Inside the Life of an Orion Student

David Pearson is employed as a Health and Safety Representative in the warehousing industry in Victoria. He is currently undertaking the BSB51315 – Diploma of Work Health and Safety with three units remaining in his qualification. We asked David to take the time to chat to us, reflect on his time as a student, and provide insight into what it means to embark on a learning journey with Orion Training.

What was your motivation to enrol into your qualification?

I’m 36 now and I thought, probably, if I’m going to have a run at making a fulfilling career, now’s the time, or it’s never going to happen. I’ve surprised myself in a lot of ways because I’m not a school-minded person, and I’ve never been motivated to finish something that I’ve started. I’ll get a good idea and think, “Yeah I’ll do that,” then lose interest in it fairly quickly for motivational reasons.

What motivated you this time to get through your qualification?

I thought, okay, I’m fairly decent at what I do at work as a safety rep, and thought I don’t want to be driving forklifts forever. My kids kept me going in a lot of ways, my daughter is naturally school-minded.

Have there been times when you felt like you couldn’t do it, like you were in over your head?

Every unit. The mental side of things has been the challenge.

How did you overcome those challenges?

The overwhelmingly good feedback from the trainer and assessor kept me going.

You are quite self-motivated, how did you know that you were on the right track with your course work?

I had to trust myself and back my judgement. Most days I work with these WHS policies and procedures, so I just sat back and thought, I do this at work already.

Does it help that you’re employed in the same industry that you’re learning about?

Yes, because I can relate study to a workplace. I can take what I’ve learnt at work and use it for the unit I’m doing, and I can take what I’ve learnt in the course and use it at work.

Would you say you’ve learned a lot, a little, or nothing in your course?

A lot.

What do you want the future beyond your qualification to look like?

Better than it is now – not saying it’s bad at the moment. Once this diploma’s finished, I’m not going to sit there and say, “Yay I’ve got a diploma,” I’m going to use it to its fullest.

What’s the first step towards doing that, using your qualification to its fullest?

Searching around and get my foot in the door somewhere in the industry. That’s probably going to be the next biggest challenge. There are a lot of places who want people who are highly experienced.

Do you feel you have enough workplace experience?

Probably enough to get my foot in the door. I would be lacking experience as a safety coordinator or a manager. I’m a safety representative at the moment so I’m in the committee and have my own work group.

Can you relate the challenges you’ve faced throughout your qualification to other aspects of your life?

I have faced similar challenges to study with my family. Focussing on the diploma has taught me how to make better decisions that affect other people, and be more confident in my decisions.

What do you say to people who use the excuse “I don’t have enough time”?

There are 24 hours in each day. I’m the best example of that, with my working hours I don’t get home till about 9pm, sometimes later, and the last thing you want to do is look at the computer screen and exert your brain. I sometimes force myself to.

Do you feel better for doing that hour of study?

When I look back at it, I think, “I’ve completed 2 pretty big questions, that’s 2 less that I have to do now.” The progress of it all – even if it’s slow progress – is still progress.

If you could offer someone considering studying with Orion Training some advice, what would it be?

Go for it. If you’ve got a dream or a passion for something, nothing’s going to stop you from doing it no matter what the circumstances are.

What is the only thing that would stop someone from going for it?


Would you recommend Orion Training to your friends or family, and if yes, why?

I definitely would. You guys are so patient and understanding with things, you know that life gets in the way sometimes and it’s eased my mind a few times with a few assessments that I’ve taken a bit longer to do. Even if it’s a couple of lines in an email, you take the time to care about your students and don’t just take the course fees and forget about them.

Interview with David Pearson

Student in Diploma of Work Health and Safety

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