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Eric Barrett, a passionate technology enthusiast and seasoned project manager, has embarked on an inspiring journey from his hometown in India to New Zealand. 

With a dream of enhancing his career and personal growth, he chose to pursue a unique Master's programme at academyEX, a cutting-edge institution offering an exciting blend of innovation, learning, and entrepreneurship.

Born in Dhanbad, a coal mining town in east India, Eric was raised in a family where education always held paramount importance. From an early age, he harboured a dream of moving to New Zealand, a place he found mesmerising through the beautiful posters displayed at the local travel agency. 

In 2006, this dream became a reality when Eric moved to Aotearoa, driven by both professional aspirations and the opportunity to start a family. It was here that he met his Kiwi wife, and they now reside in Tauranga with their two children.

Having spent more than 20 years in full-time work, Eric felt his career had reached a plateau. He was in search of a Master's programme that would not only invigorate his professional life but also align with his personal goals. 

Eric embarked on interviews with some of New Zealand's top universities but found the programmes on offer lacked the innovative edge he was seeking. His quest for a transformative educational experience led him to discover academyEX through Facebook. 

“It felt like the course that were offered were generally old school degrees that did not have the X factor that I was after. Thankfully, I found academyEX via an ad. 

“The courses were cutting edge and offered the opportunity to gain learning and skills that were fit for purpose in today’s (and tomorrow’s) market, while also allowing me to continue working.

“I chose the Master of Technological Futures degree in order to build on my existing experience as an IT project manager and to improve my skills in technology.”

The Master of Technological Futures programme at academyEX stands out for its flexibility. It allows students to either write a thesis or create a product based on their innovative ideas. Eric seized this opportunity to develop a platform aimed at managing the safety and well-being of international students residing on campus.

“academyEX goes beyond traditional education, offering in-depth insights into future technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality and the Internet of Things . The curriculum is designed to equip students with the knowledge and frameworks necessary to implement these technologies in any organisation effectively,” says Eric.

One of the standout features of academyEX is the ownership of intellectual property that students retain, unlike other institutions, where the institution often claims rights to students' creations.

Eric also praises the institution for its faculty. From virtual reality and robotics to blockchain technology, students are guided by some of the brightest minds in the country, he says.

“I also get access to networks of VCs (venture capitalists) that help with start-up funding. Through the experience and guidance that I have received from academyEX, I have managed to pitch my idea to a couple of VCs. There is a high probability that I will receive funding to build my application/platform in the coming weeks,” says Eric. 

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