New skills making a difference at the top

Carolyn Algar says the Master of Information Management programme provided theoretical concepts that she could apply to her experience and practical knowledge.

Carolyn Algar, Master of Information Management graduate
Carolyn Algar says one of the key lessons from the MIM programme is how to access unbiased information

Carolyn Algar already had 15 years’ experience in the IT industry when she enrolled in Victoria University’s Master of Information Management programme.

She was also working full-time as a project delivery manager at Meridian Energy and had a number of other senior positions on her already impressive CV. But always with an eye on progressing her career, Carolyn saw a Master of Information Management (MIM) as a logical next step.

Carolyn says undertaking the MIM programme was "perfect" for her and provided theoretical concepts that she could apply to her experience and practical knowledge.

"It challenged my thinking. When you rely on your own experience, you develop a way of thinking. The MIM programme really opened my eyes. It provided me with additional frames of reference I could apply to solving business problems, which meant I wasn’t limited by what I had observed. Instead, I could combine my knowledge with up to date research and case studies.

"Most of the classes involve some sort of group activity and class discussions and are made up of people from a wide range of backgrounds, so you get to learn from experiences of people in other industries."

Carolyn continued to work full-time while studying, and graduated after three years with distinction. But she continues to learn from her former classmates who she regularly meets for a catch up.

One of the key lessons from the MIM programme, she says, is how to access unbiased information.

"Since the course, I'm a lot more proactive about finding information on industry trends. I also now know how to evaluate data, as opposed to relying on what comes from vendors or suppliers. You learn to ask 'what’s the real currency of that information?', which helps when making fact-based decisions."

Part way through the programme, Carolyn took up the role of chief information officer at Z Energy New Zealand where she enjoys putting her newfound knowledge and skills to practice.

"I did a paper on sustainability and did my thesis on green IT, which has rekindled my interest in matters concerning the environment. It's also widened my knowledge of green IT and strengthened my resolve that ICT must be part of the solution for climate change.

"We've made some big strides at Z with sustainability. For example, Z is now one of New Zealand's largest private recyclers, having reduced waste to landfill by around 60 percent and swapping out all forecourt lighting with LED lights, cutting energy consumption by 5 percent.

"Additionally, Z is currently completing the country’s first ever commercial scale biodiesel plant, which will produce 20 million litres of renewable fuel per annum and reduce carbon emissions by 37,000 tonnes per annum."