Student Q&A: Jayden Tilley
Business Faculty Student - Business Administration
Administration & Business
Jayden Tilley completed a course in Business Administration with Upskilled in 2018. While juggling pregnancy and full-time work at Designed Wealth, she loved the fact that the course was self-paced and online, helping her fit a comfortable study schedule despite the number of changes happening in her life.
Having years of experience in administration work prior to the course, the decision to study the course contributed greatly to her confidence as a professional. In her latest Q&A, Jayden goes into detail about studying online and shares what skills are important to have in the business administration industry.
You completed a course in Business Administration. Why did you do the course?
I’ve been working in an Administration role with the same Financial Planning company for the past 8 years so I have great experience in the field, however, I have always been aware that I did not possess a recognisable certificate or qualification. I had always wanted to study something administration related but I kept deferring over the years.
The opportunity to study was offered to me by my employer and I decided to take the leap as although I enjoy my job, I thought it would be a fun, new journey for me to gain new skills and better my knowledge. I chose to study Business Administration because I believe it compliments my current administration experience. I feel I am now of more value to my employer and it has also improved my resume for any future job opportunities that may arise.
Could you tell us a bit more about Designed Wealth and a brief description of your role there?
Designed Wealth is a small Financial Planning company who are accredited by AMP Financial Planning. I have been working as an Administrative Assistant since October 2010 and enjoy my role within the practice.
Over the years, I have been asked by management if I ever wanted to study Financial Planning or Paraplanning, which I always declined as I didn’t feel it was the right path for me. I much prefer to remain working in administration as I feel I am better suited to that role.
My main duties as an Administrative Assistant include lodging superannuation, retirement, investment and insurance applications for our clients and following the progress through to completion. I also research client policies, follow up on insurance claims (death as well as permanent and temporary incapacity) and perform mail merges for marketing (ie. letters, newsletters, e-newsletters, etc.).
I interact with clients on a daily basis via face-to-face contact, telephone and/or emails and over the years I have built numerous good relationships with some of our clients.
What would you say has been the main benefits of studying online?
I would say the main benefits of studying online would be the flexibility of the courses and how convenient it is to be able to study from home, work, overseas, etc. Although you have a specific timeframe to complete your course, how and when you complete each unit is entirely up to you.
I actually fell pregnant not long after signing up to my course and was able to comfortably fit studying in and around my life whilst also still working full-time. You are allocated a trainer to keep you on track and assist you with any bumps you encounter along the way.
My trainer was very lovely, relaxed, approachable and almost always available whenever I called or emailed her with a question or dilemma. I’ll be honest, I was a little worried about studying online, initially. I thought I wouldn’t have the one-on-one contact or ability to discuss assignments in the classroom environment, however, you build a great relationship with your trainer over the study period and have access to discuss assignment criteria in an online chat forum with other students if need be.
What skills have you developed since completing the course?
I developed better customer service skills and also have a more heightened understanding on the different features within the Microsoft Office software so this has improved my overall computer skills. I’ve definitely become much more confident in using programs such as Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint after completing my course.
These enhanced customer skills will assist me in not only my day-to-day tasks at work but it will also help me to appropriately address clients in the various situations (positive and negative) that arise throughout a regular working day.
I believe that on top of the above skills, without seeming smug, I do generally feel more sure of myself when completing tasks now whether it be work-related or dealing with people or companies in my personal life, as I think it has boosted my self-esteem and confidence.
How did you balance work with online study?
Being pregnant whilst studying, my main goal was to finish my course early (by a few months), so I took the guideline due dates for each assessment submission very seriously to ensure I never fell behind.
I was working full-time so had to prioritise my time well and I allocated a specific day on the weekend and/or evening throughout the week for my studies depending on how in-depth the assessment was.
Some assessments I found much easier than others, so the easier ones I flew through initially to get them out of the way and then the assessments I found more difficult, I was able to spend more time and effort without worrying about having too many in the backlog.
At times it was tough finding the balance but once you get in a good routine, it becomes a lot easier to move along with the course.
What aspects of the course did you enjoy and why?
I’m quite familiar with the Microsoft Office software and so I really enjoyed the assessments that I could get creative with Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel. There were a few assessments whereby you had to create flyers and PowerPoint presentations, which I had a great time creating.
There were also some interactive flash questions, which felt more like a game rather than assessments. I’ll be honest, I was really not looking forward to the Role Play assessments (I don’t think anyone ever is), however, as much as I kept postponing these and trying to make every excuse under the sun to “not do it today”, I actually had fun with my family creating and filming them.
I think a lot of people may feel too shy or are put off by the thought of filming yourself, however, it’s really not that bad – you may even end up having fun with it like I did!
What do you believe are important skills to have in business administration?
I believe it is very important to have great customer and also computer skills when working in a business administration role. In this day and age, companies are likely to become paperless, if they aren’t already, which means a large portion of your daily tasks require you to now be on a computer.
Due to this, it’s almost a necessity to be computer literate and able to comfortably use programs such as Microsoft Office so that you can complete your tasks in a timely manner and without error. I believe people may struggle to meet requirements or even hold a job if they lack these desirable skills.
As I noted before, these are the two predominant skills I felt that I had developed from completing the the Business Administration qualification, so to me that verifies that this course would be a recognisable qualification within a business administration role.
Do you have any short or long-term goals? If so, how will the Business Administration course help you achieve them?
I don’t necessarily have any short or long-term goals at this time. As I mentioned previously, I was pregnant while completing the Business Administration course and have since welcomed my child into the world.
I therefore am taking time off work indefinitely (only working contractually when required) while my family grows. However, I feel confident in myself having this qualification behind me that if I were to have to return to full-time or part-time work after being “out of the game” so to speak, I would still be quite up-to-date with my computer skills and customer service skills.
An opportunity could also arise whereby I may become self-employed or assist my partner in his own company and I’m confident that I have the skills to perform these administrative tasks if needed. It is a respectable qualification to have and I’m sure it will assist me in my future endeavors, whatever they may be.
Want to build confidence in business administration like Jayden?
Upskilled has a range of courses that will help prepare you for job roles within the business administration industry. Depending on your career goals and skill set, our courses can help set you up for positions such as Office Administrator or Administrative Assistant. To learn more about the key facts and skills needed in the business administration field, check out Upskilled's industry insights here.