Understanding the ‘why?’

By Seth Robinson

Whether it’s for professional development or personal growth, there’s a lot to be gained from understanding the fundamentals of business. We spoke with Graduate Certificate in Business student Alexandra Schemeczko to find out more.

Alexandra Schemeczko is a chemical engineer, working in the mining sector. It’s a career that’s seen her work in a variety of roles, doing fly-in-fly-out work. As she’s considered her next step, a desire to upskill and gain a greater understanding of business motivated her to enrol in the Graduate Certificate in Business (GCB).

The Graduate Certificate in Business is a fully online course providing graduate level introductory studies in a range of business disciplines including finance, accounting, economics, management and marketing. Find out more about the Graduate Certificate in Business now.

GCB student Alexandra Schemeczko.

‘There were two sides to my motivation. The first was to get a general understanding of the business world, and that side of our operations. Finance underpins everything we do, from preparing business applications for additional capital to planning projects. I wanted to understand these functions and our business structures more, to move from doing things in an operational capacity, to understanding the why behind what we’re doing. That kind of leads into my second motivation, which is that I wanted to develop myself and look more towards a management pathway.’

For Alex, there was also the added bonus of gaining knowledge she could apply to her personal finances.

‘I’ve loved gaining that overarching understanding, but I’ve found the new finance knowledge really valuable from a personal perspective as well. I had never gotten involved with shares or the stock market before. It was this big, scary concept, but the accounting course really helped me unpack it, and now I’m becoming more involved in managing my own finances as a result.’

Now, close to halfway through the course, Alex has studied both ‘Accounting Analysis and Decisions’, and ‘Value Creation Strategies’. These choices underpin what Alex says is one of her favourite things about the GCB.

‘What I’ve loved so far, is the diversity of the course. That first subject was about tackling the numbers and accounting concepts. This second course is about how we interpret information. It’s been a really interactive learning experience, with lots of discussion and participation in group chats, drawing on your personal experience. That’s the other thing I’ve really appreciated about the GCB; how it’s structured. It’s targeted at professionals, people who are in the workforce and have those commitments. I work on a mining site, so I’ve drawn all kinds of weird rosters. For example, I just did two weeks of night shift. The structure of the course allows you to know what’s coming in advance, and plan accordingly, so you can balance your work life and when your assignments will be due.’

Alex has also found herself pleasantly surprised by the online delivery of the course.

‘I’ll admit, I was a little apprehensive about studying online at first. I was worried that it was just going to be ‘death by PowerPoint’, but that’s not the case at all. The teaching format is a combination of lectures and mini lectures, TED talks, videos, exercises, and class discussions, coupled with very structured course notes. It’s a great variety,’ she says. ‘The other thing I’ve been surprised by, is the formation of really genuine relationships with some of my classmates. It’s not what I expected from an online course, it’s really what you expect from more of an on-campus experience. You’ll meet and connect through the discussion boards and group assignments, and because it’s online, you form relationships with people from all over Australia, and even overseas. It brings such a diverse group of people together, you have some incredible conversations.’