Hein Chetcuti BSc (Hons) IS&M, MSc
Ten years on …
I joined the Malta FreePort Terminal in 1999 as an IT support staff member.
After some time, I realised that my progression was stinted since i did not have the knowledge to take me to a managerial level. Promotion was possible, but only with long years of experiential learning. I realised I had to read for a degree that will give me the depth of knowledge and the structure of curriculum that will sustain my career prospects. Since Iwished to keep my job, full time tertiary education was not a possibility, and after researching availability of degree programmes that were available for evening students, I opted to read for the BSc (Hons) degree in Information Systems and Management that is led academically by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) of the University of London. I was lucky that Saint Martin’s Institute of Higher Education, an Affiliate Institution of this prestigious and world renowned University offered tuition after 5pm and in 2004 I embarked on this degree, which I finished in 2008 with a first class honours classification.
Attaining such a result was not easy, especially since I was employed full time, and had to make time to study. After my first year examination results, I realised that to fine tune the way I studied — particularly, I realised I needed to start my studies from the very first week of the academic year and not try to cram at the end. Every year I gained more knowledge and confidence until my final year, when I achieved my highest set of marks leading to an Academic Achievement Award and the highest classification, even because the last set of examinations have the highest weighting in classifying a graduate.
This achievement propelled me and I continued applying myself and embarked on my MSc in International Business (2009–2012) to once again achieve wonderful overall results leading to my second award with distinction.
My career progression
My career started to take-off as soon as I graduated in my undergraduate degree. Over the past decade, the fact that I had undertaken multidisciplinary studies in substantial depth, helped me embark and perform in a number of different organisational roles, that surpassed by superiors’ expectations. The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) syllabus and examinations instilled in me the discipline of questioning everything within an organisation, and research and find adequate solutions that will improve the organisation. Nothing can be taken for granted in this fast moving world of business. I’m lucky I got my education through the best University and local Institution, and my employers who are a renowned international shipping firm, appreciates the rigour of the University of London.
I adopted this style of problem solving in my wide range of roles that i was assigned — from the more technical oriented roles such as that of IS Specialist & Business analyst (2010–2012), to more strategic oriented roles, Operational Business Strategist (2012–2015), and Corporate Services Manager (2015–2017). My current role is a new challenge oriented towards Operations Management with a particular focus on R&D and Optimisation of operations at the FreePort.
I am now a member of senior management, an achievement considering my age and the fact it has not even been 10 years since my graduation in my undergraduate degree.
Saint Martin’s Institute of Higher Education
The Institute gave me the opportunity to read for a degree that is academically led by one of the most prestigious and respected Universities in social sciences in the world. This carries a lot of weight because my employers appreciate the effort of passing and attaining such a classification according to LSE standards.
And this opportunity came with very little hassle on my part. I studied for the degree in Malta, attended classes regularly between October and April, and always felt important and given my due attention by the academics and administration staff at the Institute. I fully subscribe to the Institute’s #NotJustANumber because my colleagues and myself where always taught and not left to fend for ourselves. I wanted to raise my knowledge — and I did.
I did not embark on my studies to read for an easy degree that will simply provide me with a piece of paper and a status. I looked for the graduate status, and I yearned for the parchment, but I mostly looked for an opportunity to gain knowledge that I knew will be necessary if I were to advance in my career. How right I was to choose an Institute that guaranteed and valued my education!