When Donald Cruz felt he needed some additional expertise in the ever-evolving IT industry, he discovered Victoria University of Wellington’s Master of Information Management (MIM). The MIM is taught by Victoria in both Auckland and Wellington, and is the only course of its kind available in New Zealand. Cruz felt that the MIM would have the national reach and relevance to assist in the further development of his career.
Equally importantly, the course was sensitive to his needs as a busy full-time employee.
“I wanted to upskill and keep learning. Doing the Master’s is one of the best things I did,” Cruz said. He was already a veteran of the industry, with 14 years of industry experience that has given him a sound understanding of information management. But the academic value that the MIM programme offers executives gives them a deeper theoretical background, which helps them to better handle a range of real-life challenges and issues.
“I learned a lot about management theories. During the programme, we covered areas like organisational change management, ethical considerations when managing an IT organisation, ICT global commerce and understanding people’s behaviour towards IT. A better understanding of these issues helped me in my current job as an IT project manager as I could apply what I learned to the management of IT assets and infrastructure.”
The MIM is built around two core courses, which are designed to be relevant to working executives looking to gain better understanding of technology and its application to business. The first is Communication and Critical Thinking in Information Management, which is concerned with the principles of communications design and critical thinking. The second is Managing in the Information Age, through which topics on organisational structures, e-commerce, virtual organisations, organisational transformation and managing IT-driven change are among the topics explored. This course is of particular practical relevance to executives.
In addition to the core courses, executives can choose from over 12 elective courses, ranging from Enterprise Systems to Managing IT-Related Change, Legal and Ethical Issues in Information Management, Strategic Information Management, Social Media, and Sustainability and Information Systems. This allows them to tailor the degree to meet their specific career goals.
“The majority of our students want career progression as a result of the course, and what we see is that as a result of the skills they develop, they often achieve that before finishing the course,” Dr Jocelyn Cranefield, MIM programme director, said.
“One of the common challenges that professionals at all stages of their career development face is that, while they understand what needs to happen with technology within the business, being able to articulate that to other stakeholders is an obstacle.”
“The course aims to provide the frameworks and tools that help IT professionals build the confidence and communications skills to bridge the gap between technology and business.”
With the use of teleconferencing technology, classes are held simultaneously in Wellington and Auckland ensuring consistency across teaching and maximising students’ opportunities from group learning. Cruz found that the blend of face-to-face course work with the ability to learn online allowed him to fit his studies in around his busy schedule, which also included part-time work at the local gym and volunteering on campus.
Cruz, who graduated with distinction said: “Because I am so busy, I really appreciated the library database resources, which I could access off-site.”
“My experience in the MIM programme encouraged me to be a better version of myself. I was inspired to work hard and value education more than I could have imagined.”
“I met amazing people along the way—lecturers, mentors, leaders and classmates—who eventually became my good friends. My time in the course gave me an opportunity to grow as a professional and as an individual—both intellectually and socially,” said Cruz.
According to Dr Cranefield, the MIM programme helps students develop specialised skills—such as analysis, diagnosis and leading high-level decision-making—which not only enhance their IT management skills, but can lead them into consultancy work.
“By the time they graduate from the programme, our students are able to take the research that is developed at an academic level and repurpose it so it applies to a specific organisation or business. It’s a hugely valuable skillset and as a result, we’ve seen alumni progress their careers to CIO roles or find success as entrepreneurs.”
More information about the course and what it offers to executives can be found below: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/explore/postgraduate-programmes/master-of-information-management/about. Information on course fees, as well as scholarship and employer payment information is also covered.