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“I chose to come to NorthTec and Northland because I believe this is where I will experience the ‘real’ New Zealand. Northland provides more than I expected, it is beautiful in every way– the natural landscape, forests and seas, the relaxed lifestyle, and the people here are so kind. I also love the warm climate in Northland and it is a quiet, peaceful place to live.
“New Zealand building styles are quite different to that in China, where I come from. It`s hard to find two similar buildings here, they are all unique and beautiful. This helped me to make up my mind to study Architectural Technology.
“What I love about studying Architectural Technology in NorthTec is that everyone has such great ideas, and we were able to transfer the ideas into reality by working together, which is pretty cool.
“It’s a fun programme and the tutors were very helpful, as well as my classmates. This is especially important for an international student whose first language is not English.
“The living cost in Northland is a lot cheaper compared to other cities, and it`s easier to commute to work or study. Whangarei is not a large place but you receive all the opportunities you need. I knew there was always help available if I needed it.
“One thing I will always take away from my studies at NorthTec was how to research, how to ask questions, and how to work well with others. These fundamental skills will help me throughout my career.
“Working at Donovan Group as a Structural Designer is a great job to be in. I design the structure for steel buildings large and small from all over New Zealand. I model the building in 3D software and generate drawings for consent. Once approved, I clean up the model and make sure every detail is perfect before sending it to the factory to manufacture every single part - columns, beams etc. Then the kitset will be sent onsite wherever it is in New Zealand.
“So far, I have done nearly 100 projects and am really enjoy helping to build the country that I am living in!”
“I studied architecture at high school and its always something I really enjoyed. Architecture has always been a...
“I decided to study architectural technology because I've always had a passion for homes. I would love to one day run...
“I decided to do the architectural technology course because I love drawing and I love building. I've known that...
“I decided to do the Architectural technology course because I was straight out of high school, and I had already...
“I decided to do the Architectural Technology course because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I was going...
“It’s years since I’ve studied and I didn’t do that well at school, but because I’m interested in architecture my...
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 aspect for me is that the whole industry is so broad with lots of potential work options."
Sihua is transitioning from a background in hospitality to a new career in architecture. “I’ve been a café manager in the Town Basin for seven years but the work hours meant my husband and I were hardly seeing each other. He works as an architectural draughtsman Monday to Friday whereas in hospitality we’re often working weekends.”
“I was also ready for a change and because I’m good at maths, I was wondering about accounting or architecture. I’m interested in drawing and my husband was encouraging me towards architecture - and did his training in this same course - so I signed up and I’m really enjoying it.”
“The best aspect for me is that the whole industry is so broad with lots of potential work options. The study here though is full-on so I had to give up my part-time café work but may be able to pick it up again in the holidays. Because I don’t have a building background, I found the technical building language a challenge at first but my tutors, my husband, and some of the students with building experience helped me through that.”
“I’m really looking forward to getting into a career with more family friendly hours and better earning potential, and when I finish the course I hope to get a job to gain some experience. Later I may go on to get an architecture degree in Auckland, and the long term dream is for my husband and me to have an architectural design business where I specialise in domestic design while he focuses on commercial design.”