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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."
When Curtis Mehana finished school, he tried his hand at automotive engineering and worked in the demolition industry before finding his passion in painting and art.
“I love studying. I’ve already finished an automotive engineering course in Kaitaia and now I am finishing this Painting course, and I want to move to Whangarei next year to start a Bachelor of Visual Arts.”
With his artistic flair, Curtis realised a passion for art when as a class project, the students painted the buildings of the Kaitaia campus.
“This has been my favourite part of this course. It’s hands-on and practical and we’re not always stuck in a classroom. It’s pretty cruisy too!”
Curtis’ determination to finish the course and get his certificate at the end has kept him going.
“My passion is learning and art, that’s what kept me going. Seeing the end result after you’ve finished painting makes it really rewarding as well.”
Curtis says his tutor has taught him a lot throughout the course. “Especially the prep work and how to get a surface ready for painting.”
“This course has prepared me really well for a job, I’d say I could probably walk into one straight after I’ve finished and we’re lucky because our tutor has given us a lot of referrals for different jobs.”
“I’m a doctor and I had back surgery a few years ago that was spine damaging, so I’m now less mobile and in pain. It’s hard to maintain the compassion and curiosity required to continue as a GP so I decided to stop being a doctor this year and start studying creative writing to set up the next era of my life.”
“Training to be a doctor was a massive accomplishment for me because it came on the back of leaving school at 14, working as a stripper and a prostitute, having a baby at 17, and nearly dying from a suicide attempt at 20. In recovery in intensive care, a doctor asked me if I had a dream for my future and when I said I’d like to be a nurse or a doctor, he laughed at me. That was the catalyst for turning my life around. I was working the streets in Wellington in 1981 and graduated from medical school in 1991. I also did the Ironman twice.”
“So to now give up being a doctor is a huge let go of invested energy and identity. But once I accepted it, I made a plan. Twenty years ago I had written two successful autobiographical books, one called Bent Not Broken and the other called Life on the Line. They were published in England and Europe and I took the story to women’s prisons and programmes and spoke at graduations.”
“It’s now time to wake up that place in me that has been sleeping but I first wanted a qualification. I like having letters after my name to validate things to myself and it would also give me an entrée later into editing. Because of my physical limitations, my study had to be online from home, and when I researched creative writing this NorthTec course came up. I’ve lived in the north for the last five years so I got on the phone, had a wonderful conversation with one of the tutors, and signed up.”
“I started with leveI 6 and have now nearly finished level 7 and I’m amazed at the quality of the course content, the teaching and the mentors. There is extraordinary support and encouragement here, and I don’t have to leave home to do this exciting stuff. At the course hui, we get to put names and faces to our online classmates and tutors from around the country, plus get inspired by talented guest speakers.”
“I’m delighted with my progress and I completed a book during level 6 which is now with editors in London and New York, and I’ve almost finished another one. I am ripe with so many ideas that I plan to live to 112 to get them all out.”
“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 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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