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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.”
Pene Burns-Kingiwaiaua came to NorthTec from the advice given to him from this mother.
“She saw the potential in me. So when I finished year 12, I came straight into the Construction programme at NorthTec Kaitaia.
“The best thing about being at NorthTec is that it is close to home, I didn’t have to move away from my family. My motivation comes from my family - they are my biggest supporters and they only want the best for me, so they keep me on track.
“I’m pretty confident this programme has prepared me for a job or an apprenticeship because it is real hands-on and we do all the necessary paperwork we need to know in real-life situations.
“I like everything about this programme – the building, the people in my class because we are all here for the same reason, and my tutors. We have really good tutors, they help me with anything I need help with, and if I’m lucky, I’ll get a laugh out of them.
“I like building because I can see something being built from scratch, then I can look back on it and say I built that!”
“All the odds were against me, so if I can do this degree course anyone can. I’m a foster child brought up in state care, I’m of Māori descent and I was kicked out of school at year 11. I looked down on my social worker and was determined to never be that, but my own experiences has now served to light my passion to help others in similar situations. Because I know how that path feels, I can encourage and work with people at a different level. I’m only 18 so I can really relate to youth.”
“My realisation that I wanted to study and work in social services only happened after I transitioned from state care into a residential home and lived independently. I also realised that because I had left school with nothing, university wasn’t an option for me, so I started my study path at a foundation course at NorthTec in hospitality, then did the certificate in Health and Wellbeing. Over the holiday break I found the courage to commit to doing this degree course. I’m all in it for the youth.”
“I am totally loving learning so many new skills and I feel so supported here as an individual and as a Māori. The wairua of the whole class and tutors supports our mana. We’re all different ages, cultures and gender, and we’re on different paths but we’re all in the same waka and we’re all passionate about being here. Listening and learning from each other gives us different perspectives.”
“Because I dropped out of school, I’m more hands-on and don’t like paperwork but my passion to learn and the support here is helping me focus on study. Because I’m young, another challenge is balancing study with the pull from my friends for social life.”
“Since I’ve been here, I'm amazed at the massive growth in myself and in others on the course. It has transformed my sense of self, and when I get my degree I’m keen to serve as a role model for rangatahi. I did some work with an organisation called VOYCE (Voices of the Young and Care Experienced) as a result of a work placement with Oranga Tamariki in the Health and Well Being course, and I’m now a paid intern for VOYCE and on their National Youth Council.”
“I came from so far down and now I have some exciting options ahead of me. When I finish the degree, my dream is to continue to study with a Master of Social Work and then maybe a degree in clinical psychology. I want to work my way up to parliament and be part of changing the laws that impact the youth of today.”
“To kids out there in care – if you get shut down, look for new doors to open. If you go off track, make a new way forward. How we deal with things shows what we’re made of. Live your own time line, and keep doing you.”
“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.”
“The best part about this course is that I found a passion for art. I’ve never done art before but you can be quite creative with what we have been learning. I want to go on and study art and become an artist. My tutor really motivates me, he’s really helpful and helps me when I’m struggling. You learn all you need to know here to be a professional painter, but I’m now excited to pursue a career as an artist. My advice to anyone thinking about coming to study is – stick to what you’re passionate about!”
“I came to New Zealand four years ago from China to study the Bachelor of Sport and Recreation through a sister-city link between the university in China and NorthTec. I was a golf club manager and a track and field athlete in China so I was keen to become more professional in my career, and to broaden my knowledge. The first year was hard because of the different culture and the specialist sport and recreation language, but I have learnt and adapted now. ”
“I love that we have a lot of practicum in this programme and we get the opportunity to actually do what we learn out there in the community. It’s good for us as students and good for the community so it’s a win-win. For my co-ordination paper I’m working at NorthTec International Department to encourage Chinese students to be more active.”
“I’ve learned that I’m more adaptable than I expected. In New Zealand a lot of Chinese stay within their own group but I’m keen to find kiwi friends and tutors, and that has really helped my English and given me more choices both for my career and personally.”
“There is a lot more community work in New Zealand than in China and I like that, so when I finish my degree I’ll choose an area to start my career. At the moment I’m keen to become a co-ordinator with Sports Northland, or in a gym, or in the police.”
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