CQUni Knows Tolu

Tolu Akinshaye feature

Tolu Akinshaye
Master of Human Resource Management

I got my first degree in accounting in Nigeria, and then I got a job as a customer service representative, so I didn’t even do what I studied in uni. But, I always knew I was a people-person not a figure-person. People are people, regardless of where they are. Working with people is interesting because you get to meet different people of different cultures. I always loved interacting with people and that was where the passion for HR came through.

I’ve travelled quite a bit. I lived in the US for a bit and I just love it here – Australia is peaceful. I had options to study elsewhere and one of the reasons why my husband and I decided to come here was because the weather here was a plus for us. I love it here in Brisbane… it just feels like a home away from home. CQUni was the recommended uni that came [up] tops and I decided to enrol.

One of the most interesting things about studying my Master of Human Resource Management is the fact that I get to learn a lot about the work environment here in Australia. It’s totally different where I’m from. I had a unit that was on organisational change that tells you a lot about the work environment. We have units about leadership and how you relate to your employees, how to communicate, what’s expected, what kind of language to use.

I feel like the course is quite current, although things in Australia change rapidly in terms of industrial relations. There’s just a lot to learn. You can also decide to do an internship. Unlike other universities where you have to look for employers yourself, if you want to do an internship with CQUni, they get you the job. So, you only have to pass your units and then you qualify. It’s automatic – you get a placement.

I’m always on campus, so I attend my lectures in Brisbane. You get actual feedback that you can work on and improve. I’ve learnt way more than I can describe in words. It’s been amazing. One advantage about the campus is when we’re in lectures it’s not crowded… you get to focus because there are no distractions. It’s very easy to relate with the lecturers and they’re always willing to listen. The staff and the teaching staff are knowledgeable – they are so supportive.

Another advantage of being here are the activities… which are not only professionally-focussed. We get to build, we get to learn enterprise skills as well as your professional degree. I think my experience here at CQUni – and this is not even me exaggerating – has really opened my mind and channelled my focus. I feel very included, regardless of who you are or your position. I’m also part of the CLC (Campus Life Committee) and I’m involved in a lot of things in the city.

I was also one of the six students who got to go to the 2018 Student Leadership Conference in Gladstone. It was such a privilege to be part of that. It really opened my mind and one thing that really stood out for me was a quote: ‘some people don’t just read the story, they change it’. Can we make a difference in our world? Can we make a difference in our society? It really exposed me to a lot of things… getting to network with people from all over the world – the same people would change my core mindsets. It was just an amazing experience. It’s something I would never forget.

As much as I have gained I want to give back… that’s the long term goal for me. I’ve gained so much that I should give back to my community. Just being involved in social innovation [through the uni] has challenged me and made me realise there’s so much more we can do for our community to engage and address all these entrenched social issues. What better way than to learn and give back.

I’m excited to go further because I know there’s so much more to learn. I’m so driven to complete a PhD because the environment [here] is conducive for learning. Why should I not be more if people who are older are still studying and are willing to give back? There is no age limit to studying. There is no excuse. I have three amazing kids. But, hey, I’m doing it. I came to Australia just to get my masters, but now there is so much more I can do. There is so much more we can be. Be what you want to be!