnt help me to plan ahead, for future plans for the project which is quite good in construction as you need to know what’s going to happen down the job and to make sure you stay to the timelines that are given.  

Study pays off

Nikki attributed studying to her career’s success. She explains, “Studying has helped me by making me more confident in my role, more successful in my promotion and giving me the ability to deal with everyday situations that I can be in the workplace.”

She adds, “I am also able to use these skills to deal with different types of people and situations in everyday life.”

Online learning

Nikki enjoyed the freedom and flexibility online learning gave her. She explains, “I could pick it up and put it down whenever I needed and I could set my own timetables. It was also great that you could just log in to a computer anywhere and just start studying, you weren't lugging around lots of books.”

Nikki praises the support she received from Open Polytechnic staff. She says, “You can email the tutor straight away and get a response pretty instantly.” Nikki also appreciated being able to connect to fellow students through the online forums.   

Looking ahead

Looking ahead, Nikki wants to keep progressing in her career at McConnell Dowell Constructors and hopes to open up other opportunities with the potential of continuing to study.

Reflecting on her time as a student, Nikki says, “I think everyone's capable of studying, you just need to have the motivation and the confidence, as I was never good at school, so I never thought I would be able to do something like this, and I have.” 

Studying opened up a lot more broader areas, especially within the industry I am in. It gives me the ability to move on to different management roles within the company.