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How Zollie Lamberth completed her postgraduate degree whilst working full-time

"Opportunity doesn’t always knock, so sometimes you need to build a door".

Building on expertise and boosting career opportunities are often the drivers behind undertaking postgraduate study.

For Zollie Lamberth, who has bachelor’s degree in commerce, undertaking postgraduate studies in property provided her with valuable knowledge into a field that’s long held her interest.

Currently working in human resources, Zollie recently completed Deakin’s Graduate Diploma of Property – fully on-line course for graduates (often from other disciplines) who are looking for a professional qualification in property development and valuation.

‘The property market is a constantly changing, evolving field.  It’s always been of interest to me and I was looking for a qualification that would allow me to possibly go into the field in the future, especially in the area of valuation,’ she explains.

For Zollie, the appeal of the postgraduate program was that it not only included the subjects she was interested in, but its online delivery made the study components highly-achievable around her full-time work commitments.

‘Having studied online during my previous bachelors’ degree, I knew I needed a course that was well structured and interesting. The course coordinator at Deakin was open and approachable, flexible around student needs, and very helpful when I had any questions,’ she says.

As a HR coordinator for a West Australia steel company, Zollie coordinates the organisation’s human resources and health, safety, and quality requirements across its multiple sites.

‘It’s an interesting and varied role where I am challenged daily, and always learning. I work with a diverse range of people, acting as a consultant to general management, line management and employees directly on personnel and workplace related issues,’ she says.

A critical part of Zollie’s role is the management of return to work programs and meeting group and statutory work, health and safety requirements.

‘Ideally I am aiming to positively influence the overall culture of the workplace into a more dynamic, efficient and safety conscious team,’ she says.

While Zollie thoroughly enjoys the role, she says the experience gained in HR will complement her ambition to become a licensed property valuer. And as a stepping stone to gaining more practical experience in the sector, Zollie assists a licensed property valuer part-time in the area of forensic valuation.

‘The forensic analysis requires the deconstruction of a valuation, usually one provided as expert witness evidence for Court purposes, and requires a thorough understanding of principles and practise,’ she explains.

‘Essentially, at this stage, it is all about building a strong foundation and understanding of the principles of valuation. This role exposes me to all facets of the practise which puts me on the right path for a future in valuation.’

Providing a comprehensive technical property and valuation knowledge, the Graduate Diploma of Property gave Zollie the opportunity to undertake practical assignments where she gathered evidence about property, liaised with local governments, and considered sustainable solutions for future property development.

‘Overall the highlight was genuinely expanding my knowledge on not only my local area via primary research, but exploring the differences throughout Australia on the same matters through interaction with other students online,’ she says.

Zollie believes that all study – whether to advance a career or transition it – is highly valuable.

‘Study is always beneficial, and work experience complements study brilliantly,’ she says.

‘My advice for anyone contemplating, or undertaking, study is to take work placement opportunities in the same field as your study, network with industry professionals, and use social media as a platform to launch your career. Opportunity doesn’t always knock, so sometimes you need to build a door.’

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