It’s hard not to feel outnumbered when you’re an equine vet surrounded by dairy and sheep farmers.

But Vicki Morgan loves a good challenge and knew that enrolling for an Agribusiness Management Diploma from Primary ITO was a smart career move.

For two and a half years she diligently attended class alongside farm managers and owners to learn the ins and outs of running an agribusiness so she could improve her own management skills.

The 49-year-old leads a team at EquivetsNZ in Bulls and Masterton which is part of Southern Rangitikei Veterinary Services. And while she was able to use her own workplace for the diploma’s human resource and risk management modules, she had to get her head around running a dairy farm to complete the financial reporting section and prepare a final business case study.

“The skill base you’ll learn from studying the Diploma is applicable in so many industries and jobs.

“It’s those little bits of knowledge that you’ll take away that you’ll find helpful in your job, whatever job you do.”

Vicki says she particularly enjoyed the risk management module which focused on how to prevent certain problems arising. “That knowledge is something that I use quite a lot at work now to get the staff working together and getting jobs done.

“I’m in charge of stocktaking and I’m more aware of what processes need to be in place before we start to make sure it happens properly on the day, whereas before we used to sort of just wing it.”

Vicki acknowledges having support from your employer is crucial. She needed time off to attend class either weekly or fortnightly, plus study groups, but Southern Rangitikei Veterinary Services also gained a lot from her efforts.

“I was able to do a risk assessment on our business when we were opening up our new branch in Masterton. I assessed whether it was going to work down there, was this business going to be viable, how can we do marketing and things like that.”

“One of the best things about doing that Diploma was actually sitting in a classroom with like-minded people. We had sheep and beef guys and some dairy people. They were amazing because they were talking in a different lingo from me but they were so good. It was fabulous how everyone helped each other out.”

Vicki says study has given her the ability to sit back and look at the big picture and think outside of the box, plus given her confidence to take on new challenges.

“People should just do it, it’s a fantastic Diploma. The help the Primary ITO tutors give you is amazing and that makes doing it a lot less stressful.”

• More: www.primaryitodiploma.co.nz