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From military to HRM

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HR meeting

After working for over 15 years in the Defence Force and the Public Service, Justin was ready to steer his career in a new direction. Currently completing a Diploma of Human Resource Management, Justin shares his story, top tips and the highlights of his course.


Why did you decide to undertake a Diploma of Human Resource Management with Swinburne Online?

After sustaining a hip injury during training in the Defence Force, I transitioned to working as a Customs Officer, and then a Workplace Trainer. After a successful career in the public service, I looked into study whilst parenting my kids at home.

I was drawn to the Diploma of HRM as it draws on my training, development and team leader skills sets. There also appears to be plenty of full time job opportunities and good salary expectations. Most importantly, I enjoy working with people and see the human element of a company as its most valuable resource.

Studying online is enabling me to balance my study with my parenting responsibilities, whilst keeping me up to date, employment ready and career focussed.

What have been some of the highlights of studying your diploma?

I got a bit of a buzz out of returning to study to be honest. Initially I was a little ambivalent and unsure if I still had what it takes as a 39 year old returning to study. I was pleasantly surprised that my age has been no barrier. In fact if anything, my experience has helped me so far in the course. I have found the Student Support team and Course Trainers to be very friendly and eager to assist when I had enquires. The feedback I received on my completed tasks was always very constructive, polite, professional, detailed and useful.

What advice do you have for other students?

  • If you are unsure of something, ask your trainer. They want us to succeed and know the course content. They were students once and many possibly still are! So they understand what it’s like.
  • Try to hook into the study when you are feeling fresh and take a break if you find that you aren’t absorbing the information or are tired. Find and listen to your limits.
  • Read and re-read the questions until you understand exactly what is being asked and stay focused on answering what the question is asking. If you don’t understand the question, ask your Trainer before attempting the answers.
  • In some respects, I learnt more from completing the tasks and from the feedback I received, than the reading material itself. We often learn best when we put theory into practice, which is what the tasks do. My tip would be to see the tasks as part of the learning rather than a chore.