Julie Donovan

'I’ve really enjoyed how the course has stretched my thinking. I’ve learned new skills, such as new statistical techniques that I’ll be able to apply in my job.'

  • Julie donovan

Graduate Diploma in Management

Bachelor of Commerce with Honours

Studying towards a PhD in Management

Senior Consultant and Partner, Spire Consulting Ltd, Christchurch

As an advisor to businesses on supply chain optimisation, procurement and asset management, an important part of Julie’s career plan is to ‘continually improve my business consultancy skills and abilities’.

She decided to return to university to gain a formal qualification to support the experience she has gained in a fiercely competitive environment, but has ended up with several.

‘It was part of widening my understanding of strategy, especially in mentoring small business,’ she explains.

‘I’ve really enjoyed how the whole experience has stretched my thinking. I’ve learned new skills, such as new statistical techniques that I am able to apply in my job.’

The first step Julie took was to complete the Graduate Diploma in Management, which is designed for graduates of non-commerce degrees. With this under her belt, she spent a year doing Honours, also in Management, in which her thesis looked at how collaborative supply chain practices improve supply chain performance in organisations.

A highlight of that year was when Julie was chosen to join 39 other honours students from around Australasia to attend the University of New South Wales Honours Colloquium in Sydney to present her thesis. She also won the 2013 UC Business and Economics’ Postgraduate Thesis Poster Competition.

Julie then started working on her master’s thesis, but soon decided to go straight to the next level and transferred to a PhD.

‘I decided to convert to a PhD by publication because the topic deserved to be studied over a longer period of time and I intend publishing a number of journal articles as a result of my research,’ she says.

She applied for and was awarded a UC Doctoral Scholarship which has taken some of the financial pressure off her while she undertakes her research.

‘The scholarship has certainly made a difference because it means that I can concentrate and dedicate more of my time to study. I have also been lecturing Management to international students at UCIC as well as maintaining my work for Spire Consulting Ltd.’

Julie advises others that if you exercise sound project management techniques then you can achieve a lot at university, even while holding another job.

‘This helps you to enjoy the study and not get too stressed – give yourself plenty of time to spend on each subject and use your time management skills to ensure you don’t get bogged down.'

She adds: ‘Canterbury is a lovely place to study. I really like the lecturers, and have enjoyed interacting with the other students.’

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