CQUni Knows Emma

Emma Manley feature

Emma Manley
Graduate Certificate in Management

This is my first tertiary study since I finished high school in Year 12 in 1998. I am a mum of four and I work full time as a senior administration manager at Icon Cancer Care which is a day hospital cancer facility. My main role is people management, and management of doctors’ practices and patient care.

For me to be able to progress further, I felt it would be more appropriate to have some qualifications. I wanted to say that I was able to study and get a degree before I turned 40. In my particular industry, most of the higher management roles are given to clinical staff because it is a hospital. I am probably the only non-clinical staff member moving up in the ranks.

My husband actually studies on campus at CQUniversity. He was raving about what an amazing university this was in comparison to his first degree. He recommended CQUni as an option. I chose the graduate certificate because I was really nervous. I haven’t studied for a very long time and I didn’t want to bite off more than I can chew. I wanted to see whether I could do it for myself. I’ll be honest, I found it really overwhelming! Not because of the study itself but my transition from being a mum at home to being a university student.

What CQUni offers for online study is amazing accessibility, and the ease of the website and Moodle is why it made everything much easier. Online study gave me the freedom to be able to study and attain qualifications within my own home without disrupting my family life or my work. I would have never have thought it would have been possible. I found lecturers to be extremely helpful, very responsive and insightful. There’s other students too that you meet on the forums – it’s a really great way to feel connected.

I found the content to be really well-delivered and constructed, particularly human resource management. It’s very relevant to my current role and practical to apply straight away. The learnings I’ve taken from the course put all the pieces together in a more professional way. It makes me look more professional and adequately suited to higher roles. Probably the biggest ‘aha’ moment is really around the communication piece and how to structure communication in the right context to the right forum. I’ve always found I personally communicate really well in a professional setting. But, as I went through the course there were so many moments where I thought ‘that makes sense to do that that way’, or ‘that makes sense to put together a meeting in that way’.

My kids – aged six to 12 – are really supportive. When I decided to study, I said that this is something I wanted to do and how important it was. I put the kitchen timer on so they know that when that goes off, that’s when they can come and see me. They bring me food and drinks and stuff. For them, it’s really important because they’ve never had me say I’m off limits before. They’ve just been really great about it.

In 10 years’ time, I believe that I would probably have the position of what we call a site manager or a state manager, which is what my career aspiration would be. I’d still probably work in healthcare – I’m quite passionate about that field. I believe that with these new qualifications and possibly those I will attain further down the track, they’ll be able to elevate me to those positions I want.

I’ve only just finished my first term and still waiting on my results, but I just feel really proud of myself for doing it. It makes me feel that I’ve dedicated something to myself and I feel great value from it. And it goes to show that it doesn’t matter how old you are.