Straight after high school, Jessie Bailey began a double degree in law and business. The country girl moved from Numurkah – a small Victorian town with a population of 4,643 – to Melbourne.
“I grew up on a dairy farm so for me, going to uni meant having to pack up and move to Melbourne as there are no courses in law anywhere near me and it was sort of expected that I take that path.
“It was pretty tough for me being so young and on my own, so after a couple of years of still not enjoying the course, I decided to stop just trying to stick it out for the sake of it and move back home to get a job,” Jessie said.
After about five years working in different jobs and locations around Australia, Jessie says working in property and investment struck a cord and decided to learn as much as she could about the industry.
“It was apparent that I had a huge passion for all things property and investing, including anything from development to interior design to construction.
“I also found that I loved playing a role in the success of a business and that the key to sustainable competitive advantage really is an organisation's people so it was important step for me to develop my management skills via formal education.
“That’s when I decided to complete my Bachelor of Business (Management) whilst gaining continuous experience working in the construction industry.”
Not wanting to revisit her previous experience studying in Melbourne, Jessie looked into different study options and realised online learning was the way to go. She was also able to get credit from her previous university study.
“Swinburne Online was the most suitable uni I could find online that had a good reputation and a unique approach to learning that didn't put a line in the sand between students and teachers the way some traditional universities do.
“The process to get recognition for all of my previous subjects was incredibly smooth which meant I hadn't wasted all of that time and money that long ago which was very important to me. Had I not have found Swinburne Online, it would have been almost impossible for me to go back to uni at all.
“For a regional person, online learning is really the only option, particularly if you have responsibilities like a couple of mortgages and never ending bills,” Jessie said.
The 29 year old finished her degree in early September. In the months leading up to her graduation ceremony, Jessie was promoted to a management role.
“The course related to everything I would do in my job and I could literally implement the things that I had learned the next day. It made me look at things from many different perspectives.
“Of course a more tangible effect has been my promotion to Business Manager of Diverse Builders which puts me in a pretty good position before I turn 30 doing exactly what I want to do, particularly in a small town like mine where opportunities can be few and far between.
“Having a Bachelor degree has given me a sense of pride as well as the additional knowledge that works hand in hand with actual management experience. It also gives you confidence in your ability which can in itself open doors to other opportunities.”