NorthTec | Te Pūkenga student gains new passion and career
Shane Hudgell had been working in his previous industry for a long time and he felt he was long overdue for a change. After committing to full-time study at NorthTec | Te Pūkenga in 2021 he’s gained not only a whole new career. He’s also uncovered a new passion.
“I chose to study the Bachelor of Applied Science (Biodiversity Management) simply because I care about the environment and it seemed like a good pathway into actually getting a job at the end of the course,” Shane explains. “The degree has uncovered my passion and allowed me to explore it. I’ve gone down a very different career pathway than what I originally thought I would. But I’m very happy I did.”
Being in his late 40’s when he began the degree, Shane was initially worried about his age holding him back and affecting his job prospects post-study. However, he needn’t have worried. A chat with one of his tutors reassured him he was on the right path.
“I treated the course like a full-time job. I did everything that the tutors recommended I do with regard to getting a career in the end, and it's all just falling into place. I got my job after the second year of study. I did a student practicum placement at Northland Regional Council and then applied for an internship. Although I didn’t get the internship, I did get recommended for a full-time role instead.”
“Now I work as an environmental monitoring officer for Northland Regional Council, doing compliance monitoring and enforcement. There's a lot of scope to move sideways or forwards within that role as well, so it’s set me up well for the future.”
Due to now being in full-time work, Shane is currently completing the final year of his degree paper by paper, studying part-time around his job. He’s committed to finishing the degree and is also glad he chose to remain in Whangārei to undertake study, rather than moving away from the region.
“I chose NorthTec | Te Pūkenga because it was convenient as I live in the Whangārei area. I didn't want to do an extramural course where you're doing everything online. I also knew somebody who'd done the course a few years ago and they spoke very highly of it”.
“A lot of the course content is pertinent to the northern region. So, staying close has enabled me to delve into local work and logical knowledge that I'd sort of built up just through self-interest in the past and this feeds well into my current role.
“It also meant I was able to stay with my family, who have all helped make this possible for me. I’ve remained linked to the region and the support structures that I have in place. So NorthTec | Te Pūkenga ticked all the boxes.”