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“I wanted to work in a trade and I wanted something that would make me think, so I looked into uni but it wasn’t for me. I’m from up north and lived on a farm so I knew some of the basics of electrical engineering and knew I was interested. A couple of friends also applied for the course here so I signed up and it’s just what I wanted.”
“We learn a lot of cool stuff about motors, lighting and cool-storage and even my maths is better than I thought because the info is applied to something. When I finish the course I will apply for an apprenticeship which I think will be easier to get after this pre-training.”
“Electrical engineering is really broad and it’s too soon to know which area I’ll focus on but at the moment I’m looking at industry which seems more varied than domestic work.”
“I was doing construction as work experience at school for an hour a day and loving it so I knew I wanted to go into building. Some of my mates had done this course so I signed up straight after the school holidays.”
“It’s so much easier to learn here than at school because we’re doing what we love, the tutors are really cool, and we’re independent so we do the work because we want to not because we’re told to.”
“I’m the youngest in the course and it was hard at first because I had no mates here, but now we all know each other and get on well. When I finish here I hope to get an apprenticeship. The tutors have good connections to help with that but I’ll find my own as well.”
“My dream is to build my own house, be my own boss and have some people working for me. To other students out there that don’t like school but are into something else, I’d say go and do the training for what you’re interested in."
“I knew I’d like this course but I like it even more than I thought. I kept getting into trouble at school so eventually Mum decided to pull me out and I moved home to the farm and started studying sports but it wasn’t me. We lived on a farm and I liked it, but I didn’t know anything about it so when I saw a brochure on this course I signed up.”
“The best part of the course so far is moving the animals, learning to ride the quad bike, fixing fences, milking, and learning about stock rotation and how much to feed them. We learn by actually doing it, plus we have 1 theory day a week.”
“We also learn from the other students when we work together, and we’re all gaining confidence and experience. I’m not sure what I want to do when I finish the course but I might work in dairy farming. I’ve learnt to give things a go and at NorthTec they’ll help you get through.”
“I’m a doctor and I had back surgery a few years ago that was spine damaging, so I’m now less mobile and in pain. It’s hard to maintain the compassion and curiosity required to continue as a GP so I decided to stop being a doctor this year and start studying creative writing to set up the next era of my life.”
“Training to be a doctor was a massive accomplishment for me because it came on the back of leaving school at 14, working as a stripper and a prostitute, having a baby at 17, and nearly dying from a suicide attempt at 20. In recovery in intensive care, a doctor asked me if I had a dream for my future and when I said I’d like to be a nurse or a doctor, he laughed at me. That was the catalyst for turning my life around. I was working the streets in Wellington in 1981 and graduated from medical school in 1991. I also did the Ironman twice.”
“So to now give up being a doctor is a huge let go of invested energy and identity. But once I accepted it, I made a plan. Twenty years ago I had written two successful autobiographical books, one called Bent Not Broken and the other called Life on the Line. They were published in England and Europe and I took the story to women’s prisons and programmes and spoke at graduations.”
“It’s now time to wake up that place in me that has been sleeping but I first wanted a qualification. I like having letters after my name to validate things to myself and it would also give me an entrée later into editing. Because of my physical limitations, my study had to be online from home, and when I researched creative writing this NorthTec course came up. I’ve lived in the north for the last five years so I got on the phone, had a wonderful conversation with one of the tutors, and signed up.”
“I started with leveI 6 and have now nearly finished level 7 and I’m amazed at the quality of the course content, the teaching and the mentors. There is extraordinary support and encouragement here, and I don’t have to leave home to do this exciting stuff. At the course hui, we get to put names and faces to our online classmates and tutors from around the country, plus get inspired by talented guest speakers.”
“I’m delighted with my progress and I completed a book during level 6 which is now with editors in London and New York, and I’ve almost finished another one. I am ripe with so many ideas that I plan to live to 112 to get them all out.”
“When an opportunity presented for me to fulfil my dream of furthering my education, especially in creative writing, I knew I had no more excuses. I had returned to New Zealand to look after my Mum after living in Sydney for twenty years, and my kids were older now. This course offered a foundation of learning across all writing platforms so was perfect for someone like me just starting out on my writing journey, and I liked that it was online but with hands-on tutor support.”
“Oddly, one of the aspects of the course I was most doubtful about is now one of my favourite parts. I was shy, thinking other students and tutors would be reading my stories in an online forum, but I now think it’s fun and invaluable to all share as our journeys unfolds. I also thought I’d miss the physical interaction with teachers and students but NorthTec host a hui where we meet our tutors and fellow students and hear pearls of wisdom from guest speakers that keep us all motivated and connected.”
“The dedication of the tutors is exceptional. They’re so passionate and professional and genuinely want to see us succeed, so they prop us up when we doubt ourselves and they soothe our end-of-semester stress.”
“A big surprise was that the course covered such a range of writing platforms. I thought it would be solely fiction writing but we explore writing blogs, scripts, eBooks, articles, poetry, writing for children, publishing contracts, how to self-edit, and even the tax responsibilities of a professional writer. My other surprise was a shift from thinking I wanted to write for children to instead falling in love with short story writing, which previously I had no time for.”
“This course has given me confidence and a belief in myself that I didn’t have and has opened networking opportunities and doors to success. Right now I’m excitedly waiting to see my first story in print in a soon-to-be-published short story collection. I’m also looking forward to continuing to level 7 when I’ll be working on a novel and short story collection. With all the support from NorthTec and my family, the sky is the limit now on my path to becoming a professional writer.”
“I was wanting more meaningful work and had been in the north about 18 months doing part-time work until I decided I wanted to study horticulture. It is values based, hands-on and focuses on sustainability which is necessary for future generations. It’s fascinating to me. I was originally from the city and came up here to be nearer family, so the content is all new to me and I’m learning a completely different lifestyle.”
“With what I’m learning, it’s exciting to think about what the future holds – both as an individual and for our greater culture. I’m surprised at how broad the course is and that we can apply what we learn to any aspect of our lives – at home, at work and even spiritually.”
“We have a variety of students in our class all with different views but our common interest puts us all in the same bubble. It’s a very healing environment to be in and the tutor has a real passion and knowledge.”
“At the moment I’m living at home but the course is giving me ideas of how to run my own farm and to share that with children and social groups. For me the outcome will be more about lifestyle than career, and when I finish level 4 I’m keen to talk to schools and young people about waste and environmental issues.”
“I want to make the most of what’s on offer here which includes the support network and community as well as the study, and I’ll see what happens after that.”
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