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Studying doesn’t have to mean giving up your work or home life. Flexible options allows you to choose how you learn.
“When my mother suggested I look for a career rather than just a job, I decided I wanted to do business and looked at study options. NorthTec was best for me because I preferred the practical study of a polytech rather than a university, and it was closest to my home.”
“I’m loving learning things I want to learn, compared to school where the subjects didn’t interest me. It’s also much easier to learn here because the student-tutor relationship is closer in small class sizes, and we get to apply hands-on what we’ve learnt. My only challenge is stepping up to the more difficult education level, but that’s what I’m here for.”
“Next year, I might go on to study for a fourth year and I can already see myself working with meaning. I’m keen to work in anything to do with business and am still learning the range of choices and pathways that business can offer.”
“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."
Armand van Rooyen is going to be a social worker. He wants to work with youth and families, because as a youth he would have like some extra support.
“I felt a need to help other people in my life. I just want to be the change I want to see in the world, I guess.”
To become a social worker and to help others, Armand needs to start from the beginning. After moving to New Zealand with his family when he was 7 years old, Armand struggled with his English and learning in school.
“I dropped out of school at NCEA level 2, so I need to first compete the Study & Career Prep programme at NorthTec. Not being in school for a couple of years has made it a bit challenging, especially essay writing, but that’s where the support at NorthTec comes in. My tutors are so helpful and on to it, and the whole class is like a little family as well. We all help each other out, we don’t judge anyone – it’s just a supportive culture.”
Armand has studied with NorthTec before, completing a NZ Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory, but after 2 weeks into his apprenticeship, an accident involving a longboard made Armand rethink his career.
“I had to have two surgeries on my wrist and the surgeon advised against physical activity so the apprenticeship was out. But it made me realise that I did want to help others and I am glad it has taken me on this study journey.
“I like studying at NorthTec because it’s close to home. This course will build up my foundational knowledge and then I’m excited to go on and study my Bachelor’s and then onto my Master’s and then I would love to even pursue a PhD!”
“I spent two years working in something I really didn’t like, before deciding it was a priority to go for what I had a passion for.” Meg had always loved tinkering with beauty and make-up when she was at school but didn’t want to jump straight into it from year 12, so decided instead to work in administration. “After two years I realised I didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk doing admin, so I explored study options in beauty that were close to home.”
“This hands-on course is perfect for me with the bonus of lot of new friends who share my interest in beauty. I especially like the challenge of being stretched out of my comfort zone. The support from the tutor and the other students make this possible because they feel like family.”
“We have a salon practice here as part of the course and that has given me more confidence with being hands-on with people. One thing I struggled with initially was waxing because I didn’t like the idea of hurting people, but once I realized that they considered it was helping them, I gradually became OK with it.”
Meg is already working part-time in a salon in town plus she works part time as a model in Auckland so has to balance study with her work. “It’s so worth it because our beauty therapy training is valid anywhere in the world. When I finish the course I’ll get more days at my current salon job and will be able to do more training there. In this industry I love that we can continue to learn as we go, and I’m looking forward to getting more experience and seeing what unfolds.”
“I encourage anyone to go with your gut in deciding what to do with your life. For me, doing something I really didn’t like for two years was what gave me the motivation to go for what I love.”
“Making the decision to study Nursing as a mature student is a hard call that can have serious ramifications – and very satisfying rewards. It requires preparedness. Prepare to be challenged in your workload, your relationships and your life. Prepare to be inspired - by the tutors, the students and the patients. And, prepare to be successful and rise to the responsibilities that come with that.”
“I had worked in the public service for 10 years before deciding I was ready for a career rather than a job, and to get myself up to speed for studying I began with the Foundation course. Now that I’ve nearly completed my nursing degree, I realise how special the journey has been.”
“One of the stand-outs is the way the course is structured. Each bracket has an over-arching theme so the papers come together really well. Within that structure, the tutors hold us close at the beginning while we find our feet, then they gradually loosen their grip and walk beside us until we’re ready to walk on ahead without them. It’s quite beautiful.”
“The workload is quite intense at times so balancing life and study can be a challenge, and another challenge for me has been myself. I’ve often been in my own way by either over-thinking or under-thinking things but the tutors and the work itself helped me get things back into perspective.”
“The holistic nature of nursing is embedded in the curriculum and it was a surprise to learn social work and personal skills to put in our kete of taonga. We now get to bring - and be - those things in both our work and our families. I loved too that our course includes students from different cultures and we all bring different dishes to feast from at the same table. We lean on each other and to push each other. Sometimes we were in step and sometimes we were off beat, but somehow we all managed to come together in the end.”
“When I graduate, I’m interested in doing further training so I can work in oncology, but in the meantime I’ll continue with my local community work. This gives me creative ideas about how I can best help and maybe I’ll blaze a new trail with these nursing skills. I’m learning that life is about being the best version of you.”
“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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