Thabang Lesaoana, Postgraduate Certificate in Project Management graduate and Liverpool Online MBA student.
A great investment in himself and his company – that’s how South African entrepreneur Thabang Lesaoana views his Postgraduate Certificate in Project Management from the University of Liverpool.
“In fact, it was more than an investment. It was mind-opening,” said Thabang, who studied online, graduated in July 2017 and is now studying with the University again for the Liverpool Online MBA. “I specialised in my field – construction and infrastructure – and met a lot of colleagues online from different countries who shared similar experiences to mine.”
CEO of his own engineering company, Thabang credits his online learning experience with helping him to increase business growth from 20% to 60%, as well as achieving very high customer satisfaction. “The Project Management degree has actually contributed a lot to my output. I can now make sure that all the processes are in place, and I can finish my jobs on time and within budget. Customer satisfaction is very high,” he said.
Through his business, which has been running for 11 years, Thabang imports crushing and grinding machines from China, installing them in processing plants in gold, coal and other mines in South Africa. As he was studying 100% online, he was able to continue his business activities and integrate his new knowledge and skills into his daily activities. “The Project Management master’s modules really address the needs of the global economy,” said Thabang, who completed the four core modules of the master’s programme before graduating with a Postgraduate Certificate. “The programme doesn’t just talk about processes and systems, it also looks at your personality – how you manage people – at the human, communications side of project management.”
Studying online was a challenge at first. “As we moved ahead into the second module, I started to get used to the system,” said Thabang. Following the guidelines set out in the programme’s initial orientation course, he set aside a certain number of hours a day for studying. The practical nature of the Project Management programme made it easier to fit in with his work. “Some of the actual problems that you encounter during the day, you can use as case studies in your online classroom,” he said.
Thabang completed his degree online from South Africa, then travelled to Liverpool to receive his certificate in person at the official ceremony. How did it feel to finally graduate?
“It’s very, very satisfying – something to cherish for a lifetime,” he said.
Since returning home, Thabang has taken up his next challenge – starting out on a new journey to graduation as a Liverpool Online MBA student. “I’m excited to be back in the online classroom,” he said. “After my first online study, I know how it works and I know it’s going to give me a lot of advantages professionally – with new knowledge and new, international contacts. The online MBA really takes me to the next level in the business world.”