Rachael Inch’s previous roles make for interesting reading, but thanks to her SIT2LRN study it’s the future she’s more excited about.
She left home at 16 to study architectural draughting but “life had other ideas” – becoming a mother at 20 forced her to drop out.
“I always felt it was important to work for my self-esteem, and my drive to better myself was always there, so I took jobs in retail and telemarketing.”
Rachael’s also had roles ranging from a school bus driver to a business fundraiser for suicide prevention, but always had a desire to be in a leadership role and to help people.
After meeting her husband – she now lives on a Canterbury deer farm – she focused on building a career, albeit mostly voluntary, in arts management, which lead to a local government role in 2015 as a district arts advisor.
When a family member died in 2017, aged just 33, Rachael’s life took a different path.
“She was one of my closest friends/family members and grief changed my perspective on life.”
Rachael was offered the change to be a project manager of a new community house, a project that really aligned with her values and offered a way of diversifying away from specialist fields, she said.
She found leadership came naturally and she enjoyed the management aspect of the role, realising it was where she could make the most positive impact.
But at the same time as her contract ended through a lack of funding, she also lost her father.
“At that stage I didn’t know what to do with myself – I was jobless and faced with another bout of grief, so I took a hard look at my life and felt it was important to have qualifications to back up my practical skills and experience for me to further my career aspirations.”
She completed the New Zealand Certificate in Business (First Line Management) (Level 4) with SIT2LRN.
“I enjoyed the study much more than I expected to. I had a preconceived idea that study was boring [because of previous experience] but completing this study gave me a sense of purpose.
“Learning took the pressure off myself to achieve and showed me that I had a future.”
Rachael enjoyed the study experience so much, she’s now working on a New Zealand Diploma in Agribusiness Management (Level 5).
“I realised through the management qualification that if I applied my skills and knowledge to our farm that we would have the best chance at a successful business.
“What I thought at the beginning of studying management was that I was going to further my career and be a CEO one day.
“What I discovered along the way was that my biggest opportunity to get ahead was right here at home. I also found it important to take a strategic overview of our life. The study identified for me where I could improve and helped me to better understand myself as a leader.
“It’s almost like the management qualification made me look at my own life strategically. It gave me confidence that I could build a successful business.”