Taking on further study while in a full-time position that requires lots of time on the road would seem an uphill battle for most. But thanks to modern technology – it’s achievable.
Adam Webb, Executive Manager, Regional Victoria & Tasmania, is a prime example of the work study balance. Four years ago, Adam started a Bachelor of Business, Public Relations, with Swinburne Online and never looked back.
“I attempted university close 17 years ago, realised it wasn’t for me at the time and jumped straight into a career in banking, taking the fast track up the corporate ladder. But a few years ago, I knew I needed more.
“I had a compelling conversation with my manager in 2013 after reviewing my own credentials and seeing how competitive the financial industry was becoming.
“Quite colloquially, my manager just said: ‘load up and have a crack!’ So I did,” Adam said.
Each week Adam drives across the state of Victoria and flies to Tasmania visiting customers and CommBank staff. Spend a day on the road with him, and you’ll quickly learn a thing or two about the communications profession – thanks to the record function on his smart phone, he listens to his learning materials en route.
“I find it quite fulfilling to know that I’m being efficient with my time. From the outset, I thought it’d be hard to handle 50-60 hours of work with study. But then I learned a few tricks along the way to make it work like recording the most important part of my online lessons to listen to on the commute.
“This little hack helped me fit in some valuable study before my assignments were due. You really do what you can to make it work when you want to achieve something. I discovered many little skills like that on the way to finishing my degree, which actually made the juggle in itself a learning experience.”
Recently, the Australian Government released higher education standards for the finance sector, which include compulsory education requirements for both new and existing financial advisers, meaning advisers are required to hold a degree by 2024.
Adam got in early. He finished his degree in early 2017 and is now hoping to inspire others in his industry like him to not only meet the education requirements but to create more opportunities through further education.
“The majority of the people I work with have 20+ years’ of rich industry experience behind them and the reality is we all need to meet industry requirements. But it’s more than that.
“Going through and getting my degree has been a hard, amazing and unique experience and now that I am out the other end, I am a better professional, have a clearer idea of what I want my career to look like and am proud example to my kids.”
Interested in study?
Speak with your manager
Organisations like Commonwealth Bank offer employees tertiary study assistance. According to Commbank website, employees can access study assistance, which offers the opportunity to obtain approval for up to 100% financial assistance and flexible leave to complete studies. Speak with your manager about what options are available for financial assistance and flexible leave.
Tackle study with a co-worker
If you’re interested in studying, it’s worth considering enrolling with a colleague so you can encourage one another to stay on track with your study goals. During Adam’s study through Swinburne Online, one of his co-workers was completing a Bachelor of Business. This not only heightened motivation for him but provided an element of support.