Chiedza's Story: Why distance learning has helped my love for tech


We took the time to speak to Chiedza, one of recent graduates. Chiedza studied for an MSc in Strategic IT Management at Arden University in order to supplement the real-world learning she had done as part of her job.

If you read below you can find out more about her experience with Arden, her hopes for the future, and why she was so relieved to find a distance learning programme which suited her. 

What did your programme involve?

This programme has a lot to do with merging IT and Business. The course entails communication, planning, decision-making, and research modules that are facilitated online.

Each module has a course coordinator who hosts introductory meetings, and is accessible for one-on-one conversations if the students need clarity. The assessments are usually in the form of written essays requiring the student to apply the course content and their further research. Usually, students are required to relate the courses to case studies of their choice, usually drawing from their experiences.

In the world we currently live in, technology helps business and business helps technology. The course is relevant for people working as business analysts, project managers, and service delivery managers.
Why did you want to study at university? 

University education increases one’s chances of being employable, holding up a career, and improves one’s ability to be innovative around their own livelihood.

I knew that studying at university would improve my career prospects and security from some of life’s harsh possibilities. Things like unemployment and dependency on others.

What were the three most important things for you when choosing to study with Arden University? 

Arden University enabled me to pursue my studies across a long-distance. I did not have to be on campus to learn and access the university’s library.

Online learning allowed me to study conveniently. It was flexible and allowed me to continue developing my career alongside my studies. 

In addition to this, I was drawn to the status of the University and its international recognised qualifications.

Such a qualification makes me appealing in the job market in my home country Zimbabwe and in other parts of the world. 

Why did you feel that you needed someone to take a chance on you? 

Firstly, I am an aspiring leader in the field of IT and Management. For over nine years I have worked diligently under my current employer with the intention to learn and excel in my role.

In other words, I had gone through a great deal of experiential learning that, in my view, surpassed the knowledge and skills acquired through undergraduate learning.

I needed a university to give me a chance to pursue postgraduate studies in a manner that suited my already acquired knowledge in the IT and management sectors.

Because of high unemployment rate in Zimbabwe, I could not afford to leave work in order to further my studies.

Arden gave me a chance by just giving me the opportunity to learn at my own convenience. 


What have you liked most about your studies?

I am glad I did this programme because it opened my eyes to a lot of things.

For instance, I gained a global view of management practices as many of the case studies and references were from the UK.

As someone who works in a technological role I was able to apply some of the principles taught directly to my work. In a sense, the course, really made me convinced that I as suitable for leadership. 

What do you want to go on to do some day?

I would like to be in a top executive position in a big company. I would like to inspire and motivate others who have a disability like myself, or any other person who feels that they are an underdog. I would like to show them if I can do it, then they can also do it.

You spoke there about your disability, what sort of challenges has that brought about that you have had to overcome in your life? 

So, there is something they called delayed mileage- which is when you are delayed in life because of certain circumstances.

Personally, because I had this condition where sometimes I had to go to the hospital for this or that, it took some time (prior to enrolling) for me to come to the stage of committing and completing a qualification that requires two years.  

The second thing is other places/ universities are not as disability friendly. They either do not have ramps or do not have proper access. So, going to a conventional school can be difficult.

Finding a reputable online based university was a life saver. 

What is it about tech that you love?

I have always been fascinated and passionate about technology.

Technology is one of the reasons why there are so many good things, allowing us to do thing with ease and in an automated way.

Technology is in my genes. I can give a lot of examples where technology has helped me to move from point A to point B.

For example, I would not have made it from Zimbabwe to the UK to attend my graduation if were not for technology. So, for me technology is such a great example of human intelligence. I own several technological gadgets because of it. I love it! 

And finally, how does it feel to be graduating?

It is the most wonderful feeling ever. I told myself “God, if I hadn't done this. I do not know what I was going to do.”

The feeling that you get for knowing that you have made it, you have passed, you have graduated – it is a very good feeling.