Mark Garrard graduates: ‘I wrote notes in the cab between fares.’

A period of unemployment prompted Mark Garrard to undertake a management qualification, in order to increase his job prospects. A former Safety Advisor, Mark has been working as a cab driver to make ends meet, and his mentor Karen says he’s an inspiration to her. ‘Every time I spoke to Mark, I came away with a new perspective on something. He taught me, too.’

After some challenging times in his education journey, Mark has just graduated with his BSB51915 Diploma of Leadership and Management. Congratulations, Mark, and we’re sure your determination and tenacity will make you an asset to whichever organisation you work with next!

BSB51915 Diploma of Leadership and Management
Mark on Graduation day

Here’s Mark’s story:

‘I’d been working as a Safety Advisor for about sixteen years, then I fell out of work. I’d been out of work for an extended period and I was looking for something to give me a bit of a push. I’d worked as a manager and I wanted to increase that managerial side of things, and my value as a jobseeker in that area.

So, I decided to do a BSB51915 Diploma of Leadership and Management.

The first six months went very, very quickly. Absolutely smashed it! The second six months were much more challenging. I got a part-time job that involved working long hours and odd hours, and the last few months were very hard. I’d sort of lost a bit of motivation, but Karen (my mentor) still managed to keep me on track. And here I am!

I’m so, so happy. It’s allowed me to apply for a few jobs that I wouldn’t have been able to, previously. In the long run, I think it will definitely help. Not just in getting a job, but helping me to do a job; to perform well in that role. It’s re-focused and re-honed a lot of things I already knew, and brought them back to the fore.

There were definitely challenges, though.

Something I spoke to Karen about was that I’m the sort of person who would probably actually function better in a classroom setting. While the online learning thing was all fresh and new, I blazed through it, but once it started to get a bit tough and other things started to pull at me, it was hard to stay focused.

I was so close, so in the last couple of weeks I just pushed. I had to push. One of the things I found I had been doing towards the end was using work as an excuse. I was still doing stuff at work, I drive a cab, so I could write notes in the cab between fares, but then I’d come home and sit in front of the computer and think, ‘Nah.’

In the end, the overarching thing that motivated me was that I wanted to get here tonight. I wasn’t panicked, it was just a goal that kept me going.

It is exciting! You can see it on the faces of the other people who have graduated, how pleased with themselves they are.

We all worked hard to be here.’

Best of luck for your future, Mark!

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