Helping new careers blossom
For a student, the hundreds of career paths can become daunting.
Students can rest assured, knowing Boston City Campus and Business College is there to nurture growth, whichever career is chosen.
This year marked significant growth for Boston City Campus.
“The remarkable results obtained by UNISA students at Boston City Campus and Business College in their examinations, resulted in Boston expanding beyond expectations,” explained Newcastle branch manager, Taryn Strydom.
From early days, where Boston City Campus only offered tuition towards UNISA degrees, there are now more than 100 different career paths from which a student can choose. “The phenomenal growth now sees the campus offering short learning programmes to gain skills quickly, as well as a selection of degree and diploma offerings, which require a longer time commitment.”
The success of Boston City Campus, Taryn said, was attested to by the exceptionally high pass rate achieved by its students. She said this was a result of the unique mixed mode learning methodology.“This allows students to study at their own pace in flexible times.”
Taking up the challenge of transitioning pupils from school to the workplace, Taryn values the role Boston City Campus plays in the lives of students.
School leavers and workers alike needed to gain new skills and qualifications, she added. “Everyone needs a greater earning power. We aim to match the student to the correct skills, to enhance everyone’s success.”
What does Taryn do as branch manager, on a day-to-day basis?
As in the case of any Boston Branch Manager, you have to be a ‘professional multi-tasker’. Daily tasks include meeting with parents, sponsors and students/ prospective students, dealing with telephonic and email enquiries, meeting with corporate clients and Government departments, communicating with the various external institutes we are affiliated with, developing advertising and marketing strategies for the various registration periods of the year in order to meet sales targets, managing staff, managing our in-house Pearson VUE Testing Centre, and maintaining databases and our Learner Management System, all with a strong focus on administration.
What does it take to be successful in this career, on a personal level?
Two words - time management. As a working woman with a family, my life is a constant juggling act.
What qualifications do you need to be successful in management?
I have a National Diploma in Office Administration, which gave me good business skills and a sound understanding of running a business. As you can see from what I do every day, the tasks are varied and many, so I undertook further studies, and I am currently in my final year of a Masters of Business Administration degree. A number of short, skills-related courses have also added to my CV.
Do you become inspired by your ‘products’?
Yes! It’s thrilling to see new qualifications offered. Boston is in touch with the corporate world and updates existing courses, as well as gains accreditation, to offer new and exciting programmes all the time.
What are some of the most rewarding aspects of your job?
The most rewarding aspect is knowing I am making a difference to each and every student's life. Sometimes, it’s a case of being the catalyst, to allow them to realise their career dreams, and in other cases it’s being a mentor and encourager on a more personal level. These personal interactions are so very heart-warming, and nothing makes me prouder than seeing my graduates succeed.
What are the lows of your day-to-day job, or any specific lows?
A low would be when a prospective student feels tertiary education is unattainable due to financial constraints. There is always a way, and with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. We encourage every student to sit with a counsellor, so we can try and create a workable plan for their studies.
What are your recommendations to other starting out, running a business in Newcastle?
Newcastle has its own unique demographic. It is important to start off with market research, to find out what the Newcastle Community and surrounding areas are in need of. Once you have established the product or service you will be presenting, meeting your customers’ needs through superior customer service is of utmost importance.
What do you believe has made your business so successful?
I am supported by a dedicated Boston Newcastle team. Without each and every team member’s individual contribution, we would not be as successful as we are. We treat each student as an individual with unique needs, requiring unique assistance, support and advice. Our computerised interest assessment allows us to ensure a better match with student and studies, and when someone is set on the correct career path, their success is greatly enhanced.