Thomas HaretukuThomas Haretuku
Company Manager
Diploma in Business (Management and Leadership) (Level 5)

When Thomas Haretuku enrolled in the Diploma in Business, he wasn’t expecting to learn that much. With five years of management experience already behind him, his primary motivation was to get a qualification in order to advance his career. But as Thomas quickly discovered, there’s much more to a business diploma than the paper it’s written on.

Tell us about your career journey.

I started out studying sports and outdoor recreation because I have a passion for fitness, but during that year my partner got pregnant and I became a father at the age of 18. So, I decided to take the first job I could get and that’s how I ended up at the company I’m at now. Four years after starting there I became the production manager and a year or so later I began managing the whole company. I’ve been here for nine years now and have had a hand in every part of the job, from growing chillies to sending out the finished product. I feel like this business is a part of me – it feels like home. In addition to this full-time job, I work part-time as the production manager for another small food manufacturing business.

Holding down two jobs while studying can’t have been easy. What was your motivation?

I’ve always liked the idea of putting a suit on in the morning and heading out to work. I knew having a business qualification would open up my options and make it easier to get my foot in the door of a great company. Staying in the same position for too long doesn’t work for me because I am hugely driven by progression.

Why did you choose BMP – and how did you enjoy it?

I was attracted by the low cost, the fact that the course was NZQA accredited, and because it was online. It was something I could fit around my busy lifestyle. In all honesty though, my time as a student was tough. I work around 60 hours a week, I have two kids and I still had to make time to go to the gym, which is my passion, and takes up about 6 – 8 hours a week. The challenge was trying to find enough time and energy for all this plus study, it was exhausting. But I always got re-energised and a boost of confidence each time I passed another assignment or finished another module.

What were the most valuable things you gained from your BMP studies?

To be honest I wasn’t expecting to learn a whole lot because I’ve been in management for over five years – I was really just wanting a qualification to help me advance in life. So, I was quite surprised with how much I did learn. The knowledge I developed  is valuable to me, as well as the confidence and sense of pride I gained from successfully completing the course. My time management skills have improved from juggling my priorities, and I have set an example for my children of what hard work looks like. My greatest highlights were all the small victories which led to the grand victory, acquiring a wealth of knowledge and a diploma.

Any words of wisdom for someone considering studying with us?

Do it! What have you got to lose? When I signed up it only cost me $40 so it’s not like it’s going to leave you with a huge student loan debt. The only thing it’s going to cost is time and instead of wasting that time scrolling through your timeline or staring at a TV screen, invest it in something that’s going to help your future.