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“I knew I wanted to work in the travel industry and so I was exploring the options when our class at Kaitaia College went on a tertiary education trip to the International Travel College in Auckland. They said they have a link to NorthTec so I applied, and made the move from home to Whangarei.”
“It was a big step for me from a small town but our class is small and the whole campus is family-orientated and so I fit right in here. The tutors are also totally dedicated and will go out of their way to make sure we get any help we need.”
“I had no expectations, so the whole course content is a surprise to me, especially learning how many sectors there are in the travel industry. My interest is in hotel management but I’m realising how many other options there are to explore so I don’t want to narrow things down too soon.”
“I’ve also been surprised at how confident I’m becoming. We have to do presentations to the class and I’m really pleased with the lift in my own standard – both of in my content and my personal presentation. The support from the other students is a big part of it because they are all really friendly and positive, and our tutor is amazing.”
“The tutor also assures us that we’ll get a job when we finish the course and we already have a placing for work experience. Mine is in a top hotel in Auckland where I’ll be helping with events and conferences, and it may lead to getting a job there.”
“Getting this qualification opens the door to me travelling and working anywhere in the world, and I’m keen to get a much experience as possible. I want to travel all around New Zealand first so I can learn about our country and can share it with customers or clients.”
“After I’ve got some experience, I’m keen to get more qualifications including a Diploma in Travel and Tourism Management. My family is so supportive of my learning journey on every level. I know that wherever I work and live, I will return to our nature and gorgeous beaches to fill my cup. I’ll always carry that with me.”
“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."
“My mate did the Sport and Rec programme in Whangarei and suggested I do the level 3 and 4 Career Preparation Certificates because I was into health and fitness. I had dropped out of school and was depressed from doing nothing, so this has woken up my motivation again.”
“I’m enjoying the anatomy and nutrition subjects the most which really surprises me, but I struggle a bit with some of the academic study so am getting support for that. I’m also doing a personal training certificate online, plus I have a couple of trial boxing clients in Kaikohe so keeping things balanced is a big of a juggle.”
“Being with the other students is pretty cool and I’m getting more confident now to stand up and make presentations. I’m the only one in this level 4 course wanting to get into NorthTec’s Sport and Rec programme, but this option means I can then apply for AUT’s Bachelor of Sport and Recreation or physiotherapy training.”
“Getting a good understanding of the basics is essential to improve so that I can later have enough knowledge and experience to do my dream job of coaching athletes.”
“I’ve always hunted and been keen on fishing and diving but my work life has been in the building/construction industry. When the last venture I was with finished, I decided it was time to study what I was passionate about. I had walked and swum through our natural environment but I wanted to learn some of the science and biology behind how it was all linked together so I stepped out of my comfort zone and signed up for study here for a year. I became so enthusiastic that I’ve continued to level 6.”
“The best thing about the course is the dedication and passion of the tutors and how they deliver their knowledge. It’s also really cool meeting new people with new opinions and new input. I’m naturally reserved so the course has taken me out of my bubble and helped me develop new skills including giving presentations. The challenge for me is the computer and technology but the support is there from both the tutors and younger students, and I can help them with some of my bush experience.”
“By monitoring and interpreting data, we’ve learned that everything we do in an eco-system has consequences, including which plants we introduce. I’m hoping that the course will give me enough confidence to go out in a group and initiate, apply and pass on what we’ve learned. We’re learning a massive amount so it takes a bit to condense it and choose which path to follow after study. I’m keen to get work when we finish and already a few options with local projects are presenting themselves.”
Steve’s long term goal is to work amongst the extensive natural environment around Ruakākā and help enhance it. “Stepping out of my comfort zone to come back to school has been great for me. In my backpack with my ordinary kit of my tools, lunch and safety gear, I also carry my goals and aspirations. That way I keep them close to me so I can keep reviewing them, renewing them and re-filling them.”
“I’ve learned that if you want to do something, do it. Even if you don’t succeed at first, just adjust and self-correct. What you do after you come through those little knocks, makes you a stronger person.”
“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.”
“Although my Mum was a physiotherapist, and keeping active was a normal part of life for our family, it wasn’t until I went to St Peter’s College in Cambridge that my spark for this as a career really got lit. I was exposed to a broader range of sports and spent more time in a gym environment I then studied Sport and Recreation (Personal Training) to level 5 at Otago Polytech but returned to Northland and was reassessing my direction.”
“In the meantime, I was doing some part time work running fitness classes and doing some voluntary work when my employer encouraged me to upskill to level 7 to become more employable. So I signed on here and I love the small classes and how hands-on our learning is. We have practical workshops with guest speakers, we do personal training, we learn about sports performance, strength and conditioning, sports science, coaching, and nutrition. We also had the opportunity to have workshops with Turbo Touch, Northland Cricket, Far North CrossFit, Manaia Fitness, and we have work placements.”
“Part of our curriculum involves volunteering at community events and we recently helped out with the Lions Tour and ran a Turbo Touch tournament in schools. We’re also in partnership with Sports Northland programmes so we can help with things like the Weetbix Triathlon and the Run/Walk series. These activities all give us experience and build confidence in our ability to apply what we learn.”
“The learning process is a challenge for me because I’ve got dysgraphia which means I have poor comprehension and have trouble getting my ideas across in a systematic order, so the tutors and the student support team have really supported me with this.”
“As students we’re constantly working in small groups doing presentations, projects, or group fitness so the interpersonal level is high and we have a synergy like a family. I’m surprised at how much growth, knowledge and life experience I’ve gained through the course, and at how broad the course is. I’ve also learned to be adaptable to new ideas because initially I thought I only wanted to do group fitness and personal training but I’m finding I enjoy working with children and youth. I like keeping them engaged and enjoying physical and mental activities.”
“I already volunteer as a youth coach for football and tennis teams, and when I finish the course I’ll either do more work with youth, go into the Police Force, be an outdoor contractor working somewhere like Outward Bound, or do some post-graduate study in sport or teaching.”
“My overarching interest though is in helping people keep physically active from a young age so they can keep mentally healthy. Youth drop-off levels in sport are relatively high now, especially with the use of technology and parents struggling to run children around, and it’s concerning because physical activity is a fundamental part of keeping healthy on every level.”
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