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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.
“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.”
“When I was growing up I wanted to be an auto mechanic in a car workshop and someone recommended NorthTec to me and I thought I would follow it up.
“I really like the course itself. I think it’s really well planned, we go through certain tasks and we complete it term by term and it flies by to be honest.
“My favourite part about the course is the tools! There is not a lack of tools around the workshop. And the tutors - they’re always friendly and here to help. I’m in a small group of people in my class so I get a lot of one-on-one time with the tutors.
“What motivates me now is the opportunity of an apprenticeship at the end of the course and a career path.
“The tutors teach us a full run down of the car engine - we disassemble it, reassemble it, and see all of the components multiple times. You learn the right practices too, you’re not just following what your old man does. We learn the skills needed for when you start working.
“Working on the rally cars for the International Rally that comes to Whangarei is just awesome. It’s a really rare opportunity and gives us the experience and skills we wouldn’t usually get. It’s also really cool to network and meet the big names in the industry!
“Being in the automotive industry is great because it’s hands-on and practical work.
“If anyone is thinking about coming on this course, I would say just do it! It’s fees-free! You have nothing to lose!”
“Working on rally cars with people from the industry for the International Rally is such a great experience, it is really important for my studies. It will help me with my future career and the potential to gain employment or an apprenticeship after my studies.”
Owen is making a career shift from radiology to architecture, as well as a recent regional shift from Taranaki to Northland.
“After having our first baby it was time to move closer to family up here and I was ready to rethink my career options. I was looking at nursing but realised it’s not quite me, and I’ve had an interest in drawing houses and house plans since I was young. A friend had also done this programme and recommended it.”
“There is such a range of options in where this course can lead - from design, to project managing, to council building inspection or to working in geo-tech. My main interest is in design so I’m loving using the CAD technology, but I’m also enjoying learning about materials and construction, plus how the environment affects a building and vice-versa.”
Owen is still working part-time in radiology so balancing study with both work and family is challenging.
“It’s years since I’ve studied and I didn’t do that well at school, but because I’m interested in architecture my marks and motivation are good and I’m keeping up with the deadlines. It was challenging at first but there are other mature students in the class so we support each other and the smaller class means we get more time with the tutors.”
“There are lots of advantages in making this career shift. I’ll be working in a field I enjoy, I can earn a better income, we can do quite a bit of work away from an office so the hours are more flexible, and I could end up with my own business. I’d like to work with an architect or designer for a couple of years to get some experience, and then later maybe have my own design business. I like that the design world is always developing.”
“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 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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