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“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).”
“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.”
“My whole life has opened up to possibilities I never knew existed before.” John has landed a specialist job...
“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.”
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’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.”