Thomas BishellThomas Bishell
Operations Lead, Contract Logistics South Island
New Zealand Post
Certificate in Business (First Line Management) (Level 4)

Studying online while working full-time, taking on a new role, and navigating Covid-19 is no easy task. But for NZ Post’s Thomas Bishell it has been well worth the effort.

Thomas tell us about yourself.

I worked in the hospitality industry for 17 years, until the age of 32. It was a hard choice to step out of my comfort zone and pursue a career in another sector whilst supporting my whanau’s needs. I was able to land a role as a storeman with New Zealand Post and I’ve never really looked back. I’ve been here for eight years and am now the Operations Lead for Contract Logistics South Island and also part of a project group, TAMA, which aims to raise the profile of Māori within the organisation.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love my teams – the commitment they show daily during our current economic environment is nothing short of spectacular. Some of our customers are essential services so being able to provide consistent service has been very rewarding for all involved.

How do the skills you learnt on the Certificate in Business programme help you in the workplace?

Before I started the course, I thought I had a reasonable understanding of how to manage many aspects of a business, but this programme has enabled me to learn and use frameworks, tools and templates with my teams. It has allowed me to help develop our people capability, engagement, and legislative requirements. I have been able to bring our teams on the journey with me and provide a good structure at the same time. I particularly enjoyed the skills and knowledge we gained around strategy and planning, managing workflows, situational leadership, conflict in the workplace, and productive workplace environments.

What were the highlights?

The course was highly relevant to an Aotearoa business environment and provided frameworks that align closely with my work environment. I loved the opportunity to learn and grow and enjoyed having the support of the BMP team. I also liked being able to use my cell phone to complete course content when I was out and about!

What were the greatest challenges?

When my course first started I was working with our Courier side of the business as a service delivery coordinator, but partway through I was offered a new role as Operations Lead South Island for our Contract Logistics division. It was extremely challenging to tackle a new role and keep up with my studies at the same time, but as time went on it became more manageable. I had to commit fully to make it work!  Covid-19 also brought up a few challenges, as did the more minor obstacles of learning the online platform and mastering the art of formatting an assignment. Luckily, I had amazing support from my wife Rachel, daughter Tessa, twin brother Gregory, and niece Anteisha.

Where to next?

I want to keep learning and developing in my current role and utilise all the lessons I gained from my BMP studies. Eventually I hope to further my career in project management, and plan to undertake further study in this field.

And finally, any advice for someone considering studying with us?

Be committed, ask questions if you’re unsure, and enjoy your learning. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.