When Melbourne Polytechnic student June Phu returned to full-time study after raising her children, she found the prospect a little daunting.
Thanks to Melbourne Polytechnic’s Study Skills Program which offers language tuition, she soon settled in, and has enrolled in further study with ambitions to work in the not for profit sector.
When June Phu decided to return to full-time study after raising her two children, her nephew recommended the commerce and business courses at Melbourne Polytechnic. June wanted a course that would help her get a job as a personal assistant. She completed the Certificate III in Business Administration before going on to study the Diploma of Business Administration which she finished last year.
June first came to Australia in 1990 and completed years 11 and 12 at a Melbourne school, but with her Chinese background, she still struggled with written English. “The Study Skills program really helped a lot with my English. I went to see them every week and they helped me with grammar and also improving the flow of my written English.”
While the idea of full-time study was initially daunting, the 35-year-old had no problem settling into her course. “The teachers are very helpful and it’s a great working environment. Sometimes I thought because of my age it would be hard to get involved in a team of young people. But I realised if you just go up and talk to them first, it works out well. And I’m a talkative person!”
The practical aspects of the course were the most valuable, she says. “I enjoyed the computer classes the most and the conference management component. Before I always thought, ‘it’s impossible to do all this’. One of our projects involved organising a career expo and we had to invite a guest speaker. Before I would have thought, ‘how will we get someone?’ but now I know you just don’t give up. You keep trying and eventually you get there. Now I think everything is possible.”
Determined to take her studies further, June has enrolled in the Associate Degree in International Business Management at Melbourne Polytechnic, which she will complete part-time over the next two years. She said the work placement she completed at a not-for-profit organisation as part of her diploma inspired her to improve her skills. “It was amazing. They’re very professional there and I want to be like them. I want to be able to lead a team and work in a supervisor or manager position, and this course will help me to do that.”
In the meantime, June is looking for a job as a personal assistant either in government or in the not-for-profit sector. “I get help from various different organisations, and now I want to be able to give back myself.”
Diploma of Business Administration and Associate Degree in International Business Management