CQUni Knows Dan

Get to know Dan

My name is Dan Hooper. I have completed a Bachelor of Engineering with CQUni, plus a Graduate Certificate in Project Management, and a Graduate Diploma of Project Management with CQUniversity.

I originally completed a Bachelor of Engineering with CQUniversity and it was while working in that field that I realised where I wanted to go, and that was specialising in project management. I work in the construction industry, which is heavily weighted towards projects and project management, so I needed a better understanding to be able to apply myself in that area.

I chose CQUniversity because I’d studied there before, and I’d had a great experience the first time around. It’s so flexible and I needed to be able to continue working full time and study without jeopardising either of those things. At first, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to achieve high results while maintaining my heavy onsite workload. The attractiveness of the project management postgraduate courses at CQUniversity is that you’re able to take it one year at a time.

The incremental nature of CQUniversity’s postgraduate project management courses was the biggest drawcard for me. A lot of other universities around Australia don’t do that, you have to commit to the full Masters degree and that’s it. At the end of my first year, I received my Graduate Certificate in Project Management. From there, I was able to decide whether I wanted to go on and get my graduate diploma, and eventually my masters.

I knew studying again was the right choice because as soon as I started my degree I was able to use my new knowledge in my workplace. It enabled me to be a lot more efficient at my job straight away, enough that people definitely noticed the new ideas I was applying to my work. One of the main reasons I came back to CQUni is because the courses are structured around how we can apply the knowledge in the field. I know in a lot of other universities it’s more about just learning the theory without understanding how that can be put into practice, which is what employers look for.

I think the main difference between learning project management on the job versus through higher study is that you avoid picking up your workplace’s bad habits. Every company has their way of doing things and their own bad patterns; by learning through CQUniversity I was able to see where these patterns were and break them rather than fall into them. I was able to go back to my workplace with fresh ideas rather than stale ones.