Aspiring Adelaide accountant Melissa Nettle’s career took a welcome turn after she discovered a natural aptitude for training and assessment. Imagine loving your course so much that you aspire to teach it? That’s exactly what happened to Melissa. This busy mum was on maternity leave when she decided to study an accounting course online with Open Colleges.
Melissa says she found the learning materials, course structure and support so welcoming that she decided to embark on a career as an online trainer and assessor. Now, she’s gone from strength to strength and is passing on her knowledge of accounting and finance to her online students.
Melissa’s career path from student to trainer
“I believe it was in February 2010 that I decided I would like to enrol in the FNS50217 Diploma of Accounting with Open Colleges,” remembers Melissa.
Now, as a trainer and assessor of six courses in the Faculty of Finance and Accounting, including the FNS50217 Diploma of Accounting, Melissa is an incredibly active part of the team. She loves to share her love of accounting and finance with the hundreds of students she has taught over her training and assessing career.
Returning to study while on maternity leave
When Melissa originally decided to study online, she was keen to “stimulate her mind” after the birth of her second child. She was seeking a new challenge after a nine year career as a construction sales rep, so she decided to reestablish what was a rewarding career in the financial services industry. That meant getting a qualification, and online study was the best and most convenient option for her.
“Studying online meant that I could organise my time to study around school pickups and feeding and family times. I could study when my children were asleep and over the weekends when I had additional support”, she remembers.
“Studying is about setting and achieving goals, challenging yourself, overcoming hurdles and about doing something that is going to make you feel better about yourself. If you don’t have the right attitude then you may not enjoy your experience as much as you could. You need a great mindset to succeed.”
Deciding to become an online trainer and assessor
Now that she’s a trainer and assessor with Open Colleges, she provides that help and assistance to others. She even undertook additional study to learn to be an effective, accredited trainer and assessor.
“After completing my Advanced Diploma of Accounting,” Melissa explains, “I was required to complete a training certificate. Open Colleges also offered this course and I signed up immediately”
Having been through the study pathway herself enables her to be of genuine support to her many students. She loves to share her love of the courses she teaches with others and provide her students with the one-on-one help that they require.
There to provide guidance to online students
Now she is more than confident when working with students who need assistance, guidance and help. “My role as a trainer and assessor at Open Colleges is to assist students in successfully progressing through the units”, says Melissa.
Outside of assessing students’ submissions and providing constructive feedback, Melissa’s daily roles include assisting students with questions, providing encouragement and motivation, recording webinars and participating in discussion forums.
“The support that I have received from the Head of Faculty, Melinda Arko in particular is very helpful. My fellow trainers and assessors Towa, Amit and Eushra have also been phenomenal. The Accounting and Finance faculty truly are an amazing team.”
Setting goals to achieve is key
She has learned first-hand that setting and achieving goals, challenging yourself, overcoming hurdles and doing something that is going to make you feel better about yourself are all factors to a learner’s success.
“I think studying in general is challenging, whether you study online or in a classroom. The trick is to use the resources that you have available to you”.
Perhaps it is this organic understanding of the learning process, as well as kinship within the organisation that made Melissa consider a trainer and assessor role within Open Colleges.
“I had such an amazing experience studying with Open Colleges.”
“The course content, the course structure, the flexibility with online study, the help and support that I received from my trainers and student support and basically the self-satisfaction and enthusiasm I felt after completing the course all encouraged and inspired me to want to join such a fantastic team”.
The pathway from online student to online trainer and assessor
After completing her FNS50217 Diploma of Accounting, Melissa then completed a training qualification.
“The reason why I wanted to work as an accounting trainer and assessor with Open Colleges is because I wanted to help students achieve what I had achieved – and experience the emotions of self-worth that come with accomplishing a study goal.”
“I am overjoyed and feel as though I have done the job which is required of me every time that a student contacts me to let me know that I have been a positive influence in their studying experience”.
Helping others to achieve is very rewarding
In turn, the best part of being on the Open Colleges team is the commitment all trainers and assessors have to ensure that their students’ experience with Open Colleges is rewarding, supportive and above all assists in helping them to achieve their studying goals.
“The challenge I face is trying to provide information to students in a way that is going to help them learn. Some students want me to give them the answer. We don’t learn by being provided with the answers. We learn by conducting our own research, analysing the information we discover and by making mistakes”.
These are wise words for anyone who is undertaking a new challenge and opportunity in their life. So what does Melissa like to do when she is not tending to the learning needs of her students? “We are a sporty family therefore our weekends are taken up with travelling to and from sporting venues.”
With a busy lifestyle and a rewarding new career, Melissa’s return to full-time accounting is looking unlikely. “I hope to remain an important part of the Faculty of Finance and Accounting for a very long time,” she nods.
So what exactly does a trainer and assessor do, day-to-day?
Melissa takes us through her main tasks.
- Assisting students with any questions which they may have in regards to course and assessment content.
- Encouraging, motivating and supporting students in their goal of successfully completing the unit.
- Creating and recording lecture webinars which are uploaded to each specific unit.
- Participating in unit discussion forums by providing helpful information which will assist students with successfully completing the unit’s assessment tasks.
- Taking part in unit validation sessions in an attempt to improve unit content and assessment requirements.
- Assessing student’s assessment submissions according to the assessment competency requirements.
- Providing constructive feedback to students who have submitted their assessments.
Here are Melissa’s top tips for getting through your accounting or finance course:
- Make sure you focus on time management.
- Successful study also relies on the ability to set goals and be organised.
- Don’t be stubborn. Use the many helpful resources which are available to you.
- Be prepared to make mistakes.
- Instead of being discouraged by the mistakes you have made, learn from your mistakes and strive to do better.
Melissa remembers that it’s important to “set yourself many smaller study goals as well as an overall study goal and reward yourself when you achieve your goals.”
Want to study finance or accounting online? Check out the courses you can do.