student success story

Bridget – Student Spotlight

Bridget talks about her experience at NZIE

Bridget Mullen

Diploma in Digital Marketing Student

Introducing Bridget – a current student who started in the Jan 2021 cohort. Bridget has been doing really well academically, especially considering she is a complete newcomer to tertiary education! In addition, Bridget is balancing study with part time work, and being a mum of two young boys – phew!

Despite her already busy schedule, Bridget spends all her spare time studying and researching different areas of digital marketing. Here at NZIE, we were inspired by Bridget’s passion and commitment to this program. Bridget would love to inspire other aspiring digital marketers, and mature students by telling her story.

“It’s taken me 20 years to choose the qualification I wanted to invest my time into and with this course I have found it!”

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi I’m Bridget a mum of two young boys. I work part-time in international logistics and I’m currently 13 weeks into the Diploma of Digital Marketing with NZIE. I grew up in Waihi Beach and became an Aucklander in the early 2000’s. I have spent my working life in the freight forwarding industry, travelling around the world, then I met my husband and settled into my most recent role of parenthood.

When I finished school, I went straight into the logistics industry and have stayed there for two decades.  I never went to university because I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was younger. But now I have found something I’m highly intrigued and interested in; the NZQA Diploma in Digital Marketing at NZIE. 

Why Digital Marketing?

I was looking for something different, a new challenge. However I didn’t really know what to do so I started with what I enjoyed most.

The most enjoyable parts of my roles over the years have been: 

  1. Building rapport with customers
  2. Creating new processes
  3. Analysing and recording data
  4. Deep diving into analytical tasks
  5. Making reports and data presentable
  6. Reporting and drawing out the most important parts

After describing the above to a friend, she said she was a programme leader for a digital marketing school and suggested to me to explore digital marketing. She was right – I found that a lot of my favourite elements of my career are transferable to digital marketing. I was definitely interested.

Above all, I was looking for a new challenge and potential career change. Additionally, I was interested to see if Digital Marketing could coincide into my current industry which is freight forwarding, and i’m learning now that it can be applicable to all industries. Digital Marketing is quite futuristic and progressive – something I’d love to become a part of. 

Why NZIE? What made you choose to study the Diploma in Digital Marketing?

I had a “just do it” moment! Investing in NZIE felt right because: 

  • I fit the entry criteria to study 
  • It was only a one year commitment, which i felt was do-able for my family and I.
  • I’d gain a NZQA recognised diploma  
  • Industry friends gave a lot of great feedback about Digital Marketing 
  • FEES FREE check! Gain a free diploma in subject of interest 
  • Career Progressor 
  • Growing industry with lots of opportunities 

There were a lot of other courses or competitors I could’ve gone with, but the diploma cost was selling factor. Specifically, because the price perceived value. Furthermore it seemed realistic considering the legitimacy and NZQA compliance aspect. However, I did know the programme was legitimate because I knew Emily personally. Another push was finding myself targeted by NZIE’s content marketing on social media. I began clicking onto their blog articles and thoroughly enjoyed them.  

Were there any road blocks you had to overcome before starting out?

Simultaneously working part time as well as being a mum meant I already had quite a busy life. Therefore,losing more time with my family was a sacrifice I had to be willing to make. Finally, I decided that one year of sacrifices would be worth the opportunities the diploma would unlock… Even if it meant also falling behind on my social life as well.

Did you have any doubts before you joined? Do you still have those same doubts?

I had doubts about studying as I’d previously only ever completed a very short bookkeeping accountancy course. In fact, I had never studied towards a qualification before. And it had been a while since I was at school last. In brief I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it – would I fail miserably? In spite of my preconceived thoughts I thankfully don’t feel that way anymore. Although I am still cautious because level 7 education is not easy.

The more the term has gone on, I’ve found it really easy to connect with my tutors and classmates. The tutors regularly remind us about the types of support we have available, despite not being there face to face. For example, we can email our tutors whenever we want with questions, and we can even book in one on one time to go over specific material if we need to. On the whole I feel supported like the tutors really do care and are invested in my progress.

How has your experience been so far? Have you learnt anything about yourself as an individual?

Awesome so far I am really enjoying it and feel like I’ve made the right decision.

Immediately the introduction to online tools has been revolutionary! For example, tools like Canva, Trello, Coschedule just to name a few. Also enjoying learning about other experts and industry heroes, as well as access to NZIE approved YouTubers and video content.

As time goes on I am becoming more and more passionate about Digital Marketing. In addition, I have also noticed that I am quite determined to succeed. For instance, I’ve been pulling long hours studying on weekends etc, and thankfully, my husband and family have been very supportive and helpful.  Even though it’s tiring and hard on my family I know it’s only for a short time and, I know it will all be well worth the effort. To sum it up I want to make the most out of the opportunities and my time here! 

How are you finding the 100% online learning format?

I like the breakout rooms as they provide opportunities to connect with students. Also, I like that, aside from set live classes and tutorials, you can choose when to do your study. Simultaneously fit it around work schedules and other obligations. For example if you have mandatory commitments you can make it work and be flexible. In addition, the information is always there for you on-demand, meaning if you need to re-watch anything you can at any time. On the whole this is good way to gain a better understanding and to check if you are on the right track. 

“I would and already have recommended online-only Digital Marketing Diploma”

What are you looking forward to gaining out of the programme next? Any particular subjects?

Online marketing, and specifically how websites work, is something I’ve always been interested in. On the other hand I’m also interested to learn more about data and analytics. For example, how to decipher analytics to make informed business decisions.

Subject wise I am excited about everything, no particular subject – I don’t know enough yet to choose.  I didn’t get into this just to learn one thing. On one hand, there are people who want to learn one particular skill and can teach themselves online. On the other hand, with the NZIE Digital Marketing Diploma you get to learn everything you need to piece it all together. 

What goals do you have with the Digital Marketing knowledge under your belt?

My main goal would be to find something that helps me achieve work life balance. Above all this is important to me with having kids and a family. Digital Marketing is a very broad industry and I am interested in many different aspects.  And I like the fact that it can be done remotely. Therefore this in itself would open up a lot of doors and opportunities to different industries. As well as align with my goals of work flexibility around my kids.

What advice would you give to yourself since starting the programme? Any lessons in hindsight?

YES! I only got a good computer recently as mine didn’t have the right graphics card which was slowing it down. As a result, the new and faster computer is LIFE CHANGING! Therefore, I highly recommend getting a good computer and tech as it will help you be more efficient.

What advice would you give others who are on the fence about studying the Digital Marketing Diploma?

My advice to others who want to study but can’t make a choice:

NZIE is awesome, they really are here to help you get the education you are looking for. Subsequently it is only a year that is going to happen anyway. Nonetheless it IS a big commitment – you will spend the full 30 hours a week doing the study. Indeed, things get quicker as you go, it is an adjustment period and harder at the start. However, the tutors are genuinely there to help you and set you up for success with your assignment projects. Lastly, academic writing is hard but your writing will become better and better. NZIE have a great support system including a client success team and academic writing workshops to support anyone struggling.

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Entry Criteria:

To be admitted into NZ Certificate in English Language Level 4 General, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

a) Be a speaker of English as an additional language; and

b) Hold a NZCEL Applied Level 3 [3667] qualification; or

c) Pass an NZIE entry test that meets the requirements for the CEFR B2 requirements or equivalent; and

d) Be of a minimum age of 16 years or older; and.

e) Be a New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency OR Certificate of Refugee Status and evidence of eligibility to study for the duration of enrolment.

Entry Criteria:

To be admitted into NZ Certificate in English Language Level 3 General, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

a) Be a speaker of English as an additional language; and

b) Hold a NZCEL Level 2 qualification; or

c) Pass an NZIE entry test that meets the requirements for the CEFR mid B1 requirements or equivalent; and

d) Be of a minimum age of 16 years or older; and.

e) Be a New Zealand citizen or resident; or have Certificate of Refugee Status and evidence of eligibility to study for the duration of enrolment.

Fees 2020

Student loans available through Study Link. Check if you are eligible here. 

Fees-Free Study.  

You are only eligible for Fees-Free if you haven’t previously undertaken more than 60 credits (half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education, 0.5 EFTS) at Level 3 or above on the NZQF – New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

To check if you meet the requirements, visit the New Zealand Government’s Fees-Free website and enter your National Student Number (NSN)

If you do not have an NSN, contact your Student Support Advisor.

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