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Leon Harmse

Technical Support Officer


My name is Leon Harmse and I studied at Upskilled where I completed both my Diplomas in Business Management and Project Management. At first I was very doubtful and hesitant in doing these Diplomas. I started with Business Management and my lecturer was Richard Lansdowne, I liked the skills and processes he brought to my attention and also how to implement it. An astute trainer with very low tolerance for imperfections. I also requested him for my Project Management Diploma, where he showed me to pinpoint precision how to progress and to reign supreme.

He actually inadvertently motivated me with all his credentials after his name and I set myself goals and vigorously persisted in perfection, one assignment after another, faster and better than the one before.

The content at first did not make sense and was hard to comprehend, coming from a trade background, I wanted to change my field of expertise and knew the road ahead would be tough. After comparing theory to my daily duties I started to see more and more processes unfold and realized that it can be implemented into almost any situation in the workplace. Project Management showed me how to plan and meet targets, plan for the unforeseen circumstances and drive team motivation. All fitting into each other and supporting the foundation of business fundamentals.

The thing I liked most about studying online was the fact that I could work at my pace - which is extreme with no shortcuts or excuses - with minimum of 50 hours of study a week on top of having a day job, I still maintain this pace.

There was a little story in my Strategic Management course where I read that in the 70's Harvard University made a study of the projection of their students for a specific year. 30 years later, the 3% that wrote down goals were in CEO positions (or owned their own companies) and the rest of the 97% that did not write down their goals, worked for an employer.

I watched Arnold Schwarzeneggers motivational video where he said, and this is my driving force as well, "in order to succeed, you have to keep on working for there is someone else in this world that is also competing against you".

Student support was, and still is undisputedly very well trained, very professional, friendly and always helpful with quick responses to any requests. The benefit with studying with Upskilled is that the institute is established, well recognized, and accredited with Vet fee assistance.

Some of the short-term benefits were that the theory I learned could be practically applied to my daily work duties and inspired me to elevate my work quality and quantity. They also made me aware of the consequences and reasons for doing certain duties.

My main reason to continue my studies, and still is, is to reach my goal of becoming a leader every employee would be proud of. I missed my goals when I was young and never thought I would ever reach it. I immigrated almost nine years ago with my family and became citizens, best day ever. I also lost everything I had just before I started my Business Diploma and knew that I have to start all over and while I have to do it over, I might as well do it better.

After I have successfully completed my Diplomas with Upskilled I was very driven in reaching my goals. I signed up for my Diploma in Refrigeration and Air conditioning, Advance Diploma in Business and also an Advance Diploma in Management. With my Strategic Management subject, I had to compete in an online strategy game which runs worldwide with almost 3,000 Colleges and Universities competing against each other. The main goal is to run an International company that is trading across four continents. I have achieved a 16th place overall, but could not have done it if it was not for the dedication of my trainer that has  set the foundation for me to build on.

I have successfully passed most subjects with distinctions and started my Masters in Business Degree. I want to do my PhD, but still have to find that spark that will push me to that point. At this stage it is hard to incorporate all my knowledge into my workplace for the obvious reason that I am not in a senior position, yet. I have to add, all the frameworks I have studied at Upskilled, I am still doing today, with an examination tomorrow on Strategic Management, SWOT analysis and PESTLE are all there, just at a different level. Setting foundations are the key.

‘One`s belief system is the only obstacle to your success, overcome your fear and push yourself beyond your comfort zone, that is how boundaries are shifting and ultimately you will reach your goals’.

I thank Upskilled and all their staff for this wonderful opportunity and who knows, maybe I might decide to enroll again, maybe as a trainer.

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