Whitireia and WelTec business graduate earns while he trains

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When Wellington-based personal trainer Max Hall decided to upskill in business, he knew he’d need to split his time between study and the gym.

Max enrolled in the New Zealand Certificate in Business (Small Business) at Whitireia and WelTec shortly after they started offering it via eCampus NZ, becoming their first online learner to graduate with this qualification.

“I was looking for a flexible option that would allow me to set up my personal training business as I studied. I spent a lot of time in the gym and started training clients while I was studying. It was great to be able to do that,” he said.

Sport and fitness have always been a part of Max’s lifestyle, but it wasn’t until he started hitting the gym during university that he realised he wanted to make training a career.

“I started going to the gym more and more, realised I loved it, and gained a level 4 qualification in personal training,” he said.

When Kiwis started trickling back into gyms as lockdowns eased this year, Max decided it was time to pursue his dream.

“It’s great to see the industry picking back up. I decided it was time to do something I love instead of just paying the bills,” he said.

Max hasn’t looked back, becoming a personal trainer at Les Mills’ Taranaki Street branch.

“My clients are fantastic, and it’s great to know that I’m helping them make a positive difference in their lives. You come across such a huge range of personalities, and I love finding different ways to motivate people, get them into the gym, help them exercise safely, and have fun while they do it. There’s something for everyone at the gym, and I like helping people find what suits them,” he said.

Creating a business plan as part of his coursework helped Max map out his future career.

“It was opportunity to set some goals, think about where I want to go, and plan my future. My dream is to keep building up my list of clients and eventually open my own gym,” he said.

He believes that what he learned in the programme will help him work towards his goals.

“I’m a self-contractor, so it was really useful to learn about running a small business. As I work towards opening my own gym in the future, the technical knowledge about planning and finances will become more and more important,” he said.

Asked what advice he’d give to future online learners, Max emphasised the importance of building study into your life, just as you do with exercise.

“It’s important to study regularly. Chip away at it each week, even when you’re busy, to avoid getting behind. Making time to study a little every day makes a huge difference,” he said.

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