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“I’m so glad I chose this course. Everyone is so comfortable with each other that it feels like one big family and we have a lot of fun together.”
Huia had just finished school and was working at a job in the holidays that got her thinking about what she wanted to do as a career. “I’ve always been interested in make-up and beauty so searched for what training was available locally then found this and got accepted. I’m surprised and pleased at how quickly I’m picking things up because I was concerned I might not get it.”
“By doing this training I will have an internationally recognized qualification but hope to first get a job locally and gain more experience. Who knows what will unfold from that.”
“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 grew up on a sheep and beef farm so I’ve always been around farming but I wanted to step up a level in my knowledge and broaden my experience. I saw an advertisement for this course on Facebook when I was working casually on a Landcorp block, and now that I’m on board I really enjoy learning new experiences on different farms.”
“We get to see a different side of farming including dairying which is all new to me. It’s more interesting than I thought and fairly high tech. We get to work as a team, as an individual or in pairs, so we all learn off each other and get to know our weak and strong points.”
“When I finish I’ll look for a job and longer term I’d like to be a heavy operator digger driver or a shepherd.”
“I’ve always been interested in cars and fixing them but I have spent my life doing other work to support my car habit. I decided it was now time to chase what I love and this course was near where I live. I had the skills but these days we need tickets to show what we know.”
“I love being able to come to a place where I can immerse myself in the trade, do what I love, and improve my skills with a team who are all into the same thing. I’m used to learning things by myself by trial and error so it’s awesome to be with others on my level and tutors with their 40 years in the trade. I enjoy our teamwork on jobs and we bounce a lot of ideas off each other. It doesn’t feel like work.”
“I had a bit of knowledge about a lot of things, so the course is filling in gaps in my understanding of how things work and interconnect, and I’m amazed at the depth of knowledge you can reach. It’s also making my own diagnostics at home easier. The challenge for me is learning to deal with the new generation of electrics in cars. We grew up with old cars that we knew how to fix but it’s important to keep up with the electric diagnostics and systems or you get left behind.”
“My main goal here is to get the ticket demonstrating that I have the knowledge and the skills so that I can work in the automotive industry. The bonus is that it’s also good for my own confidence. One day I might start my own small workshop, but for now a mate who runs a side business in car repair heard I was doing this course and has asked me to do some work.”
“When I was young I wasn’t ready to commit myself to my passion, but I’ve learnt that anything you really want in life is there when you are ready…..just don’t leave it too long.”
“My mum worked in the accounting field so I grew up knowing about that world, but I initially studied as a teacher in Auckland, thinking I’d teach accounting. When my flat in Auckland dissolved and my Mum had some health issues, it was time to come up here for more affordable housing, advance my skills in a different direction and meet some new people. This NorthTec degree is helping me re-frame my life and the tutors make it so worthwhile to be here.”
“I love how family-friendly NorthTec is with flexi-time if personal issues arise, and the tutors are there for you if you put in the work. I realising I’m a lot more capable than I thought I was. I tend to be self-deprecating so doing this degree has really built my confidence and validated my self-worth. The tutors also open doors for us and, through them, I’ve just started an internship with an accounting firm. It’s amazing the huge difference in my life in just 18 months.”
“I want to graduate with distinction, then work in a large accounting firm that could lead to international experience and eventually to become a Chartered Accountant.”
“I wanted to study something that there was a high demand for, that I loved, where I could earn while I studied, and that had a flexible work location. Having previously dabbled in Aeronautical Engineering, Engineering intrigued me but because I didn’t want to leave my local town to further this venture, I narrowed my options to agriculture and engineering and chose Civil Engineering because of the scope of the industry in Whangarei.”
“One of the engineering companies I came across offered me a job and study support so I signed up with NorthTec for Civil Engineering and opted to do my study part time over four years, with the goal to fast track it to just three years. I’m now part of a projects team, specialising in roading infrastructure construction. I’m loving working outside and I’m enjoying learning about the design aspects as well as the construction phases.”
“I’m amazed at how encouraging and dedicated the tutors are at NorthTec and they’re really flexible with fitting around our paid work commitments. I’m also enjoying connecting up the students by organising events and study groups for them. They come to me for advice and range from high school students to some in their 50s.”
“I was nominated to be this year’s Northland Student Rep on the Engineering NZ Board, and I’m also on the Women Infrastructure Network Northland Committee, encouraging high school students and young women into the infrastructure industries. I want to showcase the industry to girls and show them that we can do this and be accepted on construction sites. This can be the most daunting aspect but women are now often preferred on sites because we are willing to learn, have an eye for detail, follow orders, get things right the first time and are compassionate to deal with.”
“The challenge for me personally is working fulltime, sometimes up to 60 hours a week, and studying. The surprise, though, is that I’m managing to do it. I’m also not that great at maths but the tutors’ support with this is amazing.”
“This study has already changed my life. I realise how much I now know and that is reflected in my confidence and my ability to do the work. I’ve gone from being a trainee engineer to being a site engineer.”
“My next step is to finish my training which will lift me to the next job bracket, then when I have enough experience I want to work towards being a Site Manager. Later I’d love to be a Department or Project Manager.”
“To all the women out there thinking about careers in infrastructure, we can do this. We simply have to be competent and keen.”
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