Ava Meek has made teaching her life’s work. Originally training as a physical education teacher, she has worked in secondary schools all over the country, including an incredible 20 years spent at Paeroa College, where she held HOD roles for PE and digital technology.
More recently, Ava has taken on a fresh challenge – teaching adult learners in an online environment. She began working for BMP as a tutor but was quickly appointed to the role of Programme Delivery Manager, responsible for overseeing our business management programmes and our tutors. She works tirelessly to develop our programmes and improve the experiences of our students, and is always on-hand to offer support and guidance.
Currently completing a Post Graduate Diploma with another online institute, Ava believes Aspire2’s Business Management Programmes are top notch, from the course content right through to the pastoral care.
“I can honestly say we do an excellent job. We build great relationships with our students and make phone calls to them whenever we feel they could benefit from a chat. We aim to have all assessments marked within five days and ensure we reply to any messages within 24 hours during the working week.”
Top tip: Think carefully about what other commitments you have and timetable in your study times.
Anneka is a firm believer in practicing what you preach. By making the most of her opportunities, Anneka’s career journey has enabled her to traverse a broad and exciting range of industries. After gaining a Bachelor of Sport Management she spent six years working in a managerial role in the hospitality industry, before moving into the education sector as an account manager for the Skills Organisation.
A shift from Auckland to New Plymouth opened the door to a position at Aspire2, initially in a student success role before moving across to the marketing team. Now Anneka has come full circle, moving back into the operations space and growing the capabilities and reach of our student success team. As Brand and Operations Manager Anneka supports and guides the operations team while also looking after the representation of the brand. This dual role enables her to influence the processes across both brand and operations to make a meaningful impact on the journey of our students.
“I love seeing the impact my team has on the students as they support them to succeed in their studies, as well as finding solutions for any roadblocks that might occur to ensure students have the best experience throughout their time studying with us.”
Anneka was recently nominated for Rookie Marketer of the Year at the New Zealand Marketing Awards, and also presented at Canvascon in Sydney, sharing the Distance Learning Division’s Canvas journey, and its significant contribution to the student experience.
Top Tip: Grab every opportunity you have with both hands, because you never know where it might take you
Iranian born Mostafa has business in his blood. His father owned a small home appliance retail store and Mostafa grew up helping him after school. Not only did the experience lay the foundations for a business career, but it taught Mostafa the importance of bringing value to your community.
Now, decades later, and in an entirely different part of the world, Mostafa continues to bring value to those around him through his role as an NZ Diploma in Business tutor. Previously a tutor at Aspire2 International in Auckland, Mostafa jumped at the chance to relocate to Taranaki earlier this year – one of his favourite places in New Zealand. Now he supports our BMP students to follow their dreams and achieve their goals in the dynamic world of business.
He says: “To make a difference in your personal life and in your community, it is essential to be knowledgeable about what you want to pursue.”
And he definitely practices what he preaches. Not only does Mostafa have a tonne of business experience, he has also undergone significant study, including a B.S.Honours in Business Information Technology and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) – and next year he plans to start his PhD.
Sharon has her finger in many business-related pies, and that’s just how she likes it. As well as teaching Level 3, 4 and 5 business management programmes for Aspire2, she works as a business consultant for small businesses, and has her own business importing cupholders for classic cars from USA.
A natural entrepreneur, Sharon launched her first business over 20 years ago, selling LeReve fragrances by Party Plan. It was a baptism by fire as she didn’t realise she was actually ‘in business’ until she had to submit a tax return! Shortly afterwards she began her business studies, giving her invaluable insights into her real-life ventures.
Since then Sharon has been involved in many small business activities, both through her own ventures and those of others. Prior to joining the team at Aspire2, she was training new franchisees in a franchise company. She enjoyed the experience so much that she decided to become a tutor, so that she could assist even more people on their business journeys.
Top tip: Don’t give up. Keep going. If life gets in the way, pick up where you left off and learn how to do it better.
Diploma in Business (Level 6), Diploma in Professional Coaching, Certificate in Mental Health, Certificate in Bookkeeping, currently studying towards Diploma in Accounting Technician
Diploma tutor Bridget knows just what students need to succeed in their studies. Having been a student herself, she understands how isolating study can be and is ideally equipped to support those who want to advance their skills and knowledge. With a strong background in the health sector, Bridget specialised in mental health and addictions before returning to university full time in 2017 to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in Organisational Psychology.
She joined our team as a Student Success Enthusiast in 2018, but quickly discovered a passion – and natural aptitude – for teaching. This, combined with her keen interest in leadership and organisational structure, makes tutoring on the diploma programme a perfect fit.
“Tutoring is extremely rewarding. I enjoy watching students grow as they progress through the course and helping them develop new skills and knowledge to add to their knowledge baskets.”
Outside of the online classroom Bridget is heavily involved in the community. She chairs a Maori Land Trust and is a member of the executive committee for Touch Taranaki Association.
Top tip: Feel the fear and do it anyway. The rewards are numerous!
There’s a silver lining to every cloud. When Gerard was a school kid back in the UK one of his classmates sold him an overpriced rusty bike. When he complained he felt cheated, the classmate shrugged his shoulders and said “Well, that’s business.”
It was an expensive lesson, but it also sowed the seed for a rewarding business career. Now, many decades later, Gerard is based in New Zealand, where he works as an international representative advising a Chinese consortium on business projects. He also shares his expertise – and unique business perspective – with students studying on our business management programmes.
Gerard admits the business world is full of ups and downs, describing his career journey as “an endless cycle of optimism followed by cynicism followed by pessimism followed by optimism”! But it keeps him on his toes and there’s never a dull moment.
And as for the tutoring? “My old school headmaster told me that one day if I worked really hard, I would become a tutor. It enables me to be in the ‘now’ and synergises with my intrinsic values.”
Top tip: Do it because you find it interesting, as this is the primary motivator.
Business Honours degree, Human Resources and work study professional qualifications.
With more than 20 years of global business and IT industry experience, Basha has all the right ingredients to ensure our students shine. He has a strong background in project management, HRM and operations management in commercial contexts, and has worked in the USA, throughout Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Basha was involved with the Sydney trains in his role as business manager for HCL Technologies, and has worked as a business analyst, conducting workshops in Singapore and Malaysia. In the USA, he was operations manager for Fiserv, focusing on continuous process improvement and skill gap analysis. In addition, he has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Madras, and a Post Graduate Diploma (Level 8) in Business Enterprise from the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT).
Keen to share his extensive business management knowledge, Basha began teaching business courses at SIT in 2018, later moving to New Plymouth to join Aspire2 as a BMP tutor.
Does he consider business to be a great career option? You bet!
“Business professionals are in high demand worldwide and business touches on pretty much every aspect of modern human society. Career opportunities that come with a business diploma or degree are diverse and often highly paid.”
Rabbiya has always had a keen interest in business. It’s a world she says offers a universally adaptable career choice, and a diverse and exciting range of job opportunities. Originally from Pakistan, she moved to New Zealand in 2009, and since then has been honing her business expertise and building her experience.
Rabbiya’s journey started with a Level 3 Certificate in Business Administration. She enjoyed it so much, she decided to learn more. A level 5 Diploma in Business Management followed, along with business related roles including a position as an administrator for the University of Auckland. This teamed with overseas experience (including teaching) made her ideally equipped to tutor business, and she joined the Aspire2 team in 2018.
Top tip: Analyse your strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you to focus on turning those shortcomings into strengths and making you a more rounded individual. Put in the time and effort and you’ll achieve the results.
*Level 3 Certificate in Business Administration and Computing, Level 5 Diploma in Business Management
After completing a Diploma of Business (Level 5) through Aspire2, Journee decided she wanted to help others through the same process, snapping up a role as marker for the Business Management Programme.
She comes to the organisation with plenty of business experience having started her career in the banking sector some years ago. There she worked closely with businesses helping them navigate documentation requirements around new anti-money laundering laws. Journee quickly worked her way up in the sector, and was soon in charge of sole traders, partnerships, limited companies and trust accounts. Working with new businesses, and sharing the excitement of starting a new journey, was a big highlight. After leaving the bank Journee became a business advisor, setting up accounts and profiles and assisting businesses with their applications for tenders.
In addition to her role as a marker for our Business Management Programmes, Journee is starting up her own property management business. When she’s not at Aspire2 you’ll find her attending business and property seminars.
Top Tip: Time management is your best friend.
New Plymouth local Tabitha Williams has a big heart and is keenly focused on helping people to succeed in education. She has a Diploma in Psychology (completed via distance learning) and prior to joining us was an Education Support Worker for the Ministry of Education, working one-on-one with preschool children with special needs.
Tabitha joined us as a Student Success Enthusiast in 2018, and is now coordinator for the team, with a role that spans student support, administration, Facebook queries, and overseeing of our Student Success Enthusiast processes. She makes sure students get contacted frequently, their questions get answered as quickly as possible, and they have all the support they need for both educational and personal success.
“We genuinely care for our students and strive to see each of them succeed in their distance learning without feeling isolated or disconnected.”
Top tip: Assess the commitments you already have in your life, then make a study plan that fits in with your work schedule and the important people in your life. And be sure to factor in some much needed ‘you’ time!
Pip has worked in a wide range of fields. She has been an agricultural contractor, a multi-site manager for a large corporate, and a procurement specialist for an oil and gas services company. Despite the diversity, there has always been a common thread – helping those around her to succeed.
This passion for championing others and inspiring them to become better versions of themselves, makes Pip well equipped to support our students, as well as businesses that are looking for personal and professional development opportunities for their staff.
No stranger to the pressures of student life herself, Pip has been juggling her career with her Bachelor of Science studies, majoring in Chemistry and Geology. She has studied both on campus and by distance learning, so she knows all too well the challenges today’s students face, as well as plenty of great tips for conquering these challenges.
“I’ve been a distance learner myself and I know how hard it can be, so I was so excited to find a provider that was making an effort to help their students. It’s great to be a part of that process. I think the holistic approach we take to supporting our students, and the genuine care and enthusiasm we have for our learners really sets us apart.”
Top tip: Treat your studies like your job – have set “work” hours and stick to them.
Distance learning is both rewarding and challenging. And when the going gets tough, we have just the right person to get students back on track. Meet Toni Maxwell, one of our nurturing, caring and super passionate Student Success Enthusiasts. It’s Toni’s job to support our students throughout their education journey, helping them to overcome barriers and ultimately achieve success.
Well-equipped for the role, Toni is a mother of four and spent a decade organising and managing provincial touch rugby teams. She’s a great listener, empathetic, and is always on hand to offer practical solutions. When it comes to providing support, she’s a pro.
“I like helping people and seeing their success. The sense of achievement and pride our students feel when they complete their qualification is so rewarding, and it feels good to know that you’ve help support them through their tough times.”
Top tip: It’s important to have a goal in mind from the beginning as this will give you the motivation to succeed.”
Looking to enrol at NCNZ or BMP? Then it won’t be long before you meet our enrolments extraordinaire, Leanne Brider. It’s Leanne’s job to answer student enquiries during the enrolments process, ensure all documentation is completed correctly and support students into the perfect programmes.
An education enthusiast through and through, Leanne has devoted her career to the sector. Prior to joining our team, she was an administrator for another private training provider and has also tutored Computing Level 2. Her expertise and knowledge span all areas of the education sector, from programme development, moderation and SDR (single data return) reporting, to student management system data input, EER and TEC audits.
Plus, she’s a firm believer in the benefits of distance learning through Aspire2’s BMP and NCNZ. Why?
“Study our business management programmes and you can gain the same quality qualifications as other providers but it’s FREE! And as for our awesome NCNZ programmes, you can work towards nationally recognised qualifications, without having to go to campus each week. It’s so convenient!
“We offer a great opportunity to gain qualifications from the comfort of your home. We are here to support you on your next journey of learning.”
After living overseas and in various parts of the North Island, Janine and her family returned to New Plymouth and in 2018 she took on the role of Quality Assurance Administrator for NCNZ and BMP. It’s a role she’s well equipped for thanks to the decade she spent working for WITT prior to having her family.
Janine is utterly committed to the work we do and believes the online learning and flexibility of our programmes set us apart from other training providers. It’s her job to check our programmes meet NZQA compliance and ensure we have quality systems in place so that students can achieve success in their chosen qualifications. Her busy and varied role involves everything from preparing moderation plans, reports and programme reviews, to conducting surveys, reviewing procedures, and coordinating stakeholder meetings.
Top tip: Allow extra time to study and complete assessment tasks and you will enjoy it more. We are all guilty of trying to add too much into our work/life/family balance.