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“My whole life has opened up to possibilities I never knew existed before.” John has landed a specialist job inspecting structures with KiwiRail. “I got this job inspecting bridges, tunnels, and culverts for the whole Auckland area as soon as I finished my Diploma in Civil Engineering.”
John was already working in the maintenance crew with KiwiRail in Whangarei when he took part in a leadership training course a few years ago. “They asked if anyone was interested in tertiary training and I put my hand up. They sponsored me, so I studied part time for four years around my full-time work and young family responsibilities.”
Study was initially a bit of a shock for John. “The tutors partnered some of us with other classmates who had more advanced study skills. We were all working in different industries so we learned a lot from each other as well as from the course content.”
“The course opened my eyes to the Civil Engineering world and its processes. On the study journey I became really interested in legislation and council regulations - and that was a surprise to me.”
“I also got interested in the hands-on approach on some subjects and in how we work together, which were invaluable towards my learnings. The hidden things in life are often where the gold is.”
“The tutors pushed us to excel and made such an effort for us that we made an effort for ourselves. Stretching to do the course has totally changed my life.”
John loves his new role inspecting rail structures. “I love the variety of work, I’m amazed at the opportunities that exist, and I’m keen to explore them. My biggest motivation is my family. I want to inspire them to open up to opportunity.”
“After I get more practical experience I’m keen to become a specialist in this field of inspecting rail structures and their safety.”
“This study has already changed my life. I realise how much I now know and that is reflected in my confidence and my...
“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.”
I’m learning to believe in myself and to just do it, and I’m surprised to find I’m getting good results. The tutors...
“This seemed my best course of study because I’m good at maths and New Zealand needs civil engineers. I am from Russia and my sister and I researched study options before I moved here, and we found that NorthTec was a good technical school. I then moved here, studied English to level 4, and I started my civil engineering training.”
“I really enjoy the maths content in the course because it was always my favourite subject at school, but I struggle a bit with some of the other subjects because of the English. However, I’m learning to believe in myself and to just do it, and I’m surprised to find I’m getting good results. The tutors always support me and are helping me to relax more. They explain things patiently and the students are really encouraging as well.”
“I like doing everything myself, so the challenge for me is to learn to ask for help – because sometimes I need help. By doing that both my language and confidence are improving.”
“I want to get a good job so that I have confidence in my future and can be independent. I want to prove to myself I can do this as a student, as a civil engineer, and as a woman.”
“Engineering will give me a stable income while I build up my passion for video. I recently started working as a video editor for travel, music and advertising videos, and I want to have the money to get the gear and learn more about it. My dream is to have my engineering career support me as I build up my side-gig of freelancing in video editing.”
A lot of the other students and the tutors are working or consulting as well, so we’re all able to network and give...
“I’m working full time as a project manager and price estimator for Robinsons Asphalt and they are supporting me to study part time here for my diploma. I became interested in engineering when I was working for an engineering company in post-earthquake Christchurch for a few years.”
“I find what I’m learning in the course is refreshing my overall engineering knowledge, filling in some gaps for me, and it’s directly relevant to the context of my work. The content is broad-ranging and includes things like surveying and geo-tech.”
“I haven’t studied for seven years so getting back into the maths is a bit of challenge, as is time management in juggling work and study, but the course is giving me the credentials and confidence to progress in my field.”
“A lot of the other students and the tutors are working or consulting as well, so we’re all able to network and give each other professional leads. When I get my diploma I’ll stay in the job I have out of both interest and loyalty, and long term I want to work in a similar field.”
I’m enjoying the drawing, which is a real surprise to me. It looks complicated but on the computer it’s so easy. It’s...
“I’ve been working in structural engineering for four years and was keen to study sooner but work and family commitments meant I had to put it on hold. As soon as the circumstances changed and I returned to the north from Tauranga, I researched study options and found doing this course for two years full time was the best choice.”
“I love learning about bridges, buildings and towers as well as roading and geo-tech. And I’m enjoying the drawing, which is a real surprise to me. It looks complicated but on the computer it’s so easy. It’s very satisfying when you get all the components together.”
“Working out the maths for engineering can be a bit complicated but because it’s applied directly to a project, I’m motivated to work through it - and the tutors are there to help. The other challenge for me is the time management of full-time study and family.”
“The course has really broadened my horizons and opened options I didn’t know existed. We look at structures in places like Dubai, Malaysia and China so I’m realizing that structural engineering can be about seeing and developing the world.”
“From here I hope to get a job as an engineering draftsman or a structural engineer and ultimately I’d love to work with really large scale buildings and structures.”
I have just finished the Diploma and the flexibility of doing it part time while still working made sense. As well as...
“I was offered a job as a contractor before I left school. After about a month in, my work colleague suggested I sign up for this course and I was on board the next semester. I was contracting for two years then I got offered a job by a consulting engineer.”
“I have just finished the Diploma and the flexibility of doing it part time while still working made sense. As well as being able to earn, I could put what I was learning into practice straight away. I’ve gained so much by learning then directly applying knowledge on geotechnical processes, storm water and wastewater.”
“It’s been a challenge managing work and study, and I gave up a lot of time in weekends but it’s been well worth it and I’m still only 21.”
“Getting the Diploma has enabled me to progress quickly at work and now I want to do the degree (Bachelor of Engineering) and can cross credit some of the papers. I’m especially interested in geotechnical engineering.”
“Eventually I’d like to become chartered so I could have the opportunity to have my own business.”
I worked full-time throughout my studies, and I have young daughter, so studying one day a week at NorthTec over four...
“I was working in a managerial position with Fulton Hogan and applied for and got a study scholarship. I was going to study business management but my employer suggested the more technical path of Civil Engineering would open more doors.”
“I worked full-time throughout my studies, and I have young daughter, so studying one day a week at NorthTec over four years meant I didn’t have to change my life. I just graduated in March 2019 and couldn’t be happier. I’m glad I stuck it out!”
“Civil Engineering is way more interesting than I imagined and I loved learning new content. Because I was already working in this environment, it all came together for me.”
“I was away from study for 25 years and I was envious of the young ones on that count, but we helped each other and the tutors offered their time generously - even out of class.”
“Finding the time to study drove me insane sometimes because I didn’t want to compromise time with my daughter, so I had to be strict with my own routine.”
“This study has enabled me to be more authoritative and to make more changes in the workplace. I am now tutoring two of the Civil Engineering papers at NorthTec. I provide live projects for students to report on, and learn all project management principles required when delivering contracts. It’s so nice to give back. I want to encourage others to do this programme of study - and to not let age or gender stand in their way.”
I now work full time as a Roading Technician with the Whangarei District Council and I look after traffic, safety...
“I was already studying in the civil engineering field back in India when I decided to go overseas and continue my studies. I chose New Zealand and NorthTec on the recommendation of a friend. I studied full-time for two years and completed my NZDE Civil (New Zealand Diploma in Civil Engineering) at the end of 2016. In the last year of my study, NorthTec helped me get a job in a local civil engineering consultancy firm where I began my engineering career.”
“I now work full time as an Intermediate Projects Engineer with the Whangarei District Council. My main interest has always been in highways and traffic engineering so I chose to specialise in roading in my Diploma.”
“The NorthTec Diploma is really relevant to my work here, especially the content on traffic, highways, geotechnical and structural engineering. As part of my diploma I was also required to study Engineering Management which emphasises the basis of a contract between the client (local government in my case) and the contractor. It also helps in understanding the day to day problems faced in managing a project and how to solve these problems professionally.”
“All the tutors at NorthTec are very experienced and most of them teach part-time at NorthTec while still working full time in the civil engineering industry. This ensures that the course content stays current and relevant, and helps students gain local knowledge.”
“I’ve now decided do my Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering by correspondence with the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand (accredited by University of Southern Queensland, Australia). I also did a couple of bridging courses in addition to my Diploma at NorthTec last year. USQ and Open Poly have recognised my diploma and the bridging papers and they have cross credited around half of my degree on this basis. Most engineering employers, including my current employer, are very supportive and they often grant scholarships to their employees for relevant training as part of their professional development - which I really like.”
“I’ve learnt a lot by implementing our NorthTec course content since I started working in this industry. It has contributed to both my personal and professional development especially in the areas of engineering, project management and building relations with various stakeholders.”
“I still continue to learn a lot every day and my long-term plan is become a successful Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng).”
I’m hoping my 10-year journey from labourer to Project Engineer sets an example to not only the other guys in our...
“I started work as a traffic controller (‘stop-go lollipop person’) and labourer with United Civil Construction 10 years ago, and I’m now the Project Manager for their Dargaville Sewer Pump Station and Rising Main Upgrade. I’m from Te Hapua so my first three years with the company were on the Cape Reinga seal extension project.”
“The company then brought me down to the Kamo bypass project to work as the Site Traffic Management Supervisor (STMS) where I worked closely with the Project Managers and Contract Manager. Our Contract Manager at the time asked if I was interested in studying civil engineering and when I said yes, he put me forward to be vetted by the Managing Director of United Civil Construction for supported study. A year later I started my Diploma in Civil Engineering part time while still working full time for United Civil Construction.”
“I felt a bit out of my league when I first started as I hadn’t done any study for the previous 10 years but I got a huge amount of support from my tutors and work colleagues. I would email these guys at all hours and they were happy to help where possible. A lot of what I learnt in class, I was able to put into practice. After four years of study I graduated in 2017.”
“My specialist topic was waste-water so I can now directly apply that knowledge to my current job up in Kerikeri. I work closely with the Project Manager, Greg. He’s teaching me some of the contractual aspects of the project as well as certain engineering aspects that were picked up during his years of experience. I’m amazed at my own growth, especially at how much information I’ve now absorbed.
“I’m hoping my 10-year journey from labourer to Project Manager sets an example to not only the other guys in our company, but also to the whānau back home, that anything is possible. I feel so lucky to have the support of the company and my work colleagues, even going to the extent of attending my graduation. It felt like an achievement for everyone and helps us all see what’s possible.”