Career GU de 
LIFE after High School : Careers: skydive photographers to drummers and everything in between | Antonia Prebble on decision making INSIDE Sector overviews | Tips from the top: J.K Rowling and Steve Jobs | On the street: “what I wish I knew”
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contents 12 22 : ON THE COVER tlett to by Zena Bar Nico & Drew. Pho
Editor Kate Beecroft Sales Manager Belle Hanrahan email@example.com Editor in chief Shane Cummings Publisher Bronwen Wilkins Contributors Sarah Dunn Rachel Brandon Zena Bartlett Nico Boelee
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Editorial How to use this guide A career is life-defining Exploring career options The importance of qualifications Uni, Tech, ITOs and Wānanga Words of wisdom from Michelle Pawson Gap year: the only thing missing is you Keep calm and carry on with Antonia Prebble The benefits of failure: J. K. Rowling Sector overviews Design student doing her ‘best’ Running around with physio Brown Crunching numbers with Sarah Wood Brewing beer doesn’t feel like work Standing in rivers with Jackson Shanks How to make it in PR A beautiful accident Coffee and art make perfect blend Peeling back acting stereotypes with Vic Abbott Insurance for a better world Visual story: work On the ward with Dr Mearns Vox pops Justspeak: a voice for youth Doing stunts with Shane Rangi An eventful life Top science jobs worth their weight in gold Stay hungry. Stay foolish: Steve Jobs Bottled at the source Lord of the skies The world needs the organisers It’s all about people Sector Overviews: vocational pathways Patisserie queen Sailing to success: life on the superyachts Milking a good knowledge base in dairy Batting for the black caps Breaking the mould Recycling the way forward in retail The sky’s the limit Making sparks fly with Sandfly Digging in for the big bucks Building to travel Navy provides an ocean of adventure A little bit of style gives a lot of confidence Vox pops Your CV Your cover letter Visual piece Index
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JET Career Guide Photographer
fROM THE ED The reason the late Steve Jobs scaled such enormous heights was because of his refusal to settle. Not just in the standards of Apple computers, or Pixar animations, but in the span of his whole career. He refused to live a life that wasn’t the one he had chosen. While Jobs is one of the most successful people of the modern age, it is important to remember that he, too, started somewhere. He, too, left high school and had to grapple with the tough questions of what to study and what to do with his life. He ended up dropping out of college but continued to refuse to settle. He lived by this maxim: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” The JET Career Guide deals with this age-old problem of figuring out what to do with your life. The careers of the guys and girls featured in this guide are as varied and diverse as the landscape of New Zealand. Even if none of the careers profiled in the JET Career Guide appeal to you, there’s plenty of general advice from those who have lived through these tough times and have pearls of wisdom to share. Antonia Prebble’s approach to life after high school is a good starting point, and so is columnist Michelle Pawson’s decision-making process. In their own way, all the people profiled in this edition of JET Career Guide say a similar thing. If you utilise and build on the skills you have, and combine this with what you enjoy, a remarkable career will materialise. This is JET’s central message. Although JET is a career guide, we’re not trying to provide the meaning of life within these pages. Figuring out what to do with your life is extremely personal, and it is something that goes on indefinitely. Your thinking on life and the world is constantly evolving and so, too, will your thinking on what kind of career is going to enable your life to be the best it can be. Keep listening to your instinct, or as Mr. Jobs would say, “your inner voice”, and you will find the thing that you love.
“I have been studying photography for about six years, and I’m still learning new things all the time. Photography is all about trial and error, and the only way you find your niche is by experimenting. I guess that's what I love about it. I don’t think my photography fits neatly into a genre, but if had to categorise it, I would say it is fine arts-based. A lot of my work at the moment is based on themes of the blurred boundaries between dreams and reality. My plan, career-wise, is to be a rich biggy boss.” Zena’s depictions of the working world can be seen on page 57 and 71 her shots accompany the Coffee and Art story on page 27, It’s All about People on page 45 and Recycling is the Way Forward in Retail on page 56.
Model and stylist for the JET Career Guide cover
Kate Beecroft JET Editor
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“My style stems from my realisation that, as an adult, I can wear anything that pops in to my head. I can prance around like Cruella Deville in a big fur coat or a wear a deconstructed female version of a tux, bowtie included. I love fashion’s ability to express or project moods. It's also ridiculously fun. Fabric appeals to me, particularly something like chiffon, which has such fluidity. Add that to Wellington’s tempestuous weather and you have a beautiful kind of melodrama.” Nico’s future plans include continuing to play dress up and further developing her ability to do so with others. She asks, “Does this make me sound like a demented child?” Just a little bit, Nico.
Career GU de
how to use the
Info General information on everything you need to know to help you make informed decisions.
Health This sector is all about helping people.
Business and the Public Sector Professionalism and high pressured roles mean this sector includes jobs which shape the way we live.
Creative A huge sector in which thinking outside the square is key.
Education and People Communication and patience are essential in this sector.
The symbols at the top of each profile correspond broadly to the sector that it fits into. Some careers fit into more than just one sector. Refer to the sector overviews on page 16 or the pathways sector overviews on page 46 for information about skills shortages and surpluses, attributes that come in handy, and targeted information about the sector.
Engineering, Science and IT
People qualified science, engineering, to and IT are and every INSIDE: Careers:inskydive photographers drummers in on high demand. decision making Trade based careers | Tips from the top: J
Primary sector Industries: agriculture, horticulture, forestry seafood, seed industry.
Vocational Pathways This is the broadest of the sectors and encompasses careers that use vocational-based training.
Construction and Infrastructure sectors Industries: carpentry, joinery, gas fitting, plumbing, essential services.
Manufacturing and Technology Sector Industries: Manufacturing: baking, boatbuilding, marine products, clothing and textiles, footwear, concrete, dairy, electronics, food and beverages technology, glass, machinery and equipment, mechanical engineering, metal, paint, chemicals and plastics, pharmaceutical, jewellery, furniture, transport.
Service sector: people Social and Community services sectors Industries: aged care, defence forces, security, police, local community.
Industries: Hair and beauty, fashion, entertainment, funeral services, hospitality, museums and galleries, retail, sport and fitness, travel and tourism.
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is life-defining “Don’t live to work” is a saying often thrown around, and it is an important one. Life should be about more than a job. However, it is important not to ignore how much your career will impact your life.
magine going to work every day excited about the challenges and rewards the day will bring. Now visualise dragging your head off the pillow, into the office or store or work site, and feeling sad and weary about your job, constantly counting down the minutes till the day’s over. According to the World Health Organization, 58 per cent of the world’s population spends one-third of their lives at work. This might sound scary, and a little tragic, but in this day and age, a job is your meal ticket as well as much, much more. Your job can seriously affect your state of mind and happiness. So it is worth your time to put a lot of effort into figuring out what career will make you happiest. Steve Jobs said, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” If the answer was “No” too many days in a row, he would change something.
Think ahead Consider: • What makes you happy (apart from lying on the couch with a packet of pineapple lumps)? • Do you like being around people? • Do you prefer spending a lot of time by yourself? • Do you like having set tasks and deadlines to work towards? • Do you think a job that will ensure a large pay cheque will contribute toward your happiness? Who do you admire? What do they do? • What steps have the people you admire taken to get to where they are? • Is your goal realistic (wanting to be an astronaut might not be that realistic for a New Zealander)? Besides the fact that there are new jobs appearing all the time, there is also a horde of jobs that you may not have thought about. Say you’re quite good at biology and decide to pursue it at polytechnic or university; from botanist to beekeeper to bio-security officer. And we all know that beekeepers can conquer Mt Everest and go on to save Nepalese villages.
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We spend most of our waking lives at work – in occupations most often chosen by our inexperienced younger selves. And yet we rarely ask ourselves how we got there or what our jobs mean to us. Alain de Botton
If you do change your mind... Trying to get a job and career that you love is a good goal. However, it’s important to remember that just as not every day at high school is super fun; it’s the same in the working world. If you are happy at work the majority of the time and you are productive, it’s a sign that your career is well suited. But it’s never too late to go back to the drawing board and embark upon a different path. The first career you decide on may change a few months or years down the track. This is OK. It’s said that people change their careers up to seven times in their life. While this might be a generous estimate, a change in your job is likely to come along at least a couple of times in your working life. The fact that today’s job market is constantly evolving is definitely a positive. Instead of once being stuck darning holes when your mind is thinking about the mating habits of sea animals, now you can fund yourself while you study and break away from any job situation that is keeping you down. There are important things to remember though: • Do you have the skills required for the career you’re changing to? • Will your strengths benefit you in getting and excelling at the new job? • Will it provide a similar level of income to what you are used to and need to live on? • Most importantly, will the job offer you the fulfillment that you are seeking? • Can you support yourself while you enrol in further study or training?
options High school is a lot of things. It’s where you meet a bunch of people who you want to hang out with and who you’ll still know at 50. It’s where you sit exams. It’s where you discover that you’re really good at biology. It should also be where you start gathering ideas on what you’re going to do when you leave. So start brainstorming!
t might seem years away, but the business of narrowing down what your career will be is an ongoing process. Every day you could learn something new about what your skills are, what interests you, what annoys you, and what you definitely don’t want to be doing for the rest of your life. Keep evaluating and doing as much research as you can into the area where you see yourself working.
In making a career choice, people are expressing their understanding of themselves, which evolves over time. Individuals seek career satisfaction through jobs in which they can express themselves and further develop their sense of identity. A good way to get career ideas is to look at the information that is available about different industries. Often you may have an idea about a broad area you want to work in, but you might not know what skills and qualifications are needed or what the career options are within that area. A look at industry websites can help you come up with some job options based on those areas. So if you are interested in agriculture and forestry and have some skills you think are relevant, you could look at ITOs, universities, and polytechs that specialise in those areas. This would give you a breakdown of the types of jobs in that industry and what they involve. You could also look at whether or not there were good job opportunities in that industry. Looking at industry information can also introduce you to job options you didn’t know existed. You can also get job ideas just by tuning yourself in to job ideas that may be all around you. For example, you may get ideas from: • TV programmes • conversations • newspapers, magazines, and books • paying attention to what people are doing while you’re running errands or walking around town. Take a note of any jobs you find interesting or want to investigate further. Browse the situations vacant section of the newspaper or look on job vacancy websites. Don’t just look at the headings, read about what the job involves and what skills are needed – a job may not be what you think it is. Sometimes, other people may be able to see you more clearly
than you can see yourself. Often they can more clearly identify your strengths. Asking others for help can open up some new career ideas for you. Try asking: • family/whānau • friends • teachers • career advisors • employers • sports coaches • your church or community group leaders. You may also get some ideas by looking at what the people around you do for a job. For example, what are the careers that your immediate and extended family are employed in? What about your friends’ parents? Do any of these appeal?
Work ideas journal
A great way to keep motivated in thinking about your career is by keeping a work ideas journal. After doing some research (such as working through a Holland’s Riasec quiz online), you should now have a list of job ideas that interest you. Record these, and keep adding to the journal with different ideas. Add the information that you find out about each career, and pretty soon, you’ll have some concrete ideas about the career for you. The next step is to take another look at your shortlist based on what you’ve learned about your work values, skills, interests, your commitments, and current situation. You may be able to cross some possibilities off the list. A good way to do this is to ask the questions: • Where do I ultimately want to be in my life? • How should I do it? • How does this fit with my life values and goals? • What could be my next step? • How can I prepare for the next change as I do my current work? Figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life is a work in progress, but the more time you spend doing it, the more informed you will be about what is required in order to nail your dream job.
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THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALIFICATIONS Getting good qualifications is the best way to find a job and earn a good salary or wage. A qualification, or more than one, opens all kinds of doors.
ure, there are some amazing stories out there about entrepreneurs who dropped out of high school and retired as multimillionaires by the time they were 30. This does happen, but the chances are very slim. The best way to ensure you have a career that you enjoy and that pays the bills is to gain qualifications. The more qualified you are, the easier it is to move into the more challenging jobs that pay the best and give the most job satisfaction. Formal qualifications are important as they inform potential employers that you are capable of studying at a known pace and absorbing vast amounts of information. A qualification ensures that you have covered certain materials and have the same frame of reference as other people in your field. • If you have a tertiary qualification, you are likely to earn 30 per cent more than those without a qualification. • If you have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, you are likely to earn at least double that of a school leaver with no qualifications.
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• If you finish a degree, you are likely to earn 25 per cent more than if you drop out partway through. • You are more likely to be employed if you have a tertiary qualification. However, tertiary qualifications are not the only way to increase your salary expectations and work opportunities. Not every job requires a tertiary qualification, and often, tradebased jobs pay a great starting wage, and as you upskill, you move up the salary chain. Furthermore, a qualification from an ITO or Private Training Provider (PTP) might be appropriate for the job you are seeking. Polytechnics, ITOs, and PTPs provide vocational-based education and training. This means their courses of study are focused on getting you a job. On-the-job training and work placement as part of your course means that you’ll be seeing employers and potential employers all the time – what better way is there to line up a great job?
STUDY? WORK? TRAVEL? READ JET. REPEAT
JET Figuring out what to do after high school can be really tough. That’s where the JET series comes in. We’ve profiled people doing all sorts of amazing jobs so that you can get inspiration and some amazing career tips. Ask your teacher or Careers Adviser for the JET series or log on to www.jetseries.co.nz
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The next step after high school is a confusing one, and parents’ frequently heard motto of “go to university” might not be right for you. Here is the full spread of study options. When choosing what kind of institution you will attend, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, where is your qualification offered? If it is only at specific universities, such as Lincoln and Massey in New Zealand and Monash in Australia, then clearly you have to aim to attend one of these places. Be sure to shop around when you’re deciding on your further learning institution. Don’t associate a university degree with being most likely to get you the job you want because the workforce has changed, and ITPs may be the tertiary education providers that have evolved the fastest in order to keep up.
Institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs) There are 20 polytechnics in New Zealand. They pride themselves on being based on the practical pursuit of learning. Their courses are focused on getting you a job! The range of subjects at ITPs is exceptional – you can study anything from interior design to finance. Polytechnics offer qualifications to suit students of all ages, backgrounds, and experience. Each institution has a range of degrees and diplomas you can study and some are aimed at specific fields – for example, at Telford, there is a focus on agriculture and farming, whereas CPIT has a wide range of subjects and the only circus training school in New Zealand. New Zealand ITPs • Aoraki Polytechnic • Bay of Plenty Polytechnic • Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology • Eastern Institute of Technology • Manukau Institute of Technology • Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology • North Tech • Open Polytechnic • Otago Polytechnic • Southern Institute of Technology • Tai Poutini Polytechnic • Tairawhiti Polytechnic • Telford Rural Polytechnic • Unitec New Zealand • Universal College of Learning • Waiariki Institute of Technology • Waikato Institute of Technology • Wellington Institute of Technology • Western Institute of Technology Taranaki • Whitireia Community Polytechnic
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Universities Western civilization is founded on the notion that knowledge and the desire to understand and explain this understanding to others is a fundamental human need. This is the purpose universities fulfill. The respect accorded to universities, embodied in the principle of academic freedom, is crucial to the ability of a society to mature and grow. You go to university to get a degree. You study hard and learn how to rationalise, argue, test, research, and think laterally. There are eight universities in Aotearoa, and if you pay to attend them, they will help you (to a certain extent) toward attaining a degree, a Masters, or a PhD, which will be recognised in the real world as a sign you are mature and smart enough to learn and pass assignments and exams. Universities in New Zealand • The University of Auckland • AUT University • The University of Waikato • Victoria University of Wellington • University of Canterbury • University of Otago • Massey University • Lincoln University
os, WÃnanga and Industry training organisations (ITOs) Industry training organisations (ITOs) develop training programmes and qualifications for industries and the government. The number of ITOs changes often as industries can join. They cover all aspects of work. What they do • Organise off-the-job learning. • Organise on-the-job training. • Arrange the assessment of those in training. • Improve workplace health, safety, and skills though training. • Provide up-to-date information to employees and employers. Why it matters ITOs work with employers and the government to make sure everyone in their particular industry knows what they’re doing, is receiving the best training, and accessing apprenticeships. They: • Assess specific learning needs and give feedback on any areas (such as reading or maths) that might need some extra help or tutoring. Usually extra tutoring can be arranged at no cost. • Develop a personal training plan. This sets goals and tells the person exactly what they need to learn to achieve their qualification. • Meet with the employer on site at least four times a year to make sure they’re staying on track to achieve their goals. • Provide support with the completion of an apprenticeship and award a qualification, which is recognised as the industry standard.
Wãnanga Wānanga are New Zealand tertiary education institutions that focus on practical learning, as well as embracing a teaching and learning philosophy that is built around Māori culture and knowledge. In traditional times, the word wānanga conveyed meanings related to highly evolved knowledge, lore, and occult arts reached through “discussion” to arrive at deeper understanding. In wānanga classes, students learn from each other just as much as the teacher. At wānanga, you learn how to learn. They also offer: • Bridging certificates. • Diplomas. • Bachelor’s degrees. • Postgraduate qualifications such as Masters and PhDs. Many of these programmes can be studied part-time during weekdays, in the evening, at the weekend, or from home. Programmes are delivered in a uniquely Māori environment and are based on a teaching that provides an inclusive, interactive, and nurturing learning experience. There are three wānanga in Aotearoa. Each has campuses throughout the country: • Te Wānanga o Aotearoa • Te Wānanga o Raukawa • Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuirangi.
Quality qualifications The cost of industry training is subsidised, and you will be guided through the whole process – but you need to know a few things. Industry training usually means you have no need for a student loan. However, you may have to pay for course-related costs for New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) registration, training materials, and the support from the ITO. The best way to find out about your fees is to talk to your employer, modern apprenticeship coordinator, or an ITO. The qualification you get at the end of the apprenticeship depends on your industry. It will usually be a national certificate at levels 3 and 4. NZQA qualifications are recognised throughout New Zealand and can even be transported overseas. There are also special trade and business qualifications administered by NZQA.
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Words of wisdom from
There’s something about Michelle Pawson that invites confidence. She often has people approach her, seeking advice on ‘how to sort their lives out’. Michelle approaches the situation by zoning in on the underlying reasons for the confusion and stripping away the clutter and emotion. This is a good way to make big decisions. Strip away the clutter. Michelle tells JET about her own journey and how she came to be in a top job at the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture.
s a child I was both curious and fascinated by the natural world – in I have continued to study extra-murally over the last seven years whist particular, the sea. The patterns, colours, and functions of the marine working. Upon entering the workforce, I realised there were a variety of plants and animals intrigued me. I can still recall the experience of disciplines (environmental law, sustainable development, and environmental seeing my first octopus; it was a mix of delight and disbelief. planning) I wanted to further understand and found the challenge of learning Growing up in the 80s – in the pre-internet world – museums, stimulating. This study has accumulated in a Graduate Certificate in Resource encyclopaedias, and Sunday night National Geographic documentaries were Management, and last year, I completed a Masters of Planning. the source of a lot of information. Although as a young person I struggled with I have been lucky to undertake some of this study abroad via a summer the notion that someday I would have to “be” something, I guess my path has school Certificate in Environmental Leadership at Berkeley (I would been somewhat paved by my interest in the natural world and humanity’s recommend studying abroad if the opportunity presents itself). Now, impact on it. however, I have entered into an agreement with my sister that I won’t For me, the transition from school to university was challenging. You’re commence another university qualification until my niece (who is three basically being asked to work out a career path while you are still piecing years old), has at least finished one. Studying while working is achievable together who you are and what your place in the world is. The beginnings of but difficult. You have to weigh up the costs and benefits, and you have my university study were very much an effort of trial and error; I dabbled in a to be realistic about what you can achieve. When something you enjoy number of different disciplines, exploring possibilities and subjects of interest. becomes a chore, it is time to draw the curtain. I was mindful that my dabbling had to be grounded in the reality that one day I I have worked in a number of roles for different government agencies would need to turn these pursuits into employment. and research providers. I currently work as a senior analyst within the I stayed true to my interest in the environment and graduated with a BSc Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. My role involves writing policy and in zoology and ecology. I continued on to legislation, advising Ministers, and study a Postgraduate Diploma in Marine working with the aquaculture industry to Science, which I enjoyed. foster sustainable development within Life is long and you never know when I believe it is important to spend some environmental limits. Occasionally, I opportunities will present themselves; if you time working out what you enjoy and get out on the water in the field and are staring too far ahead, you can overlook what does and doesn’t work for you. through work have travelled to some The only person who has the answers amazing parts of the country. It is a the things hidden in plain sight. to these questions is you. Personally, I challenging role that I enjoy; it provides enjoy marine science, but suffer notorious me with a sense of satisfaction that I am seasickness and will never have the physical stature to endure field research, contributing towards environmental awareness and positive change. so during my study, I shifted my focus towards natural resource policy and the Whatever you pursue, it will involve making decisions. When I’m making social sciences with the idea of a more office-based career. decisions, I approach them by attempting to strip away the noise, clutter, It’s important to remember there are a multitude of paths and a range of and emotion. Simplifying your thinking helps to bring focus (writing lists different journeys you can take. I think, maybe unduly, too much emphasis is of pros and cons is a reliable approach). Once you have come to a decision placed on the end point. Life is long and you never know when opportunities (if you have the luxury of time) apply the overnight test, which is simple: will present themselves. If you are staring too far ahead, you can overlook the if you wake up in the morning and you still agree with your decision, then things hidden in plain sight. trust your intuition and go with it. After four years at university, I felt informed, but that I lacked the wider I think fear stifles a lot of decision making. It’s not always easy to be context for this knowledge, so I headed abroad to travel. Growing up in brave, but taking risks and making mistakes are how you learn and grow as New Zealand – on the periphery of the world – provoked a a person. The important part is, if you fail, do not be afraid to pick yourself curiosity to adventure and explore. However, travelling up, try again, and carry the lessons you learned forward with you. stimulated more questions than answers and further By no means do I hold many of the answers to the puzzle that is fuelled my desire to pursue a career that was life, but I will share with you one of the more important environmentally meaningful. After a stint lessons I have learned in my life: don’t overlook the travelling, I returned to New Zealand conversations and experiences you have in everyday to complete a Masters of Marine life. We can over-complicate life in our efforts to Science and began my understand. Simple awareness and perspective of career working within what is real and essential is important to not lose central government. sight of.
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the only thing missing is you The last year of high school can be pretty hard going. Student executive duties, combined with exams, extracurricular activities, and a busy social life mean that thinking about going straight into work, training, or further education is daunting.
oing a gap year can take some of the pressure off and allow you to think about exactly what you want to do when you get back. After 10 years in school, you may feel like it’s time for a break – or maybe you want to save some money to help cover your tertiary fees and avoid a student loan. Gap years can take different forms; they usually involve some kind of work or volunteering, and some travel (or quite a lot)! But they can also involve taking a year off to work and save money for further education. You may want to move to a larger city and stay with friends or family while getting a bit of work experience in the area you want to be employed in. Experiences overseas, in culturally diverse communities and countries can have a big influence on the way you think about work. A popular option is to work at a boarding school in England or Scotland and use term holidays to travel to neighbouring countries. Another option is to teach English overseas. Asian countries are popular as destinations for TESOL teachers; the pay is generally pretty good and the chance to see a completely different way of life is intriguing. However, it is important to remember that some countries require a tertiary degree before you can teach English. Volunteering is another great option. Companies like Latitude and Volunteer Services Abroad (VSA) provide the infrastructure that enable you to get straight in and help out. You can be posted to a number of developing countries to help with aid projects, to teach in schools or to lend your skills to a project. Camp America is one of the most well-known work experience programmes in the world. The Camp America experience gives you 30 days before your visa starts to explore USA, and 30 days grace after your visa to
travel after your summer camp job has finished. This is a great way to spend time in America. There are many reasons for taking a year out and there are heaps of options should you decide to do so. There are several advantages to having a working year or a gap year. You can: • experience the world of work in a real way • become more mature • become more independent and experienced in your decision-making • clarify your study and career future, and make new or more informed decisions • work with people from different walks of life • experience different types of workplaces • learn new skills. A study conducted by the Ministry of Education found that among those with lower school achievement, students who took a year off before starting their tertiary studies – particularly students from low-decile schools – showed higher levels of performance at university than those who progressed directly to tertiary study after leaving school. Students who perform below average at school are more likely to succeed at university if they take a gap year. “The improvement in university performance for students who took a gap year probably derives from the fact that only motivated or confident students enrol in tertiary studies after taking a break,” the researchers concluded. Taking a year to work or volunteer overseas, or work to save for further education makes a lot of sense. Talk to teachers, parents, and friends about whether it might work for you.
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KEEP CALM AND CARR Y ON ia Prebble
If you don’t know what to do full-stop, education is a really good thing to do. It keeps your brain active, and it gives you a valid excuse to get out of bed in the morning.
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Antonia Prebble takes a break from her intensely busy work schedule to talk to JET about acting, life, making decisions and what she wish she knew when she left high school. While we’d all love to believe the hype about the leading lady who demands 12 vases of white lilies before she steps foot on set, this is a far cry from Prebble’s demeanor. She is humble and friendly and truly values hard work. Here at JET we couldn’t think of anyone better to ask a few of the big, tricky life questions.
JET. Antonia, what did you wish you knew when you left high school? ANTONIA. I would have told myself not to worry so much. I thought there was a huge divide between student life and adult life, and I felt quite unprepared for what this ‘adult world’ would be. In retrospect, it’s actually a smooth transition. I think I thought people would expect me to suddenly know things, but they didn’t expect that at all. I’m fortunate because I’ve always known that I wanted to be an actress, but a lot of my friends at high school had no idea what they wanted to do and were quite anxious about it. My advice to them, and to anyone who feels uncertain about what their next step after school might be, is not to worry. The majority of students feel exactly the same way, and there is time to figure out what you like. There are so many jobs out there that, as a teenager, you’ve never even heard of. I think education is a great way to expand your mind, and discover what it is you might have a passion for. Even if you don’t have a passion for anything, study something that remotely interests you. Chose that and follow that because you don’t have to commit to anything forever. Just see where it leads, take a step in some direction, and something will unfold from that because if you just stay still, nothing can really happen. J. How do you make big decisions? A. When facing a big decision, I always try to operate from a place of integrity. Your personal barometer can get quite clouded by circumstances. Maybe you’re getting offered something that seems great, but you actually know it is going to compromise your values. I try to trust my values, my instincts, the stuff I know is right or wrong. I use that as my bottom line. Also, I talk to people. I really believe two or three or ten heads are better than one. I talk to people I trust, who have experience or who have good, logical minds. The process of talking to people clears things up in your head. I try to imagine all the possible repercussions on both sides, so that when it comes to the time I have to decide, I can trust my instincts in that moment because I know I’ve given the whole situation careful consideration.
The love of performing
As anyone who’s tried and failed at charades will know, there are those among us who love performing. Actors are the kind of people who don’t just excel at charades; they envision the world in a room and draw on a huge backlog of expressions, feelings, and experiences to articulate a character. Long story short, they love performing.
A Day in the Life Antonia’s days are anything but typical, but she gives us a breakdown on how things go on the Medicine Woman set. I get up really early, maybe 5am. I have a shower, and that’s all I do at home. I try to sleep in for the maximum amount of time possible. In the car on the way to work, I do some vocal warm-up exercises like humming or singing along to the radio or things like that. When I arrive, I go straight into wardrobe and put on part of my costume. Then I go into make-up. This can take varying amounts of time – at the moment, it’s a couple of hours. While I’m there, some very kind person will bring me a cup of coffee and then I become human, and maybe breakfast (a couple of bits of toast). After make-up, I’ll finish getting dressed and filming will start at 7.30am. We have a lines run and then we block out the moves of the scene. Filming goes for 10 and three-quarter hours. It takes a long time to get all make-up off, and so I don’t leave until about 7pm. This is kind of a worst-case scenario – it’s not always like this.
J. What do you enjoy about acting? A. There is something in me that is just drawn to performance. I have to use my understanding of myself, and of people in general, in order to connect to the character, and I suppose I am drawn to that process, which is weirdly creative and analytical at the same time. J. What is your work philosophy? A. Some people can be more casual about it, but I am very hardworking. Acting kind of swamps my life; I think about it all the time, when I’m working and when I’m not working. I always want to do my best because I’m very grateful for any job I get. I try never to take anything for granted. J. What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming an actor? A. Go for it, but be practical and sensible at the same time. You need an agent. Go and visit as many agents as you can. You need a professional headshot. Take your CV along with you; it’s almost like a job interview. Be prepared. Work out what you want to say to them, talk about why you want to be an actor and what you can bring to acting. But do it in a natural Kiwi way. New Zealanders don’t respond well to any sort of arrogance. As well as that, get as much experience as you possibly can. You can learn something valuable from every experience. When I was young, I did every summer holiday acting course I could. I looked in the newspaper for repertory theatre shows because I really liked it but also because it helps you understand the industry so much better. J. You’re currently studying; what are you enrolled in and who are you doing it with? A. I’m in my tenth year of a BA in English Literature [laughs], although this semester, I’m doing a bit of French as well. I started it at Victoria University when I left high school – part-time as I was working as well. When I started Outrageous, I switched to Massey so I could study extra-murally [by distance]. I think studying at the same time as trying to be an actor is a really good thing. If you don’t know what to do full-stop, education is a really good thing to do. It keeps your brain active, and it gives you a valid excuse to get out of bed in the morning. Acting can be full on, but there is a lot of down time, so it’s really important to have something that means something important to you. Otherwise, it can be very demoralising. Currently based in Auckland, Antonia has a lead role in the feature film Medicine Woman – an adaptation of a Witi Ihimaera novel by the same name. After its completion, Prebble will continue to challenge herself with other acting projects. Be sure to keep an eye on this immensely talented leading lady.
The big break: Outrageous Fortune
In the hit series Outrageous Fortune, Antonia’s character, Loretta, is best remembered for scheming her way out of high school and into the criminal underworld where, despite mum Cheryl’s new-found desire for a crime-free life, Loretta thinks she belongs. Among her exploits are the burning down of two buildings, the blackmailing of her principal, co-running an illegal party pills business, and last but not least, running a brothel. In one episode, she got Sparky to burn down the video hut where she worked, and incidentally, the pet shop next store caught on fire. Antonia thought everyone in New Zealand would hate her guts. They didn’t seem to. Antonia says: Outrageous seemed to have a licence to do things like that. The writers and
producers always expected to receive heaps of complaints, but they never did. We got away with a lot.” J. Tell me about working on Outrageous Fortune. A. Working on Outrageous was really fun. It was an inspiring working environment to be in. Everyone there was really good at what they did; everyone knew we were working on something special. It was very performance-based and character-driven, so there was a large amount of freedom given to the actors. On some sets, you are told where to stand and where and how to move, but not on Outrageous. I don’t see the guys from the show as much as I’d like – it was such an intense time – but because we’re actors, we’ve all moved onto other intense things. I do see a bit of Robyn Malcolm and Siobhan [Marshall], though.
www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 13
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t f talk abou een a lot o areer you want, b ’s re e th ec ET, So far in J decisions, getting th appens if you h t ig a b h g w in t Bu n’t mak uccessful. nd realise you have s g in e b d a an g in rn o ne m wake up o y of your goals? n a d e v achie
n her commencement speech to the class of Harvard 2008 – probably some of the most successful young people anywhere in the world – Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling talked about the benefits of failure. When she herself started university, Rowling was convinced that the only thing that she wanted to do, ever, was write novels. This was at odds with what her parents wanted for her. “My parents, both of whom came from impoverished backgrounds and neither of whom had been to college, took the view that my overactive imagination was an amusing personal quirk that would never pay a mortgage or secure a pension.” They hoped that she would take a vocational
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Commencement speech: 1. the address given at a ceremony in which degrees or diplomas are conferred on university students.
I've really mucKed up this time
degree; she wanted to study English literature. “A compromise was reached that in retrospect satisfied nobody, and I went up to study Modern Languages. Hardly had my parents’ car rounded the corner at the end of the road than I ditched German and scuttled off down the Classics corridor,” Rowling says. Rowling cannot remember telling her parents that she was studying Classics: “they might well have found out for the first time on graduation day.” ”Of all the subjects on this planet, I think they would have been hard put to name one less useful than Greek mythology when it came to securing the keys to an executive bathroom.” Rowling does not blame her parents for their
point of view. She believes there is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction – it is when you’re about 16. She also wants to make it clear that she doesn’t criticise her parents for hoping that she would never experience poverty. “They had been poor themselves, and I have since been poor. Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes, depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships.” What Rowling feared most was not poverty but failure. When she was at university, she had spent a lot of time in the coffee bar writing stories and little time at lectures. She learned what so many students do: the way to pass examinations. That
was the measure of success in her life and that of her classmates. After university, Rowling found herself in a situation that she had never imagined for herself. Her biggest fear had reared its ugly head. “Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.” Does failure have benefits? Rowling truly believes so. To her, failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. She stopped pretending that she was anything other than what she was and began to direct all her energy into finishing the only work that mattered to her. Had she really succeeded at anything else, Rowling might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena she believed she truly belonged. “I was set free because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.
You might never fail on the scale that Rowling believes she did, but some failure in life is inevitable. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default. “Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.” Rowling emerged from her setback and she was, for ever after, secure in her ability to survive. “You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.” Given a Time-Turner, J. K. Rowling would tell her 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. “Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.”
interested in internationaL traVeL? not sure of your plans for next year? Why not take a gap year and volunteer overseas?
Lattitude Global Volunteering has a number of international volunteering projects for 17-25 year olds. We can offer you a diverse range of projects across 10 countries, including Argentina, India, Fiji and Vietnam in 2012.
are not tourists. You will immerse yourself in the local culture and become a member of that community. You will learn about a country from within, step outside your comfort zone and achieve something unique. You will gain valuable work and life experience, broaden your horizons and make life-long friends. Choosing a gap year is the best decision you could make. So if you’re interested in volunteering, and would like to leave your mark on a community abroad, as well as have the opportunity for travel, then Lattitude is for you!
For more inFormation on the different countries and placement types and how to apply please visit our website for more information:
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www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 15
JET has roughly divided the world of work and the stories we’ve featured in this Career Guide into sectors. Below is a bit of info about these various sectors, including skill shortages and surpluses, in particular, industries, lists of amazing careers, and top places to study. In other words, get brainstorming! Creative
Keywords: Think outside the square Sales work is available across all types of industries. Over 18,000 people work as sales representatives. Advertising employs nearly 6,000 people; market research employs just fewer than 3,000 people. The film, television, radio, and media industry has undergone a period of sustained growth over the last decade. In 1996, 7,187 people were employed in the industry; by 2006, this number had increased to 11,154. However, competition for entry-level jobs is excessively high. Graduates often have to do unpaid internships before they find employment. The Department of Labour estimates that the number of people working in the visual arts and design fields fell by a few hundred between 2006 and Business and the Public Sector 2010 to about 12,000 people. Keyword: logical/analytical Because of the high numbers of design graduates, 43,000 people worked in government jobs in competition for most entry-level design jobs is high. December 2011, slightly down on the previous Employers often prefer to hire people who have year. specialist knowledge and/or experience with design More than 62,5000 people work in the programmes. People wanting to enter design jobs finance, accounting, and insurance industries in may have to work on a short-term or freelance basis, New Zealand. This is where some of the most or volunteer their time, before they can get full-time well-paid jobs can be found. work. Careers include: Public sector: economist, Careers include: analyst, politician, local government Performing arts: actor, model, entertainer, dancer, representative, personal assistant, planner, political artist, singer, stunt person. scientist, sociologist, statistician, Design: graphic designer, animator, art director, Administration: communications officer, employment relations manager, human resources, photography, website developer, illustrator, architect, light technician, make-up artist, tailor/dressmaker. office manager, production manager, small Marketing and media: market research, brand business owner, reception, administration. management, advertising, promotions, public Financial services: auditor, broker, bank teller, relations, advertising, event management, copywriter, financial adviser, accountant, insurance loss journalist, editor, press secretary, publisher, adjustor, trader. marketing. Where to do it: the finance schools at Where to do it: Massey University is known for its Auckland, Otago, Victoria and AUT University are all excellent. To work in the public sector, you can film and design school, Toi Whaakari. The University of Canterbury has a great journalism school; study just about anything – politics, economics, Whitireia has a good technical journalism school. English literature, geography, development AUT is known for its marketing courses. studies, the list goes on.
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Engineering, Science and IT
Keywords: problem solving Engineering: There is a shortage of experienced engineers, and graduates are in high demand. In the energy industry, there is a real demand for skilled workers – biochemists, geologists, geophysicists, and mechanical engineering technician. Types of engineering: biomedical engineer, electronics engineer, product assembler, line mechanic, Navy electronics technician, product assembler. Where to do it: The University of Canterbury is renowned for its engineering course. The University of Auckland is the only one that offers engineering science and biomedical engineering specialisations. The University of Waikato focuses on building practical experience in engineering. Science: Life scientists are often out in the field rather than in the lab. Careers include: horticultural/agricultural scientist, biochemist, ecologist, environmental scientist, food technologist, forensic scientist, marine biologist, microbiologist, physiologist, zoologist. Physical science: At the moment, physical scientists with applied research skills are in demand rather than theoretical physicists. Careers include: astronomer, biochemist, meteorologist, oceanographer, physicist, research chemist, science teacher, tertiary lecturer. Where to do it: Massey University and Lincoln University are very highly regarded places to study life sciences. Jobs in the science fields usually require a postgraduate qualification. Information and communication technology: Demand for people with computer programming and developing skills is high, and employers often struggle to find workers with a high skill level. There’s no doubt about it, computers are the future. Completing a qualification in the IT area will provide the platform to deal with a forever changing, complex, and rewarding industry. Careers include: computer systems technician, web developer, programmer, software developer, database administrator, game developer, animator, helpdesk staff. Where to do it: Natcoll, SIT, CPIT and Unitec all have good IT programmes.
Education and People
Keyword: communication There are around 136,000 workers employed in the education sector. Right now, there is a surplus of qualified people in secondary and primary education. This means there are people struggling to find jobs. However, there are still some subject areas at the secondary level that are experiencing shortages, including chemistry, maths, English, physics, and te reo Māori. More than half of tertiary lecturers are over 50 years old. This translates into a shortage of candidates for tertiary lecturer positions. Careers include: primary teacher, secondary teacher, early childhood teacher, counsellor, education officer, psychologist, nanny, librarian, principal, special education, teacher aide, tertiary lecturer, office and technical support. Where to do it: The teachers college at Victoria University of Wellington has produced some top teachers.
Keywords: Helping people Demand for workers in health is growing as New Zealand’s population ages. There are around 14,000 doctors in New Zealand, but there is a severe shortage. Careers include: Medical: doctor, physiotherapist, dentist, ambulance driver, optometrist, pharmacist, speech language therapist, nurse, midwife, mental health nurse. Community services: aged care worker, clinical psychologist, counsellor, funeral director, occupational therapist, psychotherapist, social worker, youth worker. Where to do it: University of Otago and The University of Auckland are the only places where you can study medicine in New Zealand. In Australia, the University of Sydney offers a well-regarded nursing qualification. Unitec also has an excellent nursing qualification.
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t n e d u t s n ’ g t i s e s B ‘ e r Doing he one rd – was a w st A try – a Be is coun g n i in th winn ing, signers n n e Ca r de rlott interio a h nt C s for tude award s n sig ter r de ght-af o i r sou . inte For e most oment m h t c i f t o ntas a fa
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Last year, she designed a restaurant based on the theme of Alice in Wonderland, continuing her taste for literary inspiration.
t was incredibly exciting, and completely unexpected,” Charlotte says of last year’s award ceremony, where she won a gold pin for a student studio assignment. Her set design, for JM Barrie play Peter Pan, was one of two works to triumph in the student ‘spatial’ category. “I could not believe it. All I can remember was shaking uncontrollably and praying not to trip on my way up to the stage.” The win was both affirmation of her talent and also of her decision some years earlier to abandon a photography degree in favour of a more applied study programme. Charlotte is now in her last year of Unitec’s Bachelor of Design and Visual Arts, majoring in interior design. She had been studying towards a Bachelor of Visual Arts at another tertiary institute, but pulled out because of a feeling she was on the wrong pathway. “That programme had a fine arts focus, and I began to realise it was a bit too arty for me. I didn’t see a clear future in terms of career stability. I didn’t think I had the self-discipline to be an artist. “I suppose it was quite a shock to my parents for me to change my mind one year from graduating, but they were really supportive that I should follow my own path. “To then go on and do well at the Best Awards … it was so rewarding to gain that kind of achievement and acknowledgment at such an early stage of my chosen career path.” Charlotte took photography and design at St Cuthbert’s College, but admits that at the time of enrolling at Unitec, she knew far less about interior design other than that it seemed to offer a better fit for how she likes to work. “I see myself having a career, but I still want to be in a place where I can be creative. Interior design was a mix of both. It is creativity within set parameters. Maybe it’s the way my brain works, but I like that I can see a purpose for a space, and there are specific things that have to be done, within limitations and contexts.”
Several of the papers she had already completed were cross-credited. In the case of drawing, though, she opted to learn the architectural conventions that go into elevations and plans rather than rely on the conceptual classes she had done previously. The 22-year-old says she has learned to visualise and render projects for all kinds of spaces, from set design to retail, restaurants, and exhibitions. She has studied courses on sustainability, construction technologies, and the relevant software programmes that will be the tools of her trade, like 3DS Max and Autocad. Aside from the glorious Best Award-winning project, Charlotte says other high points of her study include a current project to redesign a building within Fort St, an area of Auckland’s CBD with a colourful past. Last year, she designed a restaurant based on the theme of Alice in Wonderland, continuing her taste for literary inspiration. Her success at the Best Awards has also led to work on a commercial project, designing a spatial model for primary school children to use to find out how far a sneeze travels, using hula hoops, polystyrene balls, and bamboo sticks. “A lot of what we do is about problem solving … that’s the cool thing about uni. You’re enabled to let your imagination run wild, then you scale it back for real life while finding a balance between your interests and those of the client and their budget. Stripping something back to be simple and effective.” Charlotte knows stiff competition is the order of the day in her industry, for even entry-level roles. Equally, she is sure she has found her calling. She sees herself working overseas after study, hopefully for an interior designer, or for an architecture firm as an interior designer. “I’ve heard it’s quite tough, so you have to work hard to stand out, whether it’s your portfolio work, contacts, work experience, awards … anything you can do to set yourself above the rest is going to be a good thing.” Charlotte’s pathway shows that you have to trust your instincts and really go after what you want.
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Running Around JET. What did you want to be when you were 5 years old? What about 15? Belinda: At 5 years old, I wanted to be a Silver Fern (the next Belinda Collings). At 15 years old, I think I wanted to be a doctor. JET. Can you describe a typical day in the life of Belinda Brown, physiotherapist? Belinda: I get up at 6.15am to go for a half-hour run with my flatmate, Amanda. I then shower and get into my polo shirt and pants uniform. I wolf down some breakfast (porridge and a coffee) and drive to the hospital, where I plan my day. I am currently working on the under 65-year-old rehabilitation ward, which involves seeing a variety of patients, including those who have had brain injuries, strokes, or who have long-term neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s Disease. The evening usually involves some study towards my Postgraduate Certificate in Neurorehabilitation. J. What is the best part of your job? B. I really enjoy working with people with neurological conditions because you feel as if you are working with them towards really functional goals that are important to their everyday life. J. How important is having good people skills in your job? B. Very. A lot of being a physio is developing rapport and trust with your patient and convincing them that they need to do what you are helping them to do. J. What are some of the other skills/attributes you think are essential in being a good physio? B. I think effective communication is the key to being a good physiotherapist. Also, to be empathetic to your patients but professional enough to leave work at work so you maintain a work-life balance. J. Is working as a physio different to what you expected it to be? How so? B. Yes. I thought physiotherapy was only in private clinics doing musculoskeletal work. Little did I know that physiotherapists also run rampant around the hospital. There are a wide range of physiotherapist specialists out there! J. You studied at Otago University – was this, in your mind, a good place to do physio? Did you enjoy your time as a student? B. Yes, there are only two places to study physiotherapy in New Zealand – Auckland and Otago. I loved Dunedin as it is generally a fantastic place
to be a student and the physiotherapy school is great down here and has an excellent international reputation. J. What are the day-to-day challenges? B. In my current rotation on the neurological ward, I work with people who can have long-term neurological conditions. This can be really emotional as you want to do so much more for people than is realistic, and you do see some heartbreaking life situations. J. What advice would you give to someone leaving high school who wants to be a physio? B. To contact the manager at their local hospital and/or physiotherapy clinic and ask whether it is possible to tag along with a physiotherapist for a day. J. Can you tell me about the job you've been offered in Sydney? Is the pay rate higher in Australia? B. It is a rehabilitation hospital in Sydney, and my job will be split between seeing orthopaedic patients and neurological patients, which I am really excited about. The pay rate is higher in Australia, but I am going to be working in a private hospital compared to a public one here, so whether that makes a difference or not, I’m not sure. Also, the cost of living is going to be a lot higher living in the big smoke than good old Dunedin, so it probably all balances out. J. What are your plans for the future? A. I hope to spend the next few years in Sydney and use it as a base to go and have a look at different corners of the world. I would like to get married and have three children (either two boys and a girl or three boys) and a white weatherboard house with a big vegetable garden and some chickens. At some stage, I would like to own a café, restaurant, or bed and breakfast that I can play ‘Hostess with the Most-ess’ in.
Little did I know that physiotherapists also run rampant around the hospital
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Key career steps
• • • •
Christchurch Girls’ High School Otago University 2006 - 2011 – Bachelor of Physiotherapy About to move to Sydney to work in a private rehabilitation hospital Studying towards Postgraduate Certificate in Neurorehabilitation.
A Day in the Life I wake up at my lovely flat in Oriental Bay. My flatties and I make each other breakfast and pack our lunch. I walk along the waterfront to work. When I get there, I check my emails, scan the news to see what happened in Parliament the day before, look at events related to my area, read papers from other departments, and provide a “comment from Treasury” – this might be on how the subject matter will impact the economy or if it is value for money. I go to meetings to discuss political proposals from other departments, read academic articles, look at the government expenditure on education and skills, and liaise with the Ministry of Education. The end of the working day rolls around, and I might grab a beer with my workmates on the way home.
Crunching the numbers with Sarah
The Treasury is like the financial advisor that tells the government what to spend its money on. The 400 treasury employees work to advise the Minister of Finance in areas of education, health, justice, housing, and the state of the economy. JET talks to graduate analyst Sarah Wood about life in the treasure house.
hen Sarah was five she wanted to be a swimmer at the Olympics, probably in breast-stroke. That dream was a bit short-lived. Sarah's small physique was more suited to ballet than swimming. Ten years later, she thought she would be an environmental lawyer. However, the decision not to study law stifled that ambition. Sarah ended up studying economics, geography, and development studies at Victoria University of Wellington after deciding she wanted to get out of North Sydney, where the blonde, bronzed females mostly seemed to want expensive wardrobes. She likes a cold climate and Wellington's slightly dark and gritty exterior made her feel at home. “I like Wellington’s compactness; you can meet your friends for a drink or a coffee without any hassle. Coming from Sydney, that’s a pretty cool thing.” Imbued with a love of learning, Sarah made the most of uni, ending up with excellent grades. She then secured an internship at Treasury over the summer break in her second-to-last year – no small feat considering 150 people apply and only four receive a place. When the internship ended, Treasury asked Sarah to return and work for them after she finished study.
Working at the Treasury is high pressure job. Staff report to the Minister of Finance on issues that have a real impact on the country. Their advice needs to be objective, incredibly well researched, and able to withstand intense scrutiny. The senior employees Sarah works with are well aware of the pressure that the job brings, and they make sure their graduates have the right work load. “If you're responding to a query from the Minister, you won't be expected to have your other work done,” Sarah says. While the work of a policy analyst can be hard, the challenge of grappling with complex ideas, making sense of them, and relating them back to why and how the world works is immensely satisfying.
Some jobs have a high degree of accountability or public attention. A doctor has a huge amount of responsibility, and a television journalist is always in the spotlight. An analyst at Treasury might not have the same accountability or glare of the public eye, but it is still a high profile department and journalists have been known to whine about the economic forecasts that come from the top. “The things that my team works on are often in the media. We welcome that, but once the information leaves the building, it's impossible to control how the public receives it. Projections are just that: projections. If someone
was able to get them all right, then the economy’s problems would be over. Occasionally, we write an editorial in response to the criticism we receive, but usually, we just grin and bear it,” Sarah says.
Sarah is knowledgeable about more than just economics. She is a fierce advocate of the environment and engages in practical ways to help stem the tide of rotten human behaviour toward it. She has encyclopaedic music knowledge and her flatmates can attest that she is a fantastic cook. She says, “I love cooking Indian food; I like the colour and the flavours and that it’s so good for vegetarians.” This broad life experience translates into her ability to think laterally at work. “Economics can be an interesting and fresh way of looking at the world, but it is just one framework. Other disciplines are just as important.”
Want to work in the treasure house?
Sarah recently travelled to Christchurch to talk to students at the University of Canterbury about graduate recruitment, so she knows a lot about what Treasury look for in their employees. At the top of the list are: strong analytical skills, good grades, an ability to communicate well, and a few numerical reasoning skills thrown in for good measure. “There are a range of different degrees held by people at Treasury – my workmates have music, philosophy, and physics qualifications. If you've got an understanding of economics, it doesn't matter what your background is.” “What I like most about working at the Treasury are the people. There are a lot of intelligent folk working here, they're interesting to talk to, and they have a lot of knowledge.” Right now, she is enjoying the challenge of working in the corridors of power, but one day, Sarah’s would love to work for a company that is doing great things for the environment. She wants to use her amazing organisational skills to make sure the company is delivering to the best of its ability – Sarah is so organised, she remembers when her flatmates should be calling their grandmothers.
If you take economics, listen up
Sarah gives a 30 second break down of what’s facing the New Zealand economy: “The long term issues that we’re facing are the sustainability of government expenditure. As the population ages, more people will need health care services and pensions, but there will be less people working that can help pay for this. We will need to think about our spending. “Short term the issue is the continuing contracting of the global economy.”
www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 21
Brewing beer “Show us” the sliiideuys’
g Check out the Tube video. hilarious You
22 // JET Career Guide www.jetseries.co.nz
doesn’t feel like work U niversity is perhaps the best business incubator of all. The saying goes that necessity is the mother of invention, and for Matt Kristofski and Matt Warner, two students living in Wellington’s dark, cold Aro Valley, necessity translated into brewing beer to save money.
It was this tinkering with home brew that has led to one of Wellington’s most pursued craft beer labels – ParrotDog. Matt Stevens joined the student Matts last year in April, bringing with him his chartered accountant qualification and business acumen. “I didn’t know much about craft brewing at all when I came into this,” he says. Nonetheless, he incorporated the company, crunched the numbers, and assessed the viability of ParrotDog as a commercial venture.
Uni days The three Matts have qualifications that span a range of the professional services; their university degrees have been essential to the formation of the business. Kristofski studied marketing, commerce, and commercial law, Warner did law and pyschology and now has his professionals in law, and Stevens brought with him his commerce, accounting, and commercial law qualification. University provided a combination of inspiration and the free time in which to muck around with home brew.
The craft beer scene The ParrotDog guys have learned over the last few months how to approach bars and convince them to supply their beers, although being wellacquainted with the bartenders doesn’t hurt. They all agree that instead of being a crowd, three is the perfect number. “Doing this alone would be very lonely,” says Kristofski. However, they agree it doesn’t really seem like a job; there’s no real boss. They’re trying to create something together and they are doing it for themselves – not someone else. The home brew kit still plays an important part in the operations – it’s the trial and they brew with it three or four times before it’s taken to the commercial step. They share the trial beer around and get opinions from other brewers. This year, instead of contract brewing at Mike’s Organic Brewery in Taranaki, they have purchased their own equipment, about to be sent over from China. By the time they are
brewing at capacity, they hope to be bringing out 200,000 litres a year. “This year is going to be about seeing how much we can hustle,” says Stevens. Currently, the craft beer market share stands at around 9 per cent, but that includes Mac’s and Monteith’s, now owned by Lion and DB, respectively. The numbers indicate there are plenty more potential craft converts waiting unknowingly for the first hoppy hit to make them intimately familiar with such labels as 8-Wired, Tuatara, Yeastie Boys, Liberty, Epic, and Emersons.
The guys had to scale up the production of their bitter ale for entry in the Beervana 2011 festival. Instead of typical small business competition, there is cooperation between craft beer breweries. They work as a united front to try to coax the majority of drinkers who purchase beer produced by the two big beer barons over from the dark side. One worry for ParrotDog and smaller brewers is that the popular hop varieties in Nelson sell out quickly. “There is a real demand for good hops, and we can’t get them from anywhere else,” says Warner. This is, in part, due to the boom of craft beer, whose selling point is quality – a catch-22 in some respects for the craft beer trade. Showing his healthy respect for capitalism, Stevens adds, “I’m sure the free market will sort it out. Someone will step in and fill the gap in the market.”
The name? “There was a parrot in the flat where we used to live,” says Warner. “Yeah, and we call each other ‘dog’,” says Kristofski. “But not me,” chimes in Stevens, the moneyman. “It would be weird if I did.” The company’s first commercial release, BitterBitch, was coined with similarly laid-back style. The guys had to scale up the production of their bitter ale for entry in the Beervana 2011 festival. Warner says, “Scaling up a beer is a real challenge. It’s not a linear process. We didn’t know what the end result would be like. We thought it was going to be too bitter, so we named it BitterBitch.” The idea was that the tongue-in-cheek name might help it sell. Combined with the crisp taste and citrusy hop flavour, it did. BitterBitch is the second pup in the ParrotDog litter. Along with the first child of the Dog, BloodHound (a red ale), both command a steady following. More recently, the Parrot has produced some offspring in the FlaxenFeather, a blonde ale. ParrotDog and its aptly named brood are becoming the toast of Wellington’s fashionable beer scene, and the guys regularly get requests (or demands) for more of their product from around the country. The fact their brewing has been sporadic means the demand just keeps growing, but with their own brewery about to kick into action, 2012 should be the year for the three Matts. Their success goes to show that it pays to hunt around for the career option that seems least like a job and more like a hobby.
www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 23
Standing in riverS with Jackson Shanks The science of hydrology has evolved as a response to the need to understand the complex water systems of the Earth and help solve water problems. Hydrologists play a vital role in finding solutions to water problems and have interesting and challenging careers. As the world’s water supplies come under increasing threat, hydrology grows as an industry. A love of the environment is necessary for this job, so is the desire to work outside.
ackson Shanks is a field technician for the Hawke's Bay Regional Council. His role sees him spending the majority of his time outdoors, usually near water, or on the road in order to be near water. “I would find it impossible to be in an office all the time,” he says. He specialises in surface water quantity, so he is concerned with rain and water flow and how it affects his sub-catchment. “All the field technicians are given areas to take care of. It’s your responsibility and that’s nice. You’ve got to maintain it, and it’s good to have that independence.” Water is an issue that is increasingly talked about in New Zealand. “Sometimes, I find myself standing in beautiful wild rivers, but just as often, I’m standing in horrible urban streams. The state of rivers in New Zealand is pretty depressing. The intensification of agriculture might translate into rich farmers but not necessarily into a rich country.” Jackson has a job most people only dream about. His time in a deskchair is kept minimal. “I’m basically out in the field all day, making sure the climate stations are working. Analysts and scientists work out what they need, and I print out the map and figure out where I need to go and drive there." He checks that river and stream gauges are working and records data to send to the lab. His job involves a lot of venturing around the beautiful Hawke's Bay. “I listen to a lot of audio books and music. Last week, I covered 1500 km.” At the end of 2009, Jackson left uni after a three year undergrad in environmental science. He worked as a park ranger for seven months and then went travelling in Europe and managed to spend part of the year snowboarding in Wanaka. While he was up in the Waitakeres doing the park ranger thing, he found himself living alone in an old house. He recalls occasionally waking up to all of the taps running in one particular room or candles flickering out, only to suddenly come alight again. “Yup, I believe in ghosts now – I stood up and introduced myself.” Later his neighbour told him there was a Māori burial site just down the road. As he was dealing with ghosts and taking care of the forest, he realised that he needed more of an intellectual challenge to keep stimulated. He looked back at his undergrad years and thought about what he liked. He came up with the study of water. He went back to uni in 2011 to
do an Honours year in physical geography and specialised in the area of hydrology. In his last weeks of writing his Honours dissertation, he slept under his desk at uni. “It was a dark time, but I learned so much in such a short period.” As he looks back, he adds: “I think 17-years-olds feel a lot of pressure to make a choice, but I don’t think you need to know. When I came out of high school, I didn’t know there were jobs in hydrology. My advice would be to look for jobs that match up with your lifestyle.” As for the future, Jackson says, “One day, I would like to work for a non-governmental organisation in a developing country. I want to try to do something like transboundary resource management. The management of water across borders is going to be huge. Look at Sudan and Egypt with the Nile and India and Pakistan with the Indus.” “My dream job would be to be a project manager for a water scheme in Africa or the Middle East. I’m also learning to be patient and content with what I’m doing right now.” For now, he’s happy to be earning money, while knowing he’s on a good pathway. He is in a position where he can think about the future and take a breath from the craziness that was his Honours year. He is doing it by standing in rivers, watching them ebb and flow, by going surfing after work; basically, by filling his life with what he loves – water.
As he was dealing with ghosts and taking care of the forest, he realised that he needed more of an intellectual challenge to keep stimulated.
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A Day in the Life
At 6.30am, the alarms goes off, and I put it on snooze till I realise it's nearly 8am, then I have to quickly run or bike down to work. I look at the weather and what it’s been doing, especially from Napier up to Mahia because that’s roughly my area. Then I pack up the ute and drive to where I’m testing that day. I might be checking a rain gauge – you know, those green boxes that you see by rivers. I make sure it is recording properly. You open up the box, read the data, and make a data log, and then you go on to the next one. I might do four or five in a day. I try to work out a nice place to have lunch. The top of the hill or by a nice river is good. In winter, I deal a lot with flood gates; this involves hanging this device that has sonar technology off the side of a bridge and it measures the flow in a flood and the velocity of the water.
Rachel Howard works at a busy public relations (PR) company in Auckland. A career in PR demands strong written and spoken communication skills, a keen interest in the media, and a fascination with what makes a good story.
t a junior level, you will need to be incredibly flexible and willing to turn your hand to any task. This might include writing a media release, pitching stories to the media, conducting background research into a prospective client, or brainstorming creative ideas for an upcoming campaign. PR is all about communication and making good contacts, so start practising your skills right away. Rachel gives JET some inside tips. JET. Can you describe what you do day-to-day at Pead PR? Rachel. We usually start the day with work-in-progress meetings to catch up on where we all are on certain projects. We then might go into a brainstorm to come up with ideas for an upcoming media send-out or launch event. Most of the day is spent talking to media around the country on behalf of a client to ensure there is consistent positive media coverage for them. If we are launching a new product or have an event that evening, we will liaise with our senior copywriter and have press releases composed. Then it’s on to the launch venue to set up and make sure the guest list is in place before media and clients arrive. J. What are the most interesting events or projects that you’ve worked on? R. One of the biggest projects I work on each year is the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. Preparations start months in advance with press releases being issued about finalists and preview interviews being organised. On the actual evening, we handle around 150 working media in a green room and ensure that all these reporters get the interviews with musicians that they need. We also have VIP media who are watching the show, and we have to ensure that they are happy throughout the evening. J. What did you study at uni and how do you think it has helped in your role? R. I actually have a law degree, but I decided that I did not want to practise in my final year of study. At my agency, people have a variety of degrees. Not everyone chose to study communications. I think it’s really positive having a workplace where people have trained in different
disciplines, as everyone always sees a different angle on issues and we all seem to bounce ideas off each other. J. Did you find it hard to figure out what you wanted to do? R. Extremely hard. I ended up writing a list of what I thought were my strongest qualities, as well as a list of my interests. When I looked at these lists, public relations seemed to be the career that fitted best. J. Deciding what you want to do with your life (or at least for your career) can be a daunting task for some. What do you think are good ways to narrow down the options? R. You should explore as many options as possible. Call up companies, firms, and agencies that you admire and ask if you can intern or even just go in for a week of work experience. Getting hands-on experience gives you a better idea of what working in a certain industry will actually be like. J. What advice would you give someone leaving high school with an eye on a PR career? R. You need to be extremely organised and calm in the face of a challenge. J. Why do you think Pead PR gave you the position? R. I showed an eagerness to learn. J. Where do you hope to go with your career? R. I feel very fortunate to have my job at Pead PR. There are many account directors here who I admire, and I hope to one day be good enough to be in their shoes. J. What are the challenging parts of the job? R. It can be a high-pressure environment. Having so many clients on your books means that you are always juggling multiple projects. For example, last week, my team had three events in three days, but having so much on keeps it exciting and fresh as well. J. What are the fun bits? R. We meet lots of exciting people and get to pull off some pretty amazing events.
www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 25
Karena Kelly went off to university wanting to get into medical school, but she fell in love with te reo instead. Ten years on, she teaches Mãori language and linguistics to nearly 200 tertiary students each trimester. SARAH DUNN finds out how that happened.
n her role as a lecturer at Victoria University, Karena Kelly has two main fields of responsibility: teaching and research. She says the hardest part about her job is finding a balance between these two facets of her career, although since she loves them both, it's a challenge she relishes. “I feel really lucky because I love my research, but I also love teaching, and I get this beautiful situation where I get to do both.” As well as teaching Māori to two classes of first-year University students in the morning, Karena spends her afternoons working towards her PhD in Māori language studies. Through a number of hand-picked case studies, Karena is looking at the ways in which te reo has changed over time, and what might have caused those changes. Karena's own change in career from health sciences to Māori was relatively organic. Having moved from the Kapiti Coast to Dunedin for study, she says, “It just wasn't really the right fit, I needed to come home.” After spending time managing a swimming complex and working in a pub, a friend convinced her to start a teaching degree in her favourite subjects at high school, French and history. “And then, I had a bit of a gap in my schedule for my first year of studies, and I thought, 'Oh, Māori is available. Oh yeah, you know, that would be quite cool. I am Māori. Let's have a little look and see what it's like.'” Raised by her non-Māori mother, Karena never really thought about speaking Māori herself until she enrolled in her first course at 20. A brilliant teacher helped her fall in love with the language, and she has been a passionate speaker and scholar ever since. Karena describes herself as “really, really lucky with a lot of financial support,” but says there are even more scholarships available for Māori students right now than when she was studying. Besides actually applying, Karena says the key to winning scholarships is academic excellence. “If you want to be eligible to apply for a range of scholarships, then it's always useful to remember when you're sitting in your papers, doing your next essay or whatever, that working towards good grades is always a really strong endorsement for any application that you make for scholarships.” Offered her first teaching job at St Patrick's College before graduating the BTeach programme, Karena was excited about going into the workforce but saw other teachers from her year – “even excellent students, excellent teachers” – struggle for employment. In contrast to the glut in standard teachers, New Zealand is “desperate” for Māori language teachers, she says. “[There is] actually a critical shortage of excellent Māori language teachers.” In the last two years, she has noticed a huge increase in the number of young students already fluent in Māori who come to her classes from kura kaupapa or immersion schools. “Worldwide, we're considered to be at the forefront or pioneers of indigenous language revitalisation. It's a really exciting time,” she says. As an authority on Māori language, Karena is able to attend conferences overseas on indigenous languages and related subjects. “My favourite would probably be Hawaii. I went to a language documentation and conservation conference in Honolulu. That was awesome.” Teaching at tertiary level is a job that is always changing and evolving
with the students, says Karena. Finding ways to integrate diverse classes of individuals and teaching them to work together, recognising strengths in one another, is not always easy. “I can have one activity that just absolutely rocks for a particular group and sucks for another group, and it's exactly the same activity. You'd assume that they would be a similar make-up of students, but sometimes it flies and sometimes it doesn't fly.” When she first started teaching, Karena would immediately discard group activities that didn't work the first time, but now she wishes she had kept hold of some. “I wonder whether the next cohort might have found it was fantastic.” Keeping her options as open as possible is something that has helped Karena throughout her whole career. “School seems big while you're sitting there, but the world outside is so much bigger, don't you think? And there are options available to you that you have no idea even exist while you're in high school. I think it's really important to have a sense of excitement about seeking out those options and giving them a crack.” Karena says, without a doubt, the best possible career move for young people is to identify their goals and work really hard to achieve them, but she is glad she took the time to “taste test” different options before focusing on Māori language. She hopes future students will let themselves experiment and find what they are good at without feeling pressured into having all the answers too early. “If you applied that sense of discovery to their learning, it could result in some really beautiful accidental careers, just like mine.”
[There is] actually a critical shortage of excellent Maori language teachers
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A Day in the Life So what I usually do is get up about 6.30am. I head into town, go to the gym, come up the hill, and am in at work somewhere around 8.459.30am. I turn up to my office, grab my lecture notes, and have a quick run-through, especially since I tend to teach a couple of classes in a row. Usually, there's a student who will pop in right before the lecture with a last-minute request. I walk down Kelburn Parade, teach my first two-hour lecture at 10am, answer questions after that, and then head to my next lecture. Once that finishes up, I pop up to the Marae to have some lunch at about 1pm. Usually in the afternoon, I might have something like a meeting with the tutors for my courses, where we talk about the plans for the week. There could be an office hour where students will come along, bringing any questions they have about assignments. I have time allotted for my research, so I'm usually working on my PhD in the afternoons from about 2pm to 4pm. Then, the last hour, I'm usually catching up with writing in the library. I go home around the 5.30pm mark. Quite often, my partner and I will work through until 6pm to avoid the traffic going home.
COFFEE AND AR T
MAKE A PERF
Tom Mackie is the manager of August, a new café in in Wellington. He has been in the hospitality industry for nine years and five of those have involved making coffee. He talks to JET about the importance of fair trade, his artistic ventures and producing flat whites by waving his arms.
Tom Mackie the manager of in August, a new café in in Wellington. He has been in thehard hospitality industry offee inis Wellington is like tea to deal with, at times.”for nine years and five of those have involved making coffee. He talks to JET about the importance of fair trade, his artistic ventures Morocco: if someone isn’t drinking Over the years, Tom has worked with and it, they’re thinking by about drinking producing flat whites waving hisit.arms. several different roasteries and enjoys the But even so, installing a new café into the epicentre of the coffee scene is a hard sell. Luckily, August has a point of difference. Tom says: “There are several places around Cuba Street where you can get a great coffee, but there aren’t any places where you can go and watch a motorbike being assembled and still get an excellent brew. We operate variously as an exhibition/design space and café. August is a celebration of craft, creativity, and innovation.” More than just a coffee shop in many regards, August uses organic milk and fair trade coffee. “We are proud to be using ‘Peoples’ coffee, which is roasted in Newtown! We also find it important that the coffee is certified by international monitors and grown without using harmful chemicals. Most people get a little stoked when their local barista remembers their order. Tom says this is something that should come naturally after several years in the trade. “Especially when your customers come in several times a day to get a cup of your finest.” It is also way to ensure that customers will keep coming back. We’ve all seen an irate customer throw a tantrum in a restaurant. This can be very challenging for those that work in the industry. Tom says: “The customer is always ‘right’ in hospitality and this can be extremely
A DAY IN THE LIFE I wake shower and dress, eat some toast, and stumble down the hill to Garrett Street. There, I check emails, prepare the machine, roll a cigarette, and make a long black. I have five minutes to myself and then I’m about ready for whatever the day may bring. As we’re a new venture, the patterns in customer peaks haven’t quite emanated, so it’s pretty varied. I’m at August till 4pm and then the day kind of begins again. I head off to my [art] studio on Willis Street, work for a couple of hours, and go to a couple of meetings related to exhibitions and the like. Additionally, I organise all the events and exhibitions that go on at August and that involves inviting artists to exhibit and being up-to-date with what’s happening in the art scene, not just in Wellington but around the country and in Australia, too.
technical aspects of making coffee. Some barista’s hold on to the notion that being a top barista involves years of tinkering with temperature, technique, and blends, but the forever down-to-earth Tom says: “I think if you have a passion for what you are doing and have good social skills, then you can learn fairly quickly.” Mr. Mackie does, however, keep a few tricks of his trade close to his chest. When asked how to make a superb flat white, he blithely replies: “Different localities have various opinions as to the correct process. Mine involves me throwing my arms around.” Alongside mysteriously waving his arms around to produce a coffee, Tom cryptically deflects hard and fast questions about his future. He plans to combine all of his skills into ‘something magical’ after he puts away the grinder. Given that Tom has a Master of Fine Arts up his sleeve, this is likely to involve art. On the wall at August, you can see some of his stunning collage-based pieces. He also does large-scale murals and has exhibited in Melbourne and Berlin. He says: “My artistic style differs a lot between projects.” As Tom shows, a job as a barista can act as the perfect supplement to the pursuit of creative pastimes – or it can be a great career in its own right. The only real requirement for the job is a love of coffee.
www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 27
Peeling back the
stereotypes with vic abbot
If you had to compare Vic Abbott to a famous actor, it would be Kate Winslet – more specifically, Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures. Vic has that English Rose look, a floaty little laugh that punctuates her sentences, and a persona that indicates she can hold her own in the competitive world of thespians. But you get the feeling she isn’t striving for comparisons with Hollywood entertainers. Vic Abbott gives JET the insider’s guide on making it as an actor.
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• $422,123.65: Reported pay per episode for actor Hugh Lawrie, star of TV series House. • $42,223,015: Estimated earnings grossed last year by Hollywood actor Tom Hanks. • 11.3: Average number of weeks per year that actors work professionally. • Percentage split: Just 8% of actors are reckoned to be in work at any given moment.
documentary theatre production Munted. It is based on recorded interviews that tell of people’s harrowing experiences in the Christchurch earthquake. Vic is a Christchurch native, so the project has special meaning for her.
There are more than a couple of stereotypes floating around about working as an actor. “It’s about expressing yourself.” “It’s about being an arty, creative type.” “It’s a glamourous job.” Vic Abbott would beg to differ. She has it on good authority that only five percent of actors make enough from acting to pay their rent – globally. “Acting is a huge time commitment. You have to sacrifice a lot of hobbies, but like many things, the more you put in, the more that you get out.” The instability that surrounds the life of an actor can be stressful, but Vic says there’s no point being frightened about it. After all, she is getting up each day to do the thing she would still be doing if she had all the money in the world. Vic says she didn’t really make a conscious decision ‘to be an actor’; everything led towards acting and she followed it there. Her first professional gig was at the age of eight for the Court Theatre in Christchurch. She remembers being very happy to be making money. The same year, instead of the expected science project – she presented her teacher with a play she had written, with herself as the main character. Moving on a few years, at 13, she landed a big part in a senior school musical – Ghetto, disconcertingly, a holocaust musical.
The amount the actors rehearse is dependent on how much money the production has. A small production could have a rehearsal time of just two weeks. One of the largest productions Vic has worked had a two month workshop and a 6 week rehearsal. “You can get really tired. It can be 10 days on the trot sometimes, and the days are 13 hours. Eating healthy and doing those little things becomes really important,” Vic says. To support herself through uni, she worked as a receptionist. It’s common to associate actors with jobs in the hospitality industry, but Vic says that can be exhausting – acting and waiting are both such physical jobs. To be able to work overseas as an actor, you have to be able to do accents. It helps that Vic has a degree in Spanish and can speak a bit of French. But for now, she is firmly rooted in New Zealand – her student loan demands it. Wellington is also the city for her. She praises Wellington’s supportive theatre community – both those behind the curtain and in front of it.
Advice for those with the itch to act
A Bachelor of Arts majoring in Theatre and minoring in Spanish at the University of Otago fed into a Bachelor in Performing Arts from Toi Whakaari. Vic says, “From the outset, it is a really daunting prospect. There are a couple of hundred applicants nationwide, and it gets narrowed down to just 20. What follows is three years of hard, hard work. You have to be at school all day, every day, and compared to the more theoretical style of learning taught at university, I found it much harder.” As part of Toi’s structure, everyone goes on mini-secondment in their last year. Vic went to London for two months to put some acting classes under her belt. She then spent a month in Paris. The last week of her trip took her to New York. Vic enjoys getting into the psychology of acting, thinking about the characters she is playing. She believes acting is about telling a story. “The physical discipline is also great. It’s an active profession, you stay fit.” She adds, “To be an actor, you have to be unapologetic about your voice. You have to sing, whether you have a great singing voice or not.” Another crucial part of the job is getting along with co-workers. A lot of time is spent with them in rehearsals and on stage, in pretty intense situations. Vic says, “They become like family.” Her biography is littered with short film roles and two feature length parts, but Vic’s experience lies mostly with theatre. She wouldn’t turn down a mainstream role in film or television, though. “I’d do Shortland Street,” she says, “it pays really well.” “Vic and her friend Jackie have started a small theatre company called Bare Hunt Collective. They have produced two shows, one of which is the
The daily grind
Vic thinks would-be actors should be stubborn and determined about making it as an actor. “A sense of humour is vital, too. You never know what you’ll be asked to do ... but in saying that, you have to know your boundaries. I turned down a part because it was basically soft porn.” Another tip from the ever-realistic Vic: “Being good with money is essential – it’s sad but true. You have to able to make it stretch.” “But what you really, really need is your friends. Good support networks outside of what you do.” Vic advocates having a good dose of life experience. She did a gap year after finishing school and says it was the best thing she could have done. She went to Scotland and worked in a boarding school and travelled around Europe. “It was so underpaid,” she says, “But so worth it.” If you’re at high school and dabbling in acting, Vic says; “You don’t have to be a stereotypical arty type or the lead role in every school production. You could be into triathalons and still be a great actor. Acting is more like a trade. It’s like plumbing – you learn a set of problem solving skills and apply them to a situation. “Get on stage as much as you possibly can and go see as much as you possibly can. Do creative writing courses.” Vic maintains that the best thing about a career in acting is the people you meet, followed by the total absence of boredom. If acting is the only job for you, then commit to it and by sheer determination you will get there in the end. Vic did.
www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 29
Insurance for a better world
Kodie Walsh works for Mainland Claims in Christchurch as a junior loss adjuster. Insurance is a very important industry; when catastrophic events like the Christchurch earthquakes rip through people’s lives and ruin their most beloved possessions, it takes people like Kodie to work patiently and calmly to restore a bit of stability.
he is currently managing EQC claims for things like driveways, paths, fences, and pools. This involves going to houses to identify what is covered by the insurance policy, arranging contractors to submit repair quotes, negotiating settlement with the insured parties, managing repairs, and checking work is completed to a satisfactory level. Ensuring that the customer is happy with the end result is essential. JET. What do you enjoy about your job? Kodie: I enjoy working with people and getting the chance to really make a difference. It is an extremely rewarding job knowing that you are helping your city rebuild after the major devastation the city has suffered over the past 18 months. J. Are there any challenges that you believe to be specific to your job as a loss adjuster; what are they and how do you work through them? K. New Zealand hasn’t had to deal with an event like the Christchurch earthquakes before. We are all learning as we go, and we face forever changing processes. Although some of the changes we face can be major setbacks, we work through these as a team and try to make things as stressfree as possible for the customers. J. What advice would you give to high school students interested in working in the insurance industry? K. The insurance industry offers endless opportunities, and there are so many career paths available. It is such a rewarding industry to be in. It’s forever changing, so you are always learning new things as you go. If you are interested in getting into the industry, I would start by getting some customer experience behind you, and from there, just trying to get your foot in the door where you can. For example, starting as a receptionist or office junior within the industry. From there, you will learn so much and also find out which sectors interest you the most so you can progress further into the career path that you would like to follow. J. What are three attributes you believe a loss adjuster should have and why? K. You meet and deal with a wide range of people and you need to be able to relate them. It is important you are able to build good working relationships to carry out your job effectively and efficiently. Be tactful and patient. It is important to remember that we are dealing
A Day in the Life
No day is the same, just like no claim is the same. But a typical day of assessments would see me getting up at about 6am, getting ready, having breakfast etc. I then review all my appointments for the day and take note of any special requirement requested from the insurer. Starting at approximately 8am, I begin my round of assessments for the day, meeting with customers and viewing the external earthquake damage to their homes. I write down details of the damage, take photos of the damaged areas, and measure up the damage areas for quoting purposes. While on site with the customer, I discuss the claims process and expected timeframes of repairs/settlements. An average day would see me carrying out approximately eight assessments. Once I have completed my assessments, it is back to the office to start processing the paper work and reporting to the insurer with our recommendations, clearing my voice messages, and responding to emails from customers, insurers, contractors and internal staff. I would head off home at about 5pm. The next day might be completely different, as I could be arranging repair jobs to go through to contractors or dealing with customer complaints about work completed.
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with people who have suffered a loss, and in some cases, the customers can be quite distraught about the situation. Be customer-focused. This is extremely important. We need to provide the customer with the best claims experience possible to build a long-lasting loyal relationship with their insurer. J. Working in the insurance industry in Christchurch must be accompanied by a certain amount of pressure. How do you deal with insurers and claimants when emotions are running high? K. We are involved in ongoing training to help us deal with difficult customers and situations. Some of our customers have suffered major losses and are under a great amount of stress, so we do our best to try to make the claims process as smooth as possible and help where we can, but a lot of the time, things are out of our control. This far down the track [from the earthquakes], we all realise how frustrated people are getting, so it is important we remain understanding and help our customers through the claims process. J. What has working in insurance in the city that recently saw New Zealand's biggest disaster taught you about yourself, about work, and about people? K. Christchurch is a close-knit city and everyone is doing their best to try work together, support, and help each other out as much as possible. It is amazing to see people pull together after each big event.
Key career steps • Diploma in Business – CPIT. • NZIM Diploma in Management - CPIT/ NZ School of Business & Government. • Certificate of Financial Services in General Insurance – Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF). • Diploma of Financial Services in General Insurance – Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF). • Kodie has been working at Mainland Claims since February 2011. Prior to that, she worked in the claims department for State Insurance, and before that, she worked for McLarens Young International, also in claims.
by Zena Bartlett
visual Story: work
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On the ward with Dr Mearns
If you were taken to hospital with a pain in your tummy, Anna Mearns is the doctor you dream of getting. Doctors play a very important role in society, and in New Zealand, we always need more. Anna offers JET some inspirational insights about working as a house surgeon in Taranaki. JET. Where do you work and what is your job title? Anna. I’m a house surgeon at Taranaki Base Hospital, New Plymouth. J. What is the name of your qualification and when will you be fully qualified? A. Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBChB). Graduating allows you to work as a doctor, and the further years until you are "fully qualified" in a particular area depend upon that chosen speciality (including General Practice, which counts as a specialty in itself). Learning continues throughout your career as a doctor, and one thing I value about medicine is that the progression through the ranks is clearly defined, which means equality in the workplace and transferability between employers. J. What did you want to be when you were five? What about 15? A. Five – I remember wanting to be a doctor purely so I could give out lollies to my younger patients. Not sure if this is PC anymore! Fifteen – I really had no idea. I liked science at school but didn't have any clear ideas. I think I fancied the idea of being a magazine editor. J. What is the most challenging thing about your job? A. There is a large amount of responsibility involved. When you are required to work long shifts, the brain really gets pushed towards the end of the night! J. What are your favourite parts? A. It sounds clichéd, but no one day is boring or the same as the last. People are endlessly intriguing, and there are definitely a few good work stories. J. How do you deal with the pressure? A. I have always strived to keep a healthy balance by maintaining social activities, exercise, travel, and other interests alongside medicine. So far, this has worked well and allowed a smooth transition to the workplace. J. Do you think people have misconceptions about what it is like to be a doctor? A. Sorry to disappoint, but it's not Grey’s Anatomy! We work less, stress less,
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pash less, and have less drama to deal with. A lot of people assume that once you graduate, you are a GP. This is not the case; once you graduate, you work as a house surgeon for at least two years before you begin specialist training, which could be in General Practice, Paediatrics, Surgery, Psychiatry, Orthopaedics, Pathology, Anaesthetics, Internal Medicine, ED ... you get the idea. J. How did you decide that you wanted to be a doctor? A. I applied for First Year Health Sciences at Otago University in order to keep my options open, with no clear outcome in mind. I chose to go with medicine as it provides a great way to combine science with people, along with endless employment opportunities. You can really go anywhere with it. One advantage is that you can take time out for travel or children and then return relatively easily. J. How competitive did you find it, getting into medicine? A. I wasn't 100 per cent set on medicine in my first year at university. Therefore, I managed to avoid some of the hype that is inevitable with large numbers of people doing the same course living in confined quarters. As with any limited entry course there is competition, and many make sacrifices in order to focus solely on study. Despite the busy course, with good time management I can advocate that there is still time for a thoroughly enjoyable social year. J. You are working in Taranaki. Are you enjoying it and what do you do on your days off? A. Taranaki is a great place to work, with a relaxed, friendly, and wellsupported hospital environment. A number of my colleagues are also good friends, which makes for a fun workplace. My time off is mostly spent relaxing, exploring my new surroundings – Taranaki has plenty of outdoor activities on offer – and sneaking in the odd weekend away. J. What specialisation do you hope to do within medicine? A. I am unsure at this stage, but possibilities include General Practice, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, or Paediatrics. Surprisingly, only a few of us who
have graduated know what area we wish to end up in. This is of no concern as a wider knowledge base is preferable in any chosen speciality. J. What advice would you give to high school students who want to be health professionals? A. Health is a great career and provides numerous job opportunities depending on what you are into! Physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech language therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, medical laboratory staff, and nursing staff, along with doctors, all make up the multidisciplinary hospital team. Do your research – talk to people in the job you want to do, and use your careers advisors to guide you on subject choices for NCEA and options for tertiary study. Most areas in health require a good science base of chemistry/physics/biology, but remember, you have options around this. English can be substituted for other humanities subjects, which may provide you with equal essay and writing skills. It is important to nurture other interests alongside compulsory subjects in the form of a sixth subject or a compromise (I did physics to level 2, which allowed me to do level 3 physical education and meant a bit more work during my first year uni physics paper). J. Can you talk me through a typical day in the life of Anna Mearns? A. During our first year of work, we rotate around four different threemonth runs, which can include any of medicine, surgery, orthopaedics, and rehabilitation. Currently, I am on surgery. A day on surgery goes something like this: 6.30am: The alarm goes off, and I press snooze a couple of times before rolling out of bed to get ready for the day. I shower, eat breakfast, and drive ten minutes to work. 7.30am: This is when the day starts on a surgical run (medicine is slightly more comfortable with an 8am kick-off). I meet with my team, which includes a registrar (who usually has three to eight plus years’ working experience) and a consultant (“fully qualified”, i.e. the boss). Occasionally, we also have final year medical students or international students joining the team to learn and help out. We catch up on any new patients or changes and proceed to do a ward round where we see each of our patients. Within a service such as surgery, there will be multiple teams, each with their own boss and their own set of patients. 9.00am: By this time, ward round is usually finishing up, and it is my role to sort out any jobs generated off the round such as ordering and arranging investigations, taking bloods, consenting patients, charting medications and fluids, inserting IV lines, and liaising with other health professionals regarding patient care. On medicine, the ward rounds are often a bit longer and can finish anytime late morning depending on how busy you are. 10.00am: Morning tea! Very important. Doctors love coffee. After morning tea, I continue to tie up any jobs and sort out discharge paperwork for those who are heading home – while continually balancing the needs of the patients on the ward and attending to any changes. Throughout the day, we carry pagers, which allow the nursing staff on the ward to keep in touch. 12.00pm: LUNCH! It’s free for junior docs! Often there is a lunch time meeting with some form of teaching, case discussion, or presentation aimed to further learning for all doctors. The rest of the day can be spent in a number of ways, including helping out in theatre, joining the team seeing patients in clinic, admitting new patients from the emergency department, or staying busy on the ward. Towards the end of the day, I make sure all investigations have been chased up and arrange things such as blood tests for the following morning. If a patient is particularly unwell and requiring ongoing input, I make sure the evening staff are aware of them. 4.00pm: Home time. If I have been well organised, I usually manage to get away on time. There are the odd busy days where I have to stay an hour or so longer, and obviously, the workload varies between different teams and hospitals. One day per week, we all complete a “long day” where we continue through to 10.30pm, which can be quite exhausting. Rosters vary between hospitals, but at Taranaki, I work a weekend every six weeks or so and complete a set of nights (7x night shifts) around three to four times per year.
It’s not Grey’s Anatomy! We work less, stress less, pash less, and have less drama to deal with.
Emily Workman, 29, medical laboratory technician:
“Magnum P.I. When I was fifteen? Maybe a photographer. I actually just want to have lots of babies now.”
QUESTION: What did you want to be when you were five years old? What about 15? How about now?
Hannah Thompson, 21, design student:
“I wanted to be a supermarket checkout girl when I was five. When I was 15, I wanted to be a secretary, just like the movie. Now I want to be a sales and logistics manager.”
“I wanted to be a vet when I was five. When I was 15, I wanted to stay home and do nothing until I was 30. Right now, I want to be a freelance web designer and create interactive visuals. I also want to fly a plane.”
Matthew Arrowsmith, 25, library Assistant:
Hayley Neil, 29, student:
Kieran Rayner, 22, opera singer: “I remember saying to somebody once that I wanted to be a policeman. At 15, I wanted to be a singer, and now I’m much more sure about that – I still want to be a singer.”
“I wanted to be a scientist when I was five. I think I wanted to be a teacher after that. Now? God knows.”
with Sarah Dunn
Hannah Loy, 23, works at Tiger Eye Beads:
“I wanted to be Ariel the Little Mermaid, and then I wanted to be an illustrator. Now I want to be a tattoo artist. What I want most, though, is to be creatively free.”
Joscelyn Foo, 43, lawyer:
“A princess. I wanted to be a writer when I was 15. I don’t really want anything more now, just to be happy.”
Josh Smith, 20, software engineer:
“I think I actually did want to be an astronaut when I was five. When I was 15, I wanted to be a computer engineer, and now I still want to be a computer engineer.”
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JustSpeak launch, May 2012
a voice for youth
JustSpeak is a network of young people that wants to make a difference to the criminal justice system in New Zealand. Led by top legal graduates, it aims to be a force for positive change, firstly by bringing more people to the somewhat elite table of legal debate and then by influencing the government to make decisions that reflect the changing nature of society. JET takes a look at the formation of JustSpeak and how young people can produce real change in society. The year of the protestor Young people have often been the conscience of their countries, and students have historically been activists. Today, young people not only stage protests, chain themselves to trees, and boycott dubious products; they are also active in support of constructive projects that try to change society from the bottom up. One of the best places to brew such movements is in the free and inclusive surrounds of university. JustSpeak was formed by a team of students and graduates who have applied some of the things they’ve learned in class and in their careers towards achieving change. After the events that have taken place globally over the last year, the policy makers in New Zealand and the justice system should be listening. The uprisings in Egypt and Libya were led by a new generation of youth demanding political, cultural, and religious freedom, and Kony2012 involved millions of young people getting really mad about child soldiers in Uganda. These movements show that by utilising modern technology, young people can spread complex ideas. Combine this with the unsullied passion that they bring to a cause and there is the real potential for change. JustSpeak thinks such change needs to occur in New Zealand’s justice system.
What's broken JustSpeak believes that a lot of the crime committed by people in New Zealand is an issue of social justice and the way that the justice system then deals with those people is, too. Social justice is the idea that everyone in society should be treated fairly and equally. The group hold monthly gatherings around a central topic, such as sentencing or vulnerable children, with a panel of experts addressing the issue, followed by smaller group discussions. The group is being taken seriously – Dr. Pita Sharples was a keynote speaker at the group's launch in May. The circumstance under which crime takes place is a fundamental concern of the group. Kate Stone, the group’s coordinator, says, “The majority of crime in New Zealand is committed under the influence of drugs or alcohol; this includes crimes committed by young people. If society provided better resourced, more accessible alcohol and drug support services that weren’t only available once a crime had already been committed, we might be able to meet the health needs of addicts, be able to prevent people from starting along lives of crime, and save money in doing so.” What could New Zealand be doing to make the criminal justice system better? People who have had experiences with the criminal justice system are encouraged to approach the group and let them know about their experience. JustSpeak is holding a summit in September, and they want people who are interested in justice and a fair and equal society to come along. They will be taking applications soon, so keep an eye on their website or Facebook page.
Legal brains Kate Stone is part of the JustSpeak steering group. Since finishing her law degree at Victoria University, she has worked as JustSpeak’s coordinator and is now looking for criminal defence work. Her involvement demonstrates her passion for social justice; she is also concerned with Māori involvement in the criminal justice system. “We want to expand the conversation on criminal justice into demographics and generations that aren’t usually heard on these issues,” Kate says. David Smith has completed his law degree and is currently doing an Honours year for his Bachelor of Arts in politics. Next year, he will be employed by one of New Zealand’s largest corporate law firms, Russell McVeigh. He’ll most likely be working in the corporate and public team – this means he’ll be dealing with the interface between the private and public sectors. David says, “I’ll be exposed to some highlevel stuff and it’s useful for people interested in social justice issues to have an understanding of business and how that works because it has such an impact on social outcomes.” Julia Spelman is another law graduate with a top job; she works for the Principal Family Court Judge. “Having had the opportunity to go to law school, I wanted to use the skills I’ve learnt in an area that I care about. Family law provides a structure for how people regulate their lives and also plays an important protective function for the most vulnerable members of our society,” she says. Julia got involved in JustSpeak as she was really frustrated with the way that criminal justice issues were being talked about, “both by leaders in Government and those in the media.”
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Doing stunts with Shane Rangi
Shane Rangiâ€™s working life has been a series of beautiful coincidences. Now one of the top stunt men in New Zealand, Shane grew up near Gisborne â€“ playing rugby, working on the farm, and enjoying the beach in the long east coast summers. He talks to JET about his immense passion for film.
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ever one to turn something down, when a teacher approached Shane to take part in the school dance troop because it would help with flexibility for rugby, he thought ‘why not?’ Little did he realise that it went without saying at Gisborne Boys’ High School that if you’re in the dance troop, you had to be in the school play. All of a sudden, Shane found himself in productions like Grease and Jesus Christ Superstar. Further incidents continued to steer Shane towards showbiz. The Waituki Choir needed a baritone; they took one look at Shane – tall and strong like a branch from Tane Mahuta – and scooped him up. Shane merely saw a free trip to Wellington. The Gisborne Operatic Society didn’t know anything about the choir, but they needed someone to do a reading for a play. Shane read as an “Indian brave”, which was fitting given his 194cm stature. The woman in charge of the operatic society asked if Shane would come to the actual auditions for the play. He had a rugby game but knew he could have darted along to the audition after the game. He decided not to. Determined not to let him get away, the woman went to his house and offered him the part. Again, he was watching television with his mate when they saw an advertisement for the acting school, Toi Whakaari. His friend challenged him to give it a go. He got through the intensive selection process and found himself enrolled in the same school that produced some of New Zealand’s best actors (think Cliff Curtis, Robyn Malcolm, and Mathew Sunderland). Shane believes his philosophy of working hard and enjoying it at the same time has been essential to making it in the film industry. “I was bought up with a working ethic. A lot of people at drama school, all they did was acting. That can become very demoralising because 90 per cent of acting is rejection. You learn how to make amazing meals out of twominute noodles. It really is like that." In his time, he has worked as a farm hand, a kitchen hand, a labourer, a courier, a retail assistant, and a receptionist. He has pumped gas, rented videos, sold beds, transported precious film footage from one film studio to another, and of course, he has acted in numerous films, plays, and television series. Last but not least, he has done the stunts for some pretty strange and scary characters and many a battle scene. The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) was his big break, and once again, the fates conspired. Shane explains that typically when you audition for a character, you’re envisioned only as that character. On the LOTR set, he decided to ignore the advice of his agent and stuck around, working as an extra. He was in a scene – not quite as a stunt man and not quite as an extra – and was climbing over a high wall when he lost his balance and began falling. Instead of falling flat on his face, Shane turned the mishap into an elegant roll. A few of the stunt guys happened to be watching. A stunt man was born. Shane’s stunt repertoire now consists of stunt fighting, boxing, weaponry and swordplay, fire burns, harness/wire/ratchet, and horse riding. He was given a couple of acting cameos in LOTR – most importantly, as the scary looking Haradrim on the back of an oliphaunt in the one of the battle scenes of The Return of the King. He went on to play an array of characters in the Narnia series, including General Otmin, Tavros, and Asterius. Shane counts his favourite scenes as those with gory deaths. As General Otmin – the huge Minotaur and commander of the White Witch’s army – he was stabbed in the back with two swords. Another great death scene is in King Kong. “I was the stunt double of an African American character. He is shooting at Kong, and Kong picks him up throws him across the cabin. He hits the wall and falls to his death.” The stunt work is hard and intensely physical. The costume and additional armour can weigh up to 30 kg. Combine this with the buckets of sweat that Shane produces after wearing the costume for hours, and you cans see why he once lost 13kg during a film.
The blue suit Shane has also worked in motion capture. This is perhaps most commonly associated with Andy Serkis creeping around in a blue suit as the character that would be Gollum in LOTR. Motion capture is all about capturing the movement of the body. Shane says, “Sometimes, the animators can’t animate some qualities like physical body weight and the very natural movement of breathing. I have done the motion capture of a lot of creatures and characters that people would have seen.
Advice from the big guy Who could be better to ask for some advice about work than a man who has had over 12 jobs? “There is no better feeling in the world than doing a job that you love to do. It doesn’t become a chore. There has never been a day that I haven’t wanted to go to work. So do something that you love to do. It is so important. There are so many people out there who are doing jobs that they like don’t like. They hate it, and that’s so unfortunate because you spend half your life sleeping and three quarters of that other half is spent going to a job that you hate. That’s not quality of life. That’s depressing.” While Shane loves his job, he doesn’t sugar coat it. “To be an actor, you’ve really got to like entertaining. There are a lot of people who think it’s a glamour job. Here in New Zealand, it’s not a high paying career. The hours are long: a normal working day on set is 12 hours. If you’re in it for the money or the fame, you actually start not liking it. Acting is all about life experiences. It’s one thing to say, ‘Yeah I’m an actor, I can just act’. But if you’ve actually experienced and done hard work, you can then add that in to your performance. Working in retail is probably one of the best jobs you can do as an actor. You meet an array of people; you learn how to listen and how to communicate.”
Reception Work on set comes and goes. When he’s not acting or doing stunts, Shane works on the reception desk at Weta Digital. “People think reception is a boring job. I love it. I get the variety of going down on set and working to the point of exhaustion, and then I can come back to work and recover. It’s cool.” For Shane, the most enjoyable part of his both reception and stunt work is meeting people. “I meet the most amazing people. I’ve met some really nice actors and actresses. They might be really famous, but usually, they’re so down-to-earth. “I also act as driver to the stars for Weta Digital. Any VIPs that come over, I’m their man. The coolest person I’ve met is James Cameron. He’s just amazing. Did you know he went down into the deepest part of the ocean the other day? That’s just so cool.” All in all, Shane Rangi personifies the age-old adage “do what you love and love what you do”. His energy and enthusiasm seem to make all the difference in his ability to really enjoy life and work. We suggest you take a leaf out of the Rangi book.
A Day in the Life
When Shane is working on reception at Weta Digital, his day goes something like this: I wake up at about 4am, and believe it or not, the first thing I do is my daily Facebook message and wish anyone on my Facebook a happy birthday. I’m at the gym at 5.30. I leave at 6.50 and go home for brekkie. At 7.45, I’m at Weta Digital on reception. My first job is to sort the mail for five buildings and companies. Jobs keep popping up through the day on reception duty. At 6pm, I’ll either go back to the gym or I’ll do other projects related to work before I’m in bed at around 10.30 (or 12). The earliest I’ve ever been in make-up is 3am. Make-up normally takes anywhere between two-and-a half to four hours. Then I’ll go to costume and have breakfast, normally for about 15 minutes. Then its standby, where you literally wait. We call it standing by the standby. There are days when I’ve been in make-up all that time and I’ve never been used. I just wait. And wait. That’s the hardest.
www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 37
eventful LIFE T
he billboard pictured a yellow high heel – a potent promise of the glitz and glamour that, presumably, lay ahead. But event management specialist Kirsty Tothill says that while she does work on some of the most fabulous events in Auckland – in recent times, the APN Oscars party for the film industry, and the Fashion Festival – the reputation of her industry as being non-stop glamour is far from her reality. The high heels are generally for guests only. “For me, most of the time I’m in trainers or even gumboots.” The 22-year-old is currently employed by one of Auckland’s premier event management companies, J&A Productions, where the preparation, planning, and execution that go into each and every function can be incredibly demanding. Many are the times she has side-stepped the after-party of a big event and made a beeline for bed. The downtime before they get started on the next project can be minimal, or even non-existent during busy periods. Another common misconception about her industry is the idea that students can expect to gain employment straight from study. Kirsty has a Bachelor of Communication, with a major in event management, and credits her foothold in the industry to a decision in her second year to volunteer for work experience. She worked on events for free for more than a year before she got paid. After pitching her services to J&A Production directors Justine McKay and Andy Dowding at a charity event for Greenpeace three years ago, she worked on a casual basis up until last year, when she was asked to become a full-time employee. The broad portfolio of clients and the strong reputation of her bosses mean she gets to work with the best in the business, on a range of events that included awards, brand experience, charity and corporate, and some PR stunts. The company augments their small team with specialist contractors, who come in as needed for individual projects. Kirsty believes her tale demonstrates the initiative and persistence required to make it in her industry. The Mt Roskill resident makes it a point to help students benefit from her
experience, and she is in regular communication with her former lecturers at Unitec, offering work to students. “I do my absolute best to contact students and offer them work experience opportunities, because that’s the only reason I have this job today. I even go out of my way looking for other companies that could use them. I think it’s really important to get yourself out there, make contacts, and find out about the genres of events that you could pursue.” J&A Productions have event-managed the Vodafone Music Awards for the last nine years, and Kirsty says students generally jump at the chance to work on this event. Her policy is to give the positions of higher responsibility to students who have already proved themselves, but she is always open to others keen to get their foot in the door, though sometimes with frustrating results. “Some of them turn up with their hair and nails done. I don’t mind people having a bit of fun after everything is finished, but I’ve got to have people lifting bags, packing down the set, and working hard.” Work experience is also a chance to find out if this is the right job for you. “In event management, there is always going to be something that goes wrong. Like when the caterers misplace the sponsor’s product or someone leaves a giant spill on the venue’s carpet. It’s all about how you deal with that, during and after the event. And being in there will let you know if you want to do it for a living.” Kirsty says she has never questioned her career choice, which she believes is a natural fit for a self-proclaimed planner. As a student at Whangarei Girls High, she was so well known for having fabulous parties, she began to wonder about her chances of making it a career. A Google search turned up the degree programme, which featured event management as a major, and she’s never looked back. She says she is forever grateful that her lecturers were focused on preparing students for all the forms of communication they might face in their careers, even down to the most simple of emails. Though she only graduated last April, her CV is already crammed with amazing projects, and one day, she hopes that experience will be the springboard to running her own company.
Many are the times she has side-stepped the after-party of a big event and made a beeline for bed.
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Top science jobs
worth their weight in gold Science-based careers can provide a great mixture of outdoor field work with a bit of lab or office work thrown in for variety. There’s plenty of opportunity to travel and the ability to move onwards and upwards in the life and physical science industries. Nat Wilson works for a company that provides consulting, design, and construction services in earth, environment, and related areas of energy. He tells JET about what it takes to make it in science. Jet. Can you tell me about your job? Nat. I am employed as an environment chemist, specialising in geochemistry. My job involves everything from modelling how the chemistry of water changes as it passes through rock, to risk assessments, environmental assessment of effects to investigations of groundwater quality, or the effects of sewage outfalls on marine sediments. J. What qualifications do you have? N. I have a PhD (Environmental Science), and MSc (Environmental Science), a BSc (Chemistry), and a BA (Philosophy). J. Where did you study? N. I did my undergrad and Masters at Otago University and my PhD at The University of Auckland. J. How long have you worked for Golder Associates? N. In total, two years, but I took a two-year break after 18 months to go live and work at a university in Germany for a while. I’ve been back for just over 6 months. J. What is the most interesting project you have worked on? N. The project involved the disposal of chemicals by the Army. To dispose of the chemicals, the Army was going to blow them up, and my job was to work out how the chemistry of everything was going to change once detonated – in part, to work out just how far back everyone needed to be in order to be safe. I was also lucky enough to go inside the Rena before it broke up, as we were involved in assessing whether the water in the cargo holds of the shipwreck. We had to be helicoptered in, and we were working at a 30 degree angle in darkness, in slippery, scary conditions. J. What do you enjoy about your job? N. The variety. I’ve worked on all sorts of projects, from being involved in risk assessments and waste disposal, to helping make plans to close large goldmines. I also occasionally get the chance to do a bit of travelling from time to time.
J. What are the challenges? N. Deadlines can be tight, depending on what our clients want. You have to keep track of your time, too, because as consultants, time equals money – every last minute is accountable. J. In your experience, is there enough emphasis on science-based careers in the New Zealand education system? N. I think so, but the real money is in the non-sexy areas. There’s a tonne of opportunities in soil science, botany, hydrology, agricultural science, etc., but everybody wants to be an ecologist or a geneticist or whatever else seems really cool on TV and the internet. J. What would be your advice to high school students thinking about a career in environmental chemistry or a related area? N. Keep your options open – study a little biology, some geology, maths, or whatever as well. Think about doing a BA on the side – the ability to write well is increasingly worth its weight in gold.
A Day in the Life I’m up about 6.20am, so that I make it to work before the traffic gets silly. I have breakfast before I leave. I get to work sometime just after 7am, have a coffee, flick through the paper (we still get a real one at work), and run through my emails. After that, my schedule is all over the place. Sometimes, I’ll spend a whole day straight on a report. Other days will be a mix of meetings and time at the computer, or I can be sitting crunching numbers for day after day after day. Every now and again, I get the opportunity to get out and do field work, which typically involves a lot of driving and then collecting bottles of water or bags of sediment or soil and taking a few measurements with meters etc. I’m normally home by about 4.30pm, and whenever possible, I try to switch completely off work until it all starts again the next day.
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In Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005, he talked about the setbacks that enabled him to do some pretty amazing things. The great man died in 2011, and his commencement speech shows how he never considered anything a defeat but a chance to do something new. teve Jobs dropped out of Reed College after the first six months but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so. Why did he quit? He had chosen a college that was really expensive – all of his working-class parents’ savings were being spent on his college tuition. He said, “After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out, I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting. “It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.” As an example, Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus, every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Jobs decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. He learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. He said of calligraphy that it was beautiful, historical, and artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture. Ten years later, when the Apple guys were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to Jobs. They designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If Steve Jobs had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. “And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.”
Steve Jobs considered himself lucky – he found what he loved to do very early in life. He and Steve Wozniak started Apple in Job’s parents’ garage when they were 20. Within 10 years, Apple had grown from the two of them in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. They had released the Macintosh a year earlier when Jobs had just turned 30. Then he was fired. He asked, “How can you get fired from a company you started?” “During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, and another company named Pixar. Pixar went on to create the world’s first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, and Jobs returned to Apple.” Jobs said, “I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.” When Steve Jobs was 17, he read a quote that stuck with him for the rest of his life: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” He says, “It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself. And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” Because he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Steve Jobs was forced to confront the fact that life is precious and every single day counts. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” His advice: Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
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Waimak Water was established in 1977. It was the first bottled water marketed in New Zealand in what would soon become a flood of bottled water products. Sean Cuttance is in sales and marketing for the company and tells JET a bit about what his job entails.
he company specialises in sparkling mineral water and sells it through supermarkets such as New World and Countdown. Waimak, although relatively small compared to other large beverage companies, has a very loyal client base due to its longevity in the market and consistent quality of product. Sean Cuttance is in charge of sales and marketing at Waimak. His role is comprised of a wide range of jobs, including sourcing new clients, touching base with existing clients, and making sure components for production are ready when required. He also works on the marketing for the Waimak Water product. Sean says to make it in sales you must be a likable person. “No matter how good your product is no one will buy it from you if they don’t like you. You also have to back up your promises. It is best to under promise and over deliver than over promise and under deliver,” he says. A challenging part of Sean’s job at Waimak Water is finding the time to do everything he would like to. “Obviously, production of our product is crucial, but then there is the timing of deliveries and forecasting for future sales.” It’s complicated by the fact that Sean doesn’t want to have too much of the product in storage but he also can’t take the chance that they’ll run out.
You don’t have to live in the Southern Alps to drink pure fresh water.
JET. How has Waimak Water dealt the huge competition in the ‘pure water’ market? Sean. We haven’t tried to take on the big boys but rather concentrated on specialising on the sparkling market. Our goal is to supply a quality product that our clients have faith in and it is working well. JET. How has the business coped with the disruptions in Canterbury after the earthquake? Sean. I believe we have coped well. It was and still is a huge disruption, but we have to look forward and continue doing what we do best. We have had some of our regular clients drop away due to their buildings being red stickered, and obviously, the clients in the CBD aren’t up and running. Fortunately, our water source was unaffected by the quakes. J. Can you tell me a bit about the corporate branding component of the business? S. The corporate branded side of our business is a lot of fun. We take our water and brand it with our clients brand, logo, or message. We understand that most people reuse their water bottles, so we offer our clients the opportunity to brand their own water and use it as a marketing tool. Our motto is to offer the best quality product to the rest of the world – we say, “You don’t have to live in the Southern Alps to drink pure fresh water.”
A Day in the Life It changes a lot from day to day, but the ideal day is: Up at 7am and a bit of breakfast and tea. I clear emails from home as I like to ponder on things while driving to work. At work at 8:30am, I make sure all the production is sorted for the day. This involves checking we have all components required: caps, bottles, cartons, and labels. I then check orders from supermarkets, gyms and cafes etc. I put orders into the system for production. I schedule the freighting of the products. This can take all morning or longer, sometimes. In the afternoons, my time is usually spent replying to overseas inquiries as well as local inquiries. Then, if the afternoon isn’t over, I like to look at current and potential new clients that I can call to offer our product.
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Lord of the skies Jason Robson is an air traffic controller at Ohakea Tower the major base of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. He tells JET about controlling some serious aircraft.
ason also has his private pilot licence; he is nearing 100 hours logged. He flies recreationally, but he adds, “I can’t make any money off it. You need a commercial pilot’s licence for that.” Jason was born in the United States and he would often fly back to New Zealand as his dad is a Kiwi. “Back before 9/11, they used to let you up in the cockpit and I was pretty interested what was going on up there,” he says. When he left school, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be a commercial pilot or an air traffic controller, so he took a year off, worked, and mulled it over. He applied for the air traffic controlling course through Airways. Once he was accepted, he had to wait until he turned 20 before he could begin the training. In this time, he decided to skip off to America. “I went and lived with my grandmother in North Carolina; it was great to hang out with all my extended family.” In the training run by Airways, the first part of the course deals with aircraft recognition, the inner working of planes, how they get in the air and stay there, meteorology, and navigation. Then comes the second installment, and the trainees learn aerodrome control by using simulators – this is basically instructing vehicles and aircraft to proceed around an airfield. This course is 12 weeks long and finishes with theoretical and practical exams.
After that is an ‘on-the-job experience week’, followed by learning about procedural approach. “That’s for getting planes to and from airports that don’t have radar coverage all the way to the ground. There’s quite a few of these airports in New Zealand,” Jason explains. “There’s a final exam and a final simulator check. If you pass that, you get posted out in the field. If you pass the entire course and you’ve got your air traffic licence, it’s a guaranteed job.” He enjoys not having to take any work home when he’s finished. “The weather makes everything different; no day is ever the same. I like the shift work. I couldn’t stand working nine to five. It gives you time to go fishing, go tramping, and those kinds of things. The 4am early shift can be challenging, though.” The likelihood of Jason ever witnessing a collision is very low. He is the kind of guy you’d trust with your firstborn – the kind of person you want in a control tower while you’re on a plane. But before we wrongly inform you that successfully managing aircraft is a walk in the park, he adds, “Bad weather can create problems as the main way I separate aircraft is visually.” Reliability and level-headedness are essential for an air traffic controller, and luckily, Jason has bucket loads of both.
He is the kind of guy you’d trust with your firstborn – the kind of person you want in a control tower while you’re on a plane.
R E E R A GREAT C AY P T A E GR L O R T N O TAKE C Become an Air Traffic Controller!
For more info text TRYATC to 515. Check out our website now for videos, tests and games, and all the info on what’s involved and how to apply to become an ATC.
It’ll take a fair bit of practice, but trust us, getting that first jumbo jet off the ground will be a great feeling. And it’s just one big moment you can look forward to as an Air Traffic Controller. It’s an exciting, rewarding career for which attitude and aptitude are important and we’ll give you the qualifications.
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needsthe ORGANISERS Deborah McDonald is a group administrator at Transpower, the state-owned enterprise responsible for keeping all the lights going and the oven on. She looks after three busy teams and is part of the often overlooked but truly important world of fantastic administrators. JET gets organised with Deborah. Deborah enjoys her job as an administrator. “The challenges that come at you are so variable and unpredictable; it keeps your mind stimulated. It’s a ‘think on your feet’ job. Most situations require an immediate response.” After leaving high school, Deborah did a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition in Otago University and worked for two years in the research field. This was followed by two years of work experience in the paediatric department of the university as a teaching coordinator for fifth and sixth year diploma students. She found a job at Transpower after she moved to Wellington. She says of administration, “If you have good organisational and multi-tasking skills, this is a
great chance to use them. The people, the variety, the unexpected challenges; these are all good things about this kind of job. “Administration is never boring. You get to meet and deal with a lot of interesting people. You help run the daily basic things that keep the peripherals running smoothly, ensuring the managers can use their time efficiently and deal with bigger things.” Administration workers are like the glue that keeps the office together. “People in administration may not be technical experts, but we fulfil a very important role. We’re here to help make things easier for the experts in the field to do their job the best they can. If they had to do all the admin themselves, nothing would ever happen,” she says.
ensuring all equipment is there and in working condition. Proof read presentations/papers when required. Manage diaries. Run weekly and monthly reports and ensure they are distributed to the relevant parties or published. Manage finances, ensuring contractors and consultants are paid on time, and issuing purchase orders. Organise training for Transpower graduates. Help induct new staff members and get all IT
and security approvals done before their arrival. • Work alongside other administrators when help is required. • Keep track of stationery supplies and replenish as required. • Help troubleshoot any matters that arise. • Manage senior manager’s diary. • Draft and/or format documents and graphs as required. • Schedule the senior manager’s appointments, as well as other immediate tasks that are required daily.
a day in the life Deborah looks after three teams. Her daily tasks are as follows: • Arrange travel for members of staff. • Coordinate meetings and meeting room and equipment bookings. • Prepare and write notes before and after meetings. • Coordinate and organise functions including logistics, attendees, presenters, formal invitations, preparing presentations, and
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• • • • • •
It’s all about
Western countries all over the world have the same problem: their populations are getting older, and a large proportion of people work in desk jobs. This means that there is a growing demand for health professionals who deal in rehabilitation. Rachael Burke worked as a physiotherapist for 17 years before realising that a lot more could be done before the patient ended up on her table. She now runs a Pilates and yoga studio called Tiaki.
ver the years, Rachael found she was getting increasingly frustrated with doing what she does best – rehabilitating people. “Giving people a home programme of exercises just doesn’t work. People get bored, forget to do it, or get them wrong. So I would see the same people time after time with the same problem. My answer for them was often to join a Pilates and/or yoga studio. The response was often the same – I can’t afford it,” she says. She started to think about how she could combine her skills, knowledge of the human body, and love of exercise. “When I looked into it, I saw there was a hole in the market: a studio that offers both Pilates and yoga at an affordable price, with an onsite physio qualified to answer difficult questions or monitor people recovering from injury.” Add to that Rachael’s misgiving about changes with ACC, and it was time to look outside the square. “I found as I got older I tended to gravitate toward yoga and Pilates as an alternative to the mad amount of running and cycling I used to do! Juggling exercise and work and children became increasingly difficult, so why not combine two of them?” She acknowledges that taking yoga and
Pilates classes has its challenges. “Standing up and talking in front of a group of people, keeping people motivated, and all the while ensuring they are having fun can be hard work.” To thrive in the health and fitness sectors, a desire to help people is essential. Rachael enthusiastically agrees: “I love helping people. I’ve always had a fascination with health, wellbeing, and the human body, and I love helping other people get the most out of themselves. I’m also a good listener and have a fair amount of empathy. It comes in handy as it’s amazing the stress people are under and what they end up telling you on the treatment table – sometimes people just need someone to listen.” Her stunning studio is open-plan, with black floors and clean, white walls. There are over 20 Pilates reformer machines, and her friendly instructors come from all over the world. Tiaki is a sanctuary for people who might be rehabilitating from injury, who want to improve their muscle tone, or who just want to escape from the hectic pace of modern life. Her move from physiotherapy into fitness has certainly paid off. After an intense class at Tiaki, customers walk out smiling. Rachael enjoys not having to sit down all day and dealing with people constantly. “I like watching people improve and
transform while being able to remain physical myself. I’m also enjoying the new challenges of running a business; it’s a huge learning curve for me, as it often takes my focus from bodies to spreadsheets.” Rachael started out in her career helping people, and she is continuing to do just that in her state-of-the-art yoga and Pilates studio. The lesson here is clear: find what you love and stick with it.
A Day in the Life I’m up at 5.30am and in to work to teach a 6.30am class. Home by 7.45am for breakfast and to get the kids sorted. I drop the kids at school by 9am and it’s back to work by 9.30am. From 9.30am-2.30pm, I teach classes, do admin, have many a phone call. Then it’s school pick-up time, and from 3pm to about 4.30pm, the kids have afterschool activities. From 4.30-6pm, we take care of dinner and baths and those kind of things. At 6pm, Nige, my partner arrives home (phew!). Some nights, I head back into work at 6.30pm to teach the 7.15pm class. If I’m not back in at work, it’s bed for the kids and me on the sofa with a glass of wine.
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Overviews Vocational Pathways
Skilled trades like carpentry, plumbing, hairdressing, aged care, or fire fighting offer important ways of looking at the world and are essential to the functioning of society. We’ve outlined the sectors and given you a bit of information on each, jotted down a few attributes that come in handy, and noted who provides training.
Construction and Infrastructure sector
Service sector: People
Key words: Learn by doing. Attributes: enjoy being outside, working with tools, working in a team, practicality. Industries: Carpentry, joinery, gas fitting, plumbing, essential services. About 173,000 people work in this sector in New Zealand. Right now, there is demand for qualified builders because of the rebuild in Christchurch. Construction is building. It includes building, installing, or maintaining parts of buildings such as plumbing, air-conditioning, or electrical systems and interior work such as joinery, painting, and decorating. Infrastructure is planning, designing, repairing, building for people, and services above the ground like roads, bridges, tunnels, dams and below the ground like telecommunication and drains. Jobs include: Aluminium joiner, building control officer, drainlaying, glazing, quantity surveying, scaffolding, gas fitting, roofing, tiling, plastering, painting, drafting plans, fixing pipes, building dams and roads, building and maintaining telecommunication networks. Who to do it with: BCITO, Weltec, Wintec, Unitec, Emqual.
Key words: Relating to others. Attributes: good attention to detail, caring, wellpresented, well-mannered. Industries: Hair and beauty, fashion, entertainment, funeral services, hospitality, museums and galleries, retail, sport and fitness, travel and tourism. This sector brings in millions of dollars of overseas currency and helps people from all walks of life. Jobs include: barista, chef, housekeeper, maintenance, hotel manager, receptionist, waiter, tour guide, ski instructor, administrator, sales, flight attendant, beauty therapist, hairdresser, retail assistant, customer representative, printer, personal trainer, equine services support, film crew. Who to do it with: HCITO (hairdressing), Servilles Academy, Funeral Services ITO, CPIT, SIT, Retail Institute.
Vocational Pathways By achieving enough credits from the standards recommended by the sectors, you can have your NCEA Level 2 endorsed with one or more vocational pathway. If you’re aiming for a career in one of these sectors, the Pathways help you to see which subjects and standards you should do. The Pathways scheme provides new ways to achieve NCEA. It helps you see how your learning and achievement will be valued in the “real world”.
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Social and Community Services sectors
Manufacturing and Technology sector
Key words: Lending a hand. Attributes: patient, giving, likes being with and helping people. Industries: Aged care, defence forces, security, police, local community. This is a large sector that is essential for community well-being and safety. It’s a high employment, high growth sector – New Zealand’s ageing population will need to be housed and cared for, and there is a constant demand for police, corrections and security officers, and defence force personnel. Jobs include: Community worker, counsellor, emergency services, ambulance officer, animal control officer, border protection officer, corrections officer, fire fighter, fisheries officer, immigration officer, medic, midwife, parking warden, police officer/detective, rest home worker, social worker, technician. Who to do it with: Learning State, Career Force, Te Kaiawhina Ahumahi – Social Services, Manukau Institute of Technology, NZIS, Skills Active, Coastguard NZ, Civil Defence NZ, The Fire Service, The Navy, The Army, The Air Force.
Key word: The great outdoors. Attributes: enjoy physical work, working with animals, growing things, respects the environment, is self-motivated. Industries: Agriculture, horticulture, forestry, seafood, seed industry. There is a huge range of jobs in this sector if you are interested in working with animals or growing crops, working outdoors, driving tractors, motorbikes, and heavy machinery, working with tools and equipment, physical work and working with your hands, business management such as budgeting and accounting, science and research. Things are always changing as new technology develops. You can earn good money, work outdoors or indoors, alone or with others, and contribute to the economy. Agriculture employs 114,000 people – about 11 per cent of the workforce. Jobs include: growing and selling flowers, rearing animals, maintaining parks, planting and looking after trees, paper maker, furniture maker, food processor, supervising factory operations, managing a team, supply chain logistics, driving trucks, shearing, aquaculture diver, fisheries monitor, milker, farm hand, turf layer, maintenance. Who to do it with: AGITO (agriculture), Taratahi, Lincoln University, FITEC (forestry), NZHITO (horticulture).
Key Words: transforming. Attributes: reliable, problem solving, amiable, sociable, switched on. Industries: Manufacturing, baking, boatbuilding, marine products, clothing and textiles, footwear, concrete, dairy, electronics, food and beverages technology, glass, machinery and equipment, mechanical engineering, metal, paint, chemicals and plastics, pharmaceutical, jewellery, furniture, transport. Technology and telecommunication is an expanding industry with a shortage of skilled workers. The manufacturing industry is huge and is a big earner for the New Zealand economy. The New Zealand Government has identified it as a priority area for growth. Jobs include: assembler, butcher, baker, designer, electrician, engineer, fixing machines, logistics, packing, processing, production planner, production manager, quality control, shipping and receiving, testing, warehouse stock controller, biotechnologist, food technologist, telecommunications technician. Who to do it with: Retail Meat ITO, Tranzqual, ETITO, PaMPITO (plastics and material processing).
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queen George Bernard Shaw said, “The re is no sincerer spite of how ea love sy it looks on M as terchef, masterin than the love of food.” But in fact, to be the be g the art of cook st, you have to tr ing is not easy. ain for years as necessary, but so In in any other prof is sacrifice. JET ession. Passion talks to a real lif is e ‘top chef’.
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onia Haumonte was born in New Zealand to German and Thai parents. She has lived in Thailand and France and is now back to the land of the long white cloud and flat-out setting up her own high-end patisserie shop in Auckland, Vaniy’e. Sonia trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. “The experience was unforgettable. It was very hands-on with emphasis on techniques. We weren’t allowed to use machines. Everything was done by hand. I remember having egg whitebeating competitions to see who could finish first.” After attaining her Diplome de Patisserie, she did an apprenticeship for three months in a Parisian Salon de Patisserie. Sonia then went into project management for Disneyland Paris. “I was in the support and strategy team for the food and restaurant sector in both the theme parks and hotels. I was in charge of products, quality, and process, incorporating anything from design concept to menu creations. It was all about creating an unforgettable experience for customers. “I wanted a lifestyle change from hectic Paris, somewhere closer to nature! Auckland is ideal for me, a nice mix of city and countryside. As there’s a huge gap in the market here for luxury dessert, I think it’s a great opportunity to share the beautiful universe of French patisserie with people here.” Sonia believes in creating a complete sensory
I remember having egg white-beating competitions to see who could finish first. experience of eating. “The pleasure starts with the visual and the smell, which leads to the discovery of flavour through different textures and flavours. Even the sound of the first snap of chocolate in your
mouth can change the whole sensation! People often miss the whole extraordinary experience and underestimate the power of all the senses combined. It’s my job to teach my customers how to enjoy the most of my creations.” Sonia's thinks hospitality is a great industry to work in. “There is a large window of opportunity in terms of the diversity of jobs available and amazing travel experiences. Passion, determination and endurance are the most important attributes. It’s a lot of hard work, long hours, and often, low pay. The chance of becoming a celebrity chef with a high salary is very slim. If you don’t love what you’re doing, then it’s going to be a very long, hard path.” “In my job, it’s very hard to please every customer. What is perfection to one might be too sweet or too rich for another. The crucial thing for me when creating desserts is to ensure the quality of my ingredients and consistency of my products.” What makes it worth it for Sonia is seeing the smiles on her customers’ faces after their first bite of her dessert. “There’s a certain satisfaction in knowing that you’ve made someone’s day special. There’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day receiving wonderful compliments from customers. It makes me sleep well at night.”
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Adelaide Programs: • Bachelor of Business ~ International Restaurant Management • Bachelor of Business ~ International Hotel Management • MBA International Hotel & Restaurant Management • Masters in International Hospitality Management
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Sailing to success:
life on the superyachts Claire Boggiss has done the hard yards on the superyacht traps and loved every minute of it. Now she is running a training course in New Zealand for people who want to do the same. She tells JET about life on the water.
only intended to work for two to three years on yachts to save enough money to pay off my student loan, but I’ve now spent six and a half years onboard, rising through the ranks to become chief stewardess and working on the construction and launch of my boss’s new 62-metre superyacht in the Netherlands. After finishing my university degree and wanting the excitement of overseas travel, I decided to head abroad to the UK to do my OE, with the goal of paying off my student loan. After 18 months in Edinburgh, Scotland, and with my loan balance still nearly the same as when I left New Zealand, my visa was approaching expiry and I would have had to return home. Some of my good friends were working on a superyacht in the Mediterranean, and I had heard it both paid a great income and was tax-free, so I started to research how to find a job on a superyacht. I’d done a couple of daytime waitressing jobs on a boat in Auckland for a friend of my father’s, and I got him to write me a reference. I put together a CV featuring as much experience as I could relate to boating or hospitality. Back then, you didn’t require any formal experience like you do today, so after registering on a few crew websites and flying down to England for an interview, I secured myself a seasonal job as sole crew for an English family. My job was to cook, clean, and help out on the deck of a 21-metre motor yacht, and it sounded perfect. The job worked out great. At times, I was like a personal assistant to the owner’s wife, shopping with her during the afternoons in the boutiques of Mallorca in Spain and carrying the shopping bags back to the boat. When their children joined them on holidays, I was to take them to the local bars
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and nightclubs. On my nights off from cooking on board, I could join them and their friends at the local restaurant for dinner. It was a pretty special relationship, and I certainly was lucky in my first role. After the season in Mallorca ended in October, I flew off to Fort Lauderdale for the US season. I arrived right before the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and got some daywork, which led to a short-term position for a few months, and later, to my first full-time job on board a New Zealand-built 36.5m sailing yacht heading to the Caribbean. A hard-working Kiwi nature, combined with a bright and bubbly personality and big smile, saw me fit in easily with crew and guests on the yachts that I worked on. For the first few years, I battled with sea-sickness and travel medications that made me drowsy. I eventually made the decision to switch from sailing yachts to motor yachts: amongst other reasons, the motor yachts offered much bigger crew spaces, which was really important when you spend so much time onboard. In the first two years, I spent most of my time in the USA and Caribbean and got to know the area well, visiting fantastic places like Cuba and Jamaica. I spent two ‘spring-break’ periods in the Bahamas, working with a very tough South African chief stewardess who was quite military in her management style. As tough as she was, I kept my head down, worked hard, and learned everything I could from her – she was ruthless but had fantastic standards. I also traveled to Italy to do a seasonal position in Sardinia for an Arab sheik, where every night that summer was a themed costume party.
I no longer flinched when the owner changed the dinner plans from 10 people to 20 people one hour before the scheduled time.
The sheik, who we referred to only as “Sir”, kept his name and business secret and spent time traveling between his many villas either in his 72-metre superyacht or private 737 plane. When I returned, I was offered the chief stewardess role on board the same 45-metre yacht where I had trained. I had only been a stewardess for 18 months at that stage and it was a fantastic achievement. Each time I changed yacht, I seemed to end up with an owner of completely different nationality, and this meant I quickly learned the difference between meal service for Russians, Arabs, and Americans. A busy Mediterranean summer on a charter yacht saw my salary boosted by tips and a whole new experience serving celebrities in locations like Monaco and St Tropez – sometimes both in one day.
Some experiences were eye-opening, and I learned to take it all in my stride, like when your guest (just quietly: Pamela Anderson) surprises the crew with wedding plans a week before her plans to marry. The wedding was on the yacht, with the captain performing the ceremony. Superyacht crews are masters of making the impossible possible. This skill comes quickly when working for bosses who don’t take no for an answer and who have expectations on a completely different level from anything you would be used to. In the process, it changed me from being a rough-around-the-edges New Zealander to being a polished hospitality professional managing a team of interior crew. I no longer flinched when the owner changed the dinner plans from 10 people to 20 people one hour before the scheduled time. Behind the scenes, the crew moves frantically, but on the surface, guests see polished hospitality professionals. The industry has evolved considerably, and the yachts require more qualifications and training for crew, especially on-deck or exterior crew. All new crew are required to start by getting their STCW certificate (a five-day fun packed course containing first aid, firefighting, and sea survival). The interior side of a superyacht is being regulated, too, and captains and owners are looking for interior crew with strong hospitality skills and experience. A variety of superyacht interior courses are becoming available around the world, all overseen by the Professional Yachtsmen’s Association in Antibes, France. Young New Zealanders are some of the most preferred superyacht crew in the industry due to our fantastic attitudes of mucking in together and working hard just to get the job done quickly and helping others out. With our affinity for water, why wouldn’t we grab the opportunity to travel the world by superyacht and be paid to do it? Since returning home to shore life in New Zealand, I have remained in the superyacht industry, and I am the director of Blue Nation, a new company that is providing professional training to crew who would like to work on the interior of a superyacht. It is such a fantastic exciting career opportunity for young New Zealanders, and I would love to see more Kiwis start a successful superyacht career and enjoy the same experiences I did.
STACKS OF EXPERIENCE …AND IT KEEPS ON BUILDING…
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www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 51
r Steps Key Caree rn
ted mode • Comple ship re p ap ntice amme gr ro p • Gateway AgITO’s s g toward • Workin gribusiness A in a iplom 5) National D ev ent (L el Managem on a s w co 0 0 10 • Milking Westport farm near Landcorp
a good knowledge base
in dairy West Coast farmer, Brooke Miller, has used training to help her climb the career ladder to become a production manager after only four years in the dairy industry.
rooke is milking 1000 cows on a Landcorp farm near Westport and manages three staff. She believes it’s important to upskill and cites the benefits of having qualifications as the reason she enrolled in AgITO’s National Diploma in Agribusiness Management (Level 5). “I’ve had just four years in dairy, though I did a bit of relief milking while I was still in school through the Gateway programme,” Brooke says. “After doing my Level 3 certificate, I wanted to carry on training as it’s something else to go on your CV. I want to keep learning – it’s important in farming that you don’t get stuck in a rut and that you move with the times.” The National Diploma in Agribusiness Management covers the skills and knowledge essential for the successful management of a farm business. The qualification focuses on developing practical skills in business planning, financial, and resource management. Diploma candidates must also complete a Property Report on the performance and opportunities of an agribusiness, which ties all the skills and knowledge together. “This year, I’ve got a few more papers to complete to get my Resource Management certificate,” Brooke says. “I’ve found it really helpful, especially in dealing with staff, learning how to manage them, and what to do when they’re not doing what they’re meant to. “The diploma will make me a better farm manager, hopefully, and a better boss. It’s a good base of knowledge to have – a lot of employers are looking for that,” she says. “It’s also good for the staff under you to see that you’re training. It makes you a good role model and gets them into training.”
Brooke also completed her modern apprenticeship in July last year. Modern apprenticeships are a work-based education initiative, sponsored by the New Zealand Government, for 16–21-year-olds in industry employment. Participants in the scheme receive personalised support, training plans, and goal-setting sessions with a modern apprenticeship coordinator. Brooke began her modern apprenticeship whilst working on a dairy farm near Balclutha. “The goal setting was really good. Every three months, you knew you had so many goals to meet. I made sure the contract milker I was working with at the time taught me those things, so I was confident I was getting through it. It also helped with getting assignments finished,” she says. The Landcorp farm Brooke is currently working on has two staff members who are also completing their modern apprenticeships. Brooke is now a registered assessor and is enjoying being part of their journey. “I sit down with Jack and Rory and assess them and sign them off,” she says. “We’ve almost all taken part in modern apprenticeships on the farm; Landcorp is really supportive of training.” Brooke is aiming high with her career goals and is driven to do all she needs to get there. “I’m also in a Landcorp dairy graduate programme, which helps you into farm management quicker,” she says. “I would like to be in farm management within two years and farm ownership in the next eight years.”
“I would like to be in farm management within two years and farm ownership in the next eight years.”
52 // JET Career Guide www.jetseries.co.nz
Batting for the
Black Caps A stalwart of the game (cricket, in this case), Luke Woodcock has played for the Wellington Firebirds for 10 years. He talks to JET about a career as a professional sportsperson.
“It is a nice lifestyle, but cricket is full of ups and downs.”
he New Zealand season starts in October and finishes in April, and then the migratory pattern of most cricketers is to hightail it overseas to the UK or India for their summer seasons. Luke has spent every off-season in the UK, playing in Surrey, Middlesex, and Manchester. This year, however, he is having a break from the game and concentrating on interests outside of cricket. Well, sort of. He will work on further developing his cricket equipment company “Buzz Bats”, which he runs with two other guys. He is keen to build his business knowledge and potentially upscale the venture in the years to come. An all-rounder (he bats left-handed and bowls left-arm orthodox spin), Luke was called into the Black Caps squad in the 2010-2011 season and played One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International matches. For as long as he can remember, Luke wanted to be a cricketer, or at least, a professional sportsman of some kind. “When I was young, I looked up to the Australian cricketers. They were certain of themselves and what they were doing. Mark Waugh stood out. I also admired Brian Lara [from the West Indies].” After school, Luke was selected for the New Zealand Cricket Academy. He made the transition to professional cricket not long after in 2002, playing for the Wellington Firebirds. This was around the time when domestic cricket was becoming professional – a full-time job. Luke still gets a touch of the nerves before a game; he imagines all cricketers and sportspeople do. It’s the nature of the profession. “But once you’re out there, after a couple of hits, it all fades away and you get into the game.” Highlights in Luke’s sporting career include his domestic test high score of 220 not out. He enjoyed an outstanding season for the Firebirds in 2009-10. He scored 988 runs, broke Wellington’s all-time single season scoring record by 100 runs, and won that season’s Wellington Player of the Year trophy “Traveling to the subcontinent (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) in 2010 with the Black Caps World Cup squad was also pretty amazing. It was cool to see such a different way of life. There was so much poverty and so many people.” The team made it to the semi-finals at the World Cup – a great achievement given the countries competing. Professional sportspeople have come under the spotlight a lot in the past few years because of dubious binge drinking behaviour. Luke believes this can be mitigated by good management and protocol setting. “There is the odd hiccup or two, but at the end of the day, it is up to the individual,” he says. Some people mistakenly believe the life of a professional sportsperson is literally all fun and games. Luke contends that it is very hard work. “It is a nice lifestyle, but cricket is full of ups and downs. It’s very mentally challenging and you’ve got to be able to cope with that. I think when I start going to work and my attention’s wavering, I’ll know it’s time to do something else.” If you’re interested in a career as a sportsperson, in coaching, or sports player management, Luke advises having a chat to a sportsperson. One of the senior guys in a team or a coach is a good start.
Key career steps • After school, Luke was selected for the New Zealand Cricket Academy – became professional (full-time) cricketer. • Wellington Firebirds for 10 years. • Black Caps squad in the 2010-2011 season and played One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International matches. • Off-season in the UK, playing in Surrey, Middlesex and Manchester. • Developing his cricket equipment company “Buzz Bats”. Keen to build his business knowledge and potentially upscale the venture. • Career highlights include domestic test high score of 220 n.o. and travelling to the subcontinent with the Black Caps World Cup squad..
www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 53
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The engineer Name: Laura Davies Age: 23 Role: Structural engineer Who you work for: Aurecon (a civil engineering consultancy)
Tell me about what your role requires of you. What do you do in an average workday? Essentially, my job involves the design of buildings, but it can also be modifications to existing buildings or various other things. Each day is quite varied, depending on what I am working on, but it includes computer modelling of the building, the actual design of the structure, considering costs, site constraints, and the constructability of the design, as well as sketching and checking computer drawings. Then there is site supervision and checking during construction. I usually work in small teams under a manager who is responsible for coordinating the whole project – a role I hope to take on once I have a bit more experience. What do you like best about it? There is so much variety – every job is different and has new challenges. Also, there are a lot of different parties involved in each project, so I get to work in teams.
54 // JET Career Guide www.jetseries.co.nz
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Do you feel like the men at your work treat you differently because you’re a woman, or are you “one of the boys”? There are very few girls who work in engineering positions, so it is a bit different, and I have been asked a few times if I am an engineer or in admin. The guys at work are great, and they do want to have more females at work, so if anything, I would say they are even better to work with than if I was a guy. What do you think is the biggest barrier to achieving gender equality in your field? Any ideas about how to overcome it? There is a significant lack of female mentors in management and leadership positions. There are more girls starting to study engineering, but it will take a number of years before they reach these roles. I don’t think engineering is a field that will ever get equal numbers of males and females, as it is an area that seems to interest males more, but it is important to highlight it as a career option for girls at high school.
The drummer Name: George Swan-Hay Age: 26 Role: Drummer. Who you work for: Snap Crackle Pop.
Tell me about what your role requires of you. What do you do in an average workday? I’m studying at the moment and working parttime, and I drum for a band called Snap Crackle Pop. We practise a few times a week, and we play gigs around town. We are also about to release our first EP as a band, Party Like Your Friends Do. What do you like best about it? Being able to do something that I’m really passionate about. Also, getting to meet other musos and being able to play your music to people in public. Do you feel like the men at your work treat you differently because you’re a woman, or are you “one of the boys”?
Generally, I think with my close guy friends and my bandmates, I am treated a bit like one of the boys. At gigs and things like that, I do get some cool feedback from my playing but also a lot of “you play well for a girl” sort of stuff. That doesn’t worry me, though. What do you think is the biggest barrier to achieving gender equality in your field? Any ideas about how to overcome it? From my own experiences, the biggest barrier is the misconception that women can’t play music as well as men, which can knock your confidence quite a bit. I think that if women are wanting to do something that is generally in a “male-dominated” area, they should go and do it, and do it the very best that they can.
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The fisher Name: Erin Bailey Age:23 Role: Fisher Who you work for: Sealord
www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 55
Recycling the way forward in retail
Monique Thomas (pictured right) manages the ultra-cool Recycle Boutique Vintage store on Cuba Street, Wellington. Soon, it will transform into a new store called Lullaby of Birdland and the wonderful smell of coffee will aid the vintage clothing hunters as they search for the next great piece. Monique is super excited about this new stage in her life. Big things are in store for this queen of the op-shop. She tells JET about how great it is to do what you love. Monique on working in retail:
Instead of items that have been mass-produced, constructed from cheap fabrics with a low likelihood of being fair trade, we’re selling quality items that we’ve hand-picked from all over the world.
56 // JET Career Guide www.jetseries.co.nz
I moved over from Australia about three years ago and have been working for Recycle Boutique ever since. I started at the main Recycle store, putting out clothes and cleaning racks part-time, but soon, I picked up full-time hours, becoming assistant manager after two years. I was thinking about moving back to Australia when the business owner approached me with the opportunity to direct and manage a new project. After nine months of planning, Lullaby of Birdland will be up and running in around a month. The store will incorporate a vintage clothing boutique and cafe in the same space (woohoo, I can’t wait!). So for the last nine months, I’ve been managing Recycle Vintage Pop-Up shop on Cuba Street. It’s given me a good chance to really get to know the ins and outs of vintage clothing, and I’ve been able to spend time planning what’s to come. My roles whilst I’ve been here include visual merchandising, ensuring the clothing is well presented, a bit of re-working (sewing), stocking orders, managing staff, rostering, stock-take, processing and pricing items, general store up-keep, and helping out my awesome customers.
On op-shopping: I’ve been op-shopping since I was 12, and I still op-shop on my days off, so I have a real love for it. There is nothing quite like getting an awesome vintage piece at a good price! I also feel strongly about fair trade, recycling, and reusing, which is why I’m so passionate about vintage clothing. Instead of items that have been mass-produced, constructed from cheap fabrics with a low likelihood of being fair trade, we’re selling quality items that we’ve hand-picked from all over the world. These items have already proven they last through years of wear and tear, are still in mint condition, and are recycled and are way more unique than your average chain stores stock.
The future looks rosy: “My future will be in doing what I love. Once Lullaby of Birdland is fully established, buzzing away with great clothing and delicious coffee, I plan to become a part-owner of the retail side of the shop. “Eventually, I hope to get more involved in the buying side of the business. I want to be jet-setting around the world, bringing back one-of-a-kind, amazing vintage garments. “And then, who knows? If everything runs smoothly, maybe I’ll be able to own the retail side fully and franchise the shop throughout New Zealand and maybe even Australia?” Monique’s hard work at Recycle Boutique shows if you work hard and stick at something, opportunities are likely to come along and then it’s game on: anything can happen.
visual piece Zena Bartlett
www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 57
s ’ y sk the limit
Matt Schreurs first thought about skydiving professionally while on a business trip, gazing out the aeroplane window and thinking about flying unaided through the clouds. Now, he jumps up to ten times a day. SARAH DUNN hears about the process in between.
s a skydiving photographer, 25-year-old Matt Schreurs’ task is to shoot footage and still images of customers who take tandem jumps with NZONE Skydive. While he has always had an interest in photography, Matt says what excites him most about the job is the opportunity to practise jumping and develop his technique as a skydiver. “There’s a lot to be learned, and I don’t feel that I’ve learned half of it.” Before April last year, Matt was working in communications, contracted to a company named Chorus. He says he felt he was always looking for something else while working nine to five, but he didn’t know what it was until a recreational jump last year set him thinking about skydiving as a profession. After spending a flight from Queenstown to Christchurch mulling the idea over, Matt did some internet research, which sealed the deal for him. “The lifestyle definitely appealed.” Matt studied a Diploma in Commercial Skydiving at the New Zealand Skydiving School in Methven before beginning a three-month placement at NZONE. He says the majority of what he learned was about jumping, but they also covered meteorology, photography, a bit of accounting, and safety-related procedures like loading the plane correctly. After the 32-week course, Matt now feels he has found what he was looking for. Matt had practised photography before, but “not well” until after the course. He had to invest a sizeable chunk of his own money to get the equipment he needed: a Sony handycam to take video footage and a Canon 350D with a wideangle lens for still shots, both connected to his camera helmet. “There’s a lot of money on my head throughout the freefall,” he says. Since then, Matt has learned a lot about camera skills, taking a practical approach and picking up advice from other people to improve his shots. Being a photographer also helps Matt towards his goal of gaining his tandem rating. “It’s the easiest way to get your jump numbers up and get paid for it.” “It’s quite a hard industry to crack,” says Matt. He was hired immediately upon graduating skydiving school, but says it is important for new graduates to find a way to keep skydiving regularly. “Jump numbers for a skydiver are a bit like [flying] hours for a pilot.” Once a skydiver reaches around 800 jumps, Matt says they can consider themselves professionally “safe”, but it is possible to reach much higher totals over the course of a career. An older colleague of Matt’s has spent over ten years with the company, after completing his first jump aged 16. Matt says this man has now clocked up over 22,000 jumps. A skydiver needs to have completed 1000 jumps before they can sit their tandem licence in New Zealand. Matt has finished 350 so far. Although it will take him a couple of years, Matt plans to work towards that total of 1000 and then travel around the USA or Canada doing tandem jumps.
“It just means I don’t have to do bar work or get stuck in a regular job... there’s a lot of fun to be had worldwide.” He says a lot of other people training at the skydiving school were secondcareer types like himself, estimating the average age at 25-plus, but he saw some “old people” in their forties training also. He would like to see more young people training as skydivers, saying the job suits level-headed folk especially. “It’s not something nutjobs should do.” Other people might think Matt is an adrenaline junkie, he says, but he doesn’t consider himself one at all. He believes succeeding as a skydiver is about having a good reputation and being safe. “An employer’s biggest concern is safety, so you need to prove yourself as a safe skydiver first, then produce good footage and photos second.” Matt is not concerned about the risk factor in skydiving, despite jumping up to 60 times per week. “I think human error is the biggest risk in skydiving, so no, it doesn’t worry me so much.” By progressing slowly and carefully, Matt thinks he can cut down on human error, and hopefully, eliminate that risk factor. “When you’re first learning how to skydive, it’s something scary and exciting.” Now, Matt says the thrill is still there, but it has become more about refining his technique than raw adrenaline. “I think everybody has a ‘What the hell am I doing?’ kind of moment, but that’s something you get over.” His advice for potential trainees is to get straight into it. “If it’s something you have an interest in doing, you should just go for it, basically. If you’re focused, you can really make something of it.”
“I think everybody has a ‘What the hell am I doing?’ kind of moment, but that’s something you get over.”
58 // JET Career Guide www.jetseries.co.nz
A Day in the Life
Depending on the weather, I’d wake up around 8am for a 9am start. We’ll meet at a specific dropzone with a grass runway area, so I make my way out there. I organise my camera gear – that process all depends on what kind of light there is – then I’ll check my parachute rig, introduce myself to my first customer, and get into it. The procedure is about a 15-minute flight, followed by one minute of freefall and a three-minute canopy flight. I’ll be taking pictures throughout. I get down before the tandem parachute with the customer, and photograph them landing from the ground. I do a maximum of nine or ten jumps per day, six days in an average week. Make hay while the sun shines.
James ‘Sandfly’ Sandford has a huge handlebar mustache and cycles wherever he goes. He is obsessed with craft beer and diving and he is training to be an electrician. He lets JET in on his hectic and often hilarious life as a sparky.
JET. Who do you work for and what is your role? Sandfly. I work for Turn You On Electrical. It's a company owned by three friends with an apprentice each and I’m one of those apprentices. J. What is the training that is needed to be fully qualified? At what stage are you? S. You need to do three years of part-time study with two final exams. Also, a “workplace log book” that requires you to prove that you’ve undertaken a list of tasks (some optional, some mandatory). Tasks include everything from maintaining hand tools to finding faults in appliances to wiring out a new house. This training is assessed by the industry training organisation ETITO. J. Can you tell me a bit about what you did before you decided to train as an electrician? S. I did a mixture of labouring, studying, importing, sales, contract management. J. What are some of the challenges you face in your job? S. In the early days, I found it quite demoralising when I didn’t understand the reason for some of the work I was being asked to do. This feeling subsides steadily as you learn and experience more and find yourself not only understanding what needs to happen but being quite pumped to tackle a job and do it to a high standard. Hung over mornings. Communicating moderately complex electrical concepts in layman’s terms for clients to understand. Grubby attics and underhouses. Communicating amongst the boys to ensure everyone’s on the same page. J. Do you think people make assumptions about electricians and tradespeople in general, and if so, what are these assumptions? S. I guess there will always be those that consider us a bunch of uneducated scallywags, but no one ever complains when you fix their broken lights or warm up their life with a heat pump. People are generally pretty good as long as you’re respectful in their home or workplace. If anything, I think some (not all) tradespeople may be guilty of pigeonholing themselves as lower class citizens and acting accordingly. I think it’s important to be proud of what you do, and have that reflected in your work and everything surrounding it. J. What do you enjoy about your job? S. It’s cool making things work – whether you’re fixing or installing something new and especially when the client really appreciates it. Noticing myself improve week by week. Getting big ups from the boss when you’ve smashed a job. Working on my own electrical projects outside of work. Laughs with the boys. Finding a solution/problem solving. Using tools. Using the practical skills learnt and applying them in other areas of life.
J. What do you think are some of the attributes that come in handy for a sparky to have? S. There’s the obvious ones like practical and communication skills. A basic knowledge of maths/physics won’t hurt when it comes to doing your book work, also an ability to self-motivate and get your apprenticeship completed as quickly as possible and not have it drag out for five years. Honesty, diligence, patience, good old Kiwi DIY skills, and a willingness to listen and learn. J. Can you tell me the most interesting thing you have learnt as an electrician? S. Plumbers make more [money] than us, but we can kill people if we muck something up. They’ll just cover you in poo or water. 0.1amps to the heart can kill you. It’s kind of cool to think about how there’s basically a solid, continuous piece of metal in different forms all the way from your powerpoint to some massive powerstation in another part of the country (ignoring transformers). I now know enough about house structure that I could almost build one, if the law allowed. JET. What are your plans after you finish your apprenticeship? S. If I’m honest, I intend to make the unashamed Tasman crossing to live the Australian dream for a few years before settling down back in New Zealand.
A Day in the Life
• 6.00am: Wake-up, shower etc. Make lunch and a solid breakfast (power smoothie, 2x toast and green tea). • 6.50am: Leave the car at home and bike 15km to work. • 7.30am: Banter between the six of us as we prepare for the day ahead. • 8.00am: Depart – first job: no hot water at a flat in Khandallah – easy fix, off to next job while smashing some food in between. Argue with boss over who’s buying coffee. • 9.45am: Install chandelier in an epic early 1900s villa, then off to the next job via lunch. • 1.00am: Rearrange lighting in a 10-storey building on the waterfront. • 3.30am: Head back to base via suppliers for some gear for tomorrow. • 4.00am: Ride the bike back home. • After work could entail any of the following, or a few of them: run, make dinner, dive the south coast, four-wheel driving, yarns with flat- mates, guitar, study, or brewing/consuming beer.
www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 59
Digging in for
the big bucks Blaze Robb works for a major iron ore producer in the Pilbara region in Western Australia. Mining can be a pretty attractive career option. You are paid extremely well, it’s challenging yet interesting, and the opportunities for travel are huge. At the same time, a job in the mines brings with it a few challenges. Blaze Robb is smart guy and we get him to take JET on a journey through his ‘fly in’, ‘fly out’ life in Western Oz:
ur department works on exploration drilling programmes to either identify new iron ore deposits or to gather more information for extending existing ones that are currently being mined. My job has a good mixture of field work and also office-based technical work. The field work at site mainly has me in a supervising type role with an RC drilling crew (three to four people, usually a driller and two to three offsiders). There is one geologist assigned to each crew, and we look after the technical aspects of the drilling. A large part of my role is to ensure that everyone in the crew I am assigned to is working safely and not putting themselves or anyone else at risk. Technically, I am responsible for the day-to-day planning of what the drill rig and crew will be doing. I need to know where they will be working over the next few days and what the geology is like in the areas that they will be working in. I log the mineralogy of the samples from the drill rig as they are brought to the surface and use this information to determine when to cease drilling on that particular hole. I have a Bachelor of Science in geology from Otago University. Additionally, I have a first aid certificate, essential for any type of mining role. As I am a geologist, I have no need for any heavy truck licence, but the majority of the mine workers or people in the drilling crew have this qualification as well. The main incentive to move to Perth to mine was the money. The pay is very good here and made it hard for anything I would have found in New Zealand to compete with. When I moved over in February
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2010, there were very few geology jobs in New Zealand available for someone like me with no experience. Over here, there is a skill shortage in this area. Lastly, I wanted to get out of New Zealand for a while and gather new experiences that come from living in another country. Work in the mines is based around a ‘fly in – fly out’ policy. Meaning you ‘fly in’ to the mine for a period and then fly back to Perth for a few days off. Most people fly in to their respective mine sites out of Perth, and dependent on their roster, they live out of a nearby camp until it is time to fly back to Perth. My roster is an 8/5/1, meaning I spend eight days out at the site (travel inclusive), five days’ free time in Perth, and one day back in Perth doing office work. The camps are run by hospitality companies contracted to the mining companies and are usually well equipped with a variety of facilities. Camp life can get a bit repetitive, but there are gyms, pools, bars, tennis, basketball, indoor cricket etc. to keep you busy. You get your own room (usually ensuited) and all food is provided in the same way the food halls worked at uni. However, the food is better quality! The thing that most people struggle with is being away from home for so long. People with
families have it the worst. This type of industry really suits single people the best. At the end of the day, it gets to everyone a bit when being away from their normal lives for more time than they actually spend living them. When I’m on a break, I try to keep myself busy with sports like golf and have just started another rugby season. A lot of people don’t bother to play team sports as work interferes with availability to show up every week. I’m not going to lie; a lot of the time (perhaps too much) is spent socialising and catching up with friends, which can end up being quite expensive when living in a city like Perth! A good thing about having long breaks away from work is it gives good opportunities to travel. Coupled with the high wages, trips to Bali and Thailand and the like are quite common amongst mining workers, so there are definitely positives that come out of such an intense work period. Perth is a great place to live. The weather is excellent for the majority of the year, and the city and its surrounding areas offer a vast array of activities to partake in. The beaches are so good, and it is only a four-hour flight to Bali if you want a bit of a change of pace from the city. Because of the mining boom, Perth is overrun with foreign ex-pats, so there are always plenty of interesting people to bump into when you’re out and about. Our rugby team, for example, would be mostly Kiwis, with an even mixture after that of Aussies, Irish, and South Africans. The weather, at times, can be quite challenging, especially in the summer, where temperatures over 40 degrees are the norm. Because of the heat, afternoon lightning storms are common, in which case everyone stops working. Also, because we are quite close to the tropics, there are usually a few cyclone warnings each year, but these are well dealt with regarding the safety of personnel. Another challenge for Kiwis moving over here is homesickness. I had it a little bit after my first year, but it does lessen after a while, and you eventually realise that Australia isn’t that much different from New Zealand anyway. I’m thinking about taking a break from mining next year to go travelling and maybe even play rugby for a season overseas. I don’t see the industry changing that much over the next few years, so I don’t think I will have any issues finding a new job when I come back. I will have three years’ worth of experience by then, so I would be able to look at similar work in other countries. I think it is important when you decide to get into this industry that you have goals for what you want to achieve and set yourself a target for when you should get out of the mines. A lot of people I have spoken to around the mines have ended up spending much longer than they ever thought they would up here and have ended up not saving as much as they should have from buying toys like boats and cars. The time goes so quickly when you work away like this, and I am glad to be planning on a bit of time away from it all next year. It’s a great idea to get over here [to Australia] and earn some money while you are young. It goes a long way in setting yourself up financially in the future, and if you are a Kiwi, it is extremely easy to move to Australia and find work. Just ensure that if you do come over, you put all your hard work to good use and save a lot of the money you make. I think I have been quite good with my efforts (my student loan was gone in the first year), but then again, I have friends over here who have barely managed to save anything.
A Day in the Life
Typical day for me when I’m at site starts off around 4.30am, when I go to the gym for around 40 minutes, and then shower, have breakfast, and make lunch before everyone meets up at 6am for a safety briefing. Here, the senior geologist runs over the plans for each of the drilling crews for the day and summarises what was achieved in the previous shift, as well as any relevant safety messages that everyone should know about. I would then do about 30 minutes of office work. I head out into the field to begin the day’s drilling activities around 7am. We will begin drilling holes in a pre-arranged pattern, primarily to look for iron ore deposits. We could drill anywhere between one to five holes in a day, and it is my job to know the geology of the ground the crew is drilling into and when to stop the drilling. I also monitor everyone’s safety. I need to know where to move the rig in terms of finding new sites to drill as it is very expensive to operate the drill rigs and any unnecessary downtime looks very bad. Each drilling shift lasts ten hours, so at 5pm, we are finished for the day and everyone packs up and heads back to camp. I usually have another 30 minutes of office work (data entry) to do from that day’s activities, and then I will usually unwind by going for a run at around 6pm. After that, I am pretty tired and have dinner and usually am in bed around 7.30pm. Because of the gym and running outside of normal work hours, I don’t have a lot of time for socialising at work, but there are bars on site and these are very well used – believe me!
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Will you make a
SMART career choice?
BUILDERS do better. 62 // JET Career Guide www.jetseries.co.nz
And with demand for builders set to reach levels never seen before in New Zealand, there has never been a better time to get into building. A professional builder will be your one-on-one coach, and you can forget about sitting in a classroom! But the building industry offers so much more than just a lucrative career. Builders are building our nation and re-building Christchurch from the ground up. To find out how to build your professional career, visit BCITO.org.nz.
With the BCITO, you can go direct from school into a managed apprenticeship and get paid while you learn.
with Andre Lemmens
Andre Lemmens has it pretty good. He has travelled more in his 26 years than most people do in two lifetimes. He has mastered a couple of trades and has a career full of challenges and opportunities. JET talks to Andre, and quite frankly, gets a bit jealous.
fter finishing high school in Christchurch, Andre Lemmens completed a nine-month pre-trade carpentry course at Christchurch Polytechnic and got the National Certificate in Carpentry through BCITO. He then got an apprenticeship with a local builder in Christchurch. “I worked for him for four and a half years on residential housing. Then I moved to London, worked as a builder, and progressed to a site manager on high-end alterations. This consisted of renovation projects for the likes of Madonna, Kate Moss, and the Royal Wedding. I moved back to New Zealand and worked for myself doing renovations and installing kitchens. I have also worked on the Otago Stadium, installing joinery. “Currently, I am the project manager at Waikato Hospital for the joinery installation.”
Traveling man Andre has discovered that travel is something he really enjoys, and he hasn’t just dabbled with a trip here and there. He says, “I have visited 55 countries in my travels, mostly throughout Europe and Asia, but I have been to parts of northern Africa, America, and the Pacific. Looking back, the trip to Vietnam in 2010 with three of my good mates was one that stands out. We bought scooters in Hanoi and headed off on a month-long adventure to Ho Chi Minh City. Some highlights on the way were dealing with the traffic, meeting and staying with the locals along the way, coping with the language barriers as well as broken down scooters. The scenery was fantastic and getting lost, at times, made it that much more interesting. “I am heading to South America in June to backpack around for three and a half months. After that, I’ll be moving to New Plymouth to project manage the joinery installation at the new hospital there. This project will take around six months. “I have found that having a trade qualification has made travelling a lot easier. I have never had a problem finding work overseas. New Zealanders are well respected as workers and friendly people. Having a trade means that you are not necessarily locked into a contract, so this makes it a lot easier to get up and go whenever and wherever you like.”
On building and joinery Andre says to do well in building and joinery, you need to be a motivated person, have good people skills, be flexible with working hours, enjoy physical work, and have an eye for detail. He also thinks punctuality and reliability are essential. As a child, Andre enjoyed having a hammer in his hand, and his grandparents’ trees received a fair few nails. “I enjoyed helping dad at his joinery factory, growing up. He made sure he kept me involved and taught me many things about the industry. In addition to this, the concept of working outdoors also had a big influence on my decision to become a builder.”
Boom time The boom is back on in New Zealand’s building and construction industry, with the government committing $5.5 billion to the rebuild in Christchurch. Last year, up to $42 million was announced to fund up to 1500 trades training places for the Canterbury region. Andre says, “Due to the earthquakes, most of Christchurch has to be rebuilt, so there is plenty of work for tradespeople, mostly focusing on repairs and renovations. There are also good opportunities to start up businesses. He plans to return to Christchurch to help with the rebuild after his travels.
A Day in the Life
At this stage in the job, early mornings see me up at 5:15am. A bowl of muesli, finely chopped banana, and a coffee for breakfast is followed by a five-minute walk to work, and I’m on the job by 6am. The day consists of taking deliveries, assembling and installing joinery, project management of the job (liaising with suppliers, clients, other trades, and the manufacturing and office teams). After I get home, I have dinner, watch the news, then it is on to planning our next travel adventure. Before bed, 30 minutes of Spanish lessons completes my day.
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Navy provides an
ocean of adventure
At 19, Crighton Rangiwananga is just about to finish his basic branch training in the Royal New Zealand Navy. He tells JET about the opportunities the Navy can bring and how it rocks to be earning while you learn.
righton decided to give the Navy a go because of the opportunities it brings – plus, he kind of wanted to get out of his home town. The chance of travel, great qualifications, and the ability to earn while he learned beckoned. He knew nothing about what he would soon be doing. “They teach you everything you need know about working on a ship during your basic branch training.” He explains how the recruitment process works: “First of all, you go to your recruiting centre with an idea of what trade you want to do, and you do tests in order to get into the trade. Then starts the basic commons training. This is where you do all the hard yards. There’s a lot of physical stuff. One morning, you’ll be running, and that afternoon, you’ll be doing a test, so it’s mentally tough as well. A lot of it is discipline-based – getting up at the right time and making your bed the right way. “After a compulsory three months of getting fit, passing basic knowledge tests, and making sure you’re suitable for the Navy, you go into basic
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branch training, where you start learning about your trade. Depending on what your trade is, some people’s training will be three to four months, while others will be 12 months.” The Navy is not for the faint-hearted, Crighton says: “The stuff I find a bit challenging is the amount of discipline you need – ironing up my rig (uniform) and sitting through some of the ceremonies. But I love learning new things, and every day is
Yesterday, I was driving little boats, and the day before that, I was welding. completely different. Yesterday, I was driving little boats, and the day before that, I was welding. There are some practical things you need to know and so we train for them, like bringing the ship to berth at the wharf. “In the training I’ve learnt I can do a lot more things than I thought I could do. I’ve learnt how strong the will is. If you really want to do it, you can.”
He has big plans for the future: “I want to get all my qualifications and move up the ranks a bit. After I’ve done my time, I want to head overseas and work on rigs or something similar. I’m thinking I’ll do ten years in the Navy. That’ll be a good stint.” The training in the Navy really is diverse. Crighton remembers a day before the Rugby World Cup started: “The police force came down to the base in their full riot gear, and we got to riot against them for their training. We were throwing tyres at them, wheelie bins, whatever we could find really. It was pretty cool.” Crighton Rangiwananga’s advice for those interested in joining the defence forces is, “Get fit, it helps a lot. Talk to the careers adviser and the recruitment officer in the Navy. You don’t want to come in and join the wrong trade. Talk to them about all the opportunities. “I’ve got mates who are going to uni; they’re getting in debt while I’m getting paid, and it’s quite good pay at that.” Crighton can look forward to a stimulating career full of adventure and opportunity with the Navy.
Defence There are many benefits to being in the New Zealand Defence Force (the New Zealand Army, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, or the Royal New Zealand Navy). You can experience travel, training, healthcare, and many other incentives not readily available to civilians. The New Zealand Army has troops currently serving on 16 peacekeeping operations, UN missions, and defence exercises around the world, from Antarctica to Sudan, Timor-Leste to South Korea. The Regular Force is the full-time component of the New Zealand Army, while the Army Reserve is the part-time component. The Royal New Zealand Air Force is not exactly known for its size and amazing collection of fighter jets. In a way, this reflects our relatively peaceful outlook. However, the Air Force is still actively recruiting. They offer world-class training.
Service The New Zealand Fire Service - Being a fire fighter is an action-packed career – saving people from fires and cats from high trees. The fire service has a range of tests you need to pass if you want to fight
fire. Fitness is a top priority for the Fire Service. The current recruitment training course is 12 weeks in duration, comprising both theory and practical training. This is a residential live-in course based in Rotorua. Some of the physical aspects of the job require a very high level of fitness. Pulling hoses demands muscular strength and endurance of the muscles of the trunk and legs. There is a need for core strength to stabilise the upper body and allow the legs to work efficiently. The New Zealand Police - To be a police officer, you need to be a good citizen, over 18 years old upon graduation from Police College, fit, healthy, and bright enough to pass a range of assessments. Once you’ve passed the assessments and been accepted as a recruit, you’ll complete 19 weeks of intensive training at the Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC). Working as a police officer is challenging, always changing, and interesting; you’ll be responsible for responding to call-outs in your area, interviewing witnesses and offenders, presenting evidence in court, working with victims of crime, providing advice and support to the community, and much more.
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www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 65
A little bit
brings a lot of
Bronwyn Williams and Bex Brent
ex Brent, the owner of Willis York, the renowned Wellington hair The course doesn’t sugarcoat careers in acting or modelling. It gives the girls salon, was in the audience when a young Polynesian girl asked Helen a realistic look at the hard work involved in making it in fashion and beauty. Clark how she got to where she is now. Aunty Helen gave a nod to the Danni Pohatu completed the ten-week course and now works at Willis York beauty industry: “To be successful, you need good self-esteem, clear goals, a every Wednesday afternoon. She loved it so much she didn’t want to lose healthy body, and a healthy mind.” contact with all the great people she had met. Bex agreed wholeheartedly. She had long since recognised that a lot of She says of the Style Academy, “The best bit about the course was meeting young women don’t have the self-esteem to enable them to break down doors new people. It was a lot of fun doing all the activities; hair styling, make-up, as they go out into the world after high school. This translates into the way and fashion competitions etc. I learnt how to present myself a lot better. It’s they dress and present themselves. All of this can affect the healthiness of the given me a lot of confidence.” mind. Being a teenager can be a pretty tough time. Bex thought about what she could do to “I think everyone has self-esteem issues at my Danni says, “I think everyone has self-esteem change this, and working with prominent age. There’s the whole, ‘OMG she’s wearing an issues at my age. There’s the whole, ‘OMG she’s fashion writer Bronwyn Williams, they came up wearing an ugly top today’, but when you feel ugly top today’, but when you feel good about with the idea of a starting a ‘Style Academy’. good about yourself, you don’t care. yourself, you don’t care.” Together with a crew of established fashion “At the start of the course, a lot of girls didn’t and beauty professionals, they staged the first have much confidence, but then, we all started course in February this year: “We wanted to create a safe environment where to get along, and by the end, no one was very quiet anymore. I think it was the girls could talk about anything while learning more about the fashion and because they felt better about themselves with all these new skills. I know I beauty industry,” Bex says. did.” As well as hair care and make-up, acting and speech, and fitness and On top of really fun lessons like make-up, Danni says, “One of the classes nutrition, they teach the girls about the danger of posting photos on the that I learnt a lot in was ‘first impressions’. I think it will help me in interviews internet. They tell the girls, “Once they’re on there, they’re there forever.” and those kinds of things. Knowing how to take care of yourself is important.” Teaching appropriate dress sense is important, too. “All the women who run the course are very glamorous. They all have Bronwyn writes for Stuff, The Dominion Post, and The successful jobs and are confident and nice. They told us about their Christchurch Press about all things fashion. She wanted to help experiences and how they have got to where they are now. out young people with their self-esteem – she remembers “Lucy, the make-up artist, did a Weltec course, and now what it was like to feel anxious and dorky as a teenager, and she’s flying to different countries for fashion shoots. It’s made she thinks the problem is only getting worse. me see that there are some pretty amazing careers in the “We are seeing this generation of teenagers who have beauty industry if you work hard.” low self-esteem, who are unhappy about themselves, and Williams says, “People’s stories are invaluable for young can’t carry themselves properly. Add to that the fact that people. I set out to help these guys on their journey, there aren’t any really strong role models anymore – they whether they are going to university or they want to be all come from the media: they’re all celebrities and models. famous, or whether they just want to be at ease with The Style Academy creates a supportive and inspiring themselves.” environment where we can help these young people – In year 12 at St Mary’s College in Wellington, Danni plans transform them into confident and passionate women who can to finish school and keep going with her interesting array of really go places. subjects, including Māori. In her career as a stylist, Bronwyn has learnt that appearance “I’m Ngāti Porou, and I want to learn a bit more about my Māori and a strong sense of self are crucial. heritage.” “It takes three seconds to make a first impression, and as much as we She’s keeping her options open but thinks a career in the fashion and try and accept people for who they are, the way that we dress and present beauty sector could be right for her. ourselves matters a lot. Going to interviews, going on dates – if you can dress “The fashion industry is a lot about having connections, and because I’m appropriately and dress for where you want to be going, it will make all the learning at such a young age, I hope to get a lot of knowledge and experience difference.” behind me and do something really cool.”
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My goal is to BE a stylist at New York Fashion Week. HITO will give me the skills, qualifications and experience to get ME there.
Marianne, HITO Apprentice
If youâ€™re serious about a career in hairdressing, realise your potential with HITO â€“ the essential hairdressing qualification.
Find out more at hito.org.nz
Real skills. Real support. Real career.
hito.org.nz www.jetseries.co.nz JET Career Guide // 67
Pixie Hobby, 60, environmental lawyer:
“If I’d had an opportunity to do some job-shadowing right out of high school, before committing to a career, that would have helped me a lot.”
QUESTION: What do you wish you’d known about employment and careers when you left high school?
Sophie Hamilton, 47, operator of Rainbow Beads: “I wish I’d had more structured career advice.”
Kevin Whooley, 45, event planner: “I wish I’d done a business degree, but then again, that wasn’t applicable when I was a 17-year-old rebel.”
Paul Jacobs, 44, social media recruitment and branding:
“When I was at high school, the careers advisor was boring as anything, and I didn’t feel inspired. I wish I’d had the kind of exposure to technology and its possibilities that today’s kids have.”
with Sarah Dunn
Zach Stuart, 40, truck driver:
“I’m helping my kids now focus on car and truck licences because they’re important. Any transportation will be a good income even in 50 years’ time.”
“I felt that I wasn’t really prepared for the big, wide world when I left school. More preparation is really what I wanted.”
Vicky Walker, 47, production designer:
>> 68 // JET Career Guide www.jetseries.co.nz
Michael Banks, 36, bass guitar player:
“I guess that, ultimately, people are going to change careers a lot in their life. I wish I’d thought about that more.”
our curriculum vitae (CV) is the first step towards convincing a potential employer that the investment they make in you via employment will be justified and will offer a secure return.
It contains the following: 1. Contact details. Your name, address, phone numbers, and email address. Make sure your email address sounds professional and can be checked regularly. 2. Employment History. List of your working history, written from most recent job to least recent job. Each entry should contain the job title, company, dates you worked, and a description of your role and duties. 3. Education. List of your education qualifications (high school, vocational training, tertiary), the latest comes first. Make sure to note what languages you speak other than English and any relevant short courses. 4. Community Services. Volunteering and work for community groups illustrate what a well-rounded person you are. 5. Referees. The contact details of two or three people who can vouch for your work and character. Using a previous employee gives your CV validity. However, you should always check with the nominated referee that they are happy to give a positive reference without qualification. 6. Key skills and relevant experience. This can be categorised depending on the skills you have. This could be three brief points about you and why you’re applying for the job. • Confident, self-motivated accounting and finance student with strong background in auditing and experience in accounting, data capturing and processing, seeking graduate position and an opportunity to learn. • Currently enrolled in the fifth year of a conjoint degree in commerce and engineering at The University of Canterbury. Keen interest in project management, assurance, and corporate finance. • Able to think analytically and conceptually, make precise decisions, develop collaborative working relationships and foster teamwork. Accurate and methodical. 7. Achievements and awards. Not all of us have them, but if you do, put them in. 8. Interests. This is not a compulsory component, but it could help set you apart. This is where you let the employer know what you do to relax and gives them some insight on how you would fit into the team. You never know, if you note down that you’re a mountain climber, the person tasked with reading the applicants could be a base jumper from way back, feel the spark of kindred spirit, and put your CV in the ‘possibles’ pile.
Employers’ perspectve: top 10 skills and attributes
Interpersonal and communication skills (written and oral) Drive and commitment/industry knowledge Critical reasoning and analytical skills/technical skills Calibre of academic results Cultural alignment/values fit Work experience Teamwork skills Emotional intelligence (including self-awareness, confidence, motivation Leadership skills Activities (including intra and extracurricular) For each skill in the skills list, summarise it in a sentence with ‘doing words’ and make note of previous work experience. For example: In my previous jobs at McBeal and Co and New World, I was given the responsibilities of leading teams and training new employees.
Remember also: Your CV shouldn’t be longer than a couple of pages. Try to make use of white space, and use a clean font like Arial in 12 point. Put a header at the top of each page of the CV with your name on it – often pages from CVs get misplaced (especially if there are hundreds or even thousands of applicants).
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Writing a bad cover letter can undo all the good work you’ve put into your CV. So how do you write a good cover letter to help score that vital interview?
Contact details Have correct and professional sounding contact details on the top of the page. You do not need to include your date of birth. It is a good idea to make your contact details into a header that appears on every page, just in case your cover letter becomes detached.
cover letter is a way of showing the prospective employer the person behind the CV. It can also work as a guide to your CV. Employers will look at one and then the other. Therefore, you need the information on one to match and highlight the info presented on the other. Here are some tips: 1. Be sharp and short. Or short and sweet. Don’t ramble. Address all the things they are looking for in the job. Point them to your CV. 2. Research. Research both the job and the employer – the more you know about the role and the employer, the more likely it is your cover letter will stand out. 3. Analyse the job description. Write down the employer’s requirements and decide what skills are essential and what are preferable. Think about how your skills could match the general requirements. 4. Originality is key. Always write an original cover letter for each job application. Although it seems like you’ll save time by editing the job position out of your last letter and replacing it with the job title of this one, it won’t work. Employers have been reading these things for years. They will know. 5. Fabrication is not your friend. While stretching the truth is known to happen in the job application business, state truthfully why your experience and skills matches the job description. If your experience doesn’t make the link necessary, say something like, “This is an area I have committed to contributing to, and I am excited about learning as much as possible.” Employers always want to know you are willing to learn. 6. Quality not quantity. Feedback from people in human resources indicates candidates would do better to spend a day on one application rather than apply for every job listed.
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Paragraphs The opening paragraph needs to inform the reader about the purpose of the letter. It might include when and where the position was advertised. Show your enthusiasm for the position here. Explain why you want to work for their organisation. You could mention: reputation, products, service, innovations, market position, customers, clients, suitability. Try to show how you will fit into the organisation. Avoid excessive flattery as it can be perceived as insincere. Outline the relevant qualifications, work experience, skills, and personal qualities that match the position – aim to establish as many links as possible between yourself and the job description. Focus on what you have to offer the company and how you can add value/benefit. Refer here to your CV or resumé for further details. Conclude confidently by welcoming the opportunity to meet and discuss your application further. Note the best method(s) of contacting you (e.g. by telephone or email).
To call or not to call You may have written “I’ll call next week” on the bottom of your letter (we hope so). If you write it, you have to do it. Some businesses only look at applicants after people follow them up.
Proof reader While it may be a bit embarrassing to get someone else to read about the best possible you on paper, a second pair of eyes never fails to pick up on an error or something that could be done better.
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index I (info)
JET Career Guide intro (p2) How to use (p3) A Career is life-defining (p4) Exploring career options (p5) The importance of qualifications (p6) Uni, Tech, ITOs and Wānanga (p8) Words of wisdom from Michelle Pawson (p10) Gap year: the only thing missing is you (p11) Sector Overviews (p16) Vox Pops (p34, p68) Sector Overviews: vocational pathways (p46) Your CV (p69) Your cover letter (p70)
Recycling the way forward in retail (p56) The sky’s the limit (p58) A little bit of style brings a lot of confidence (p66)
Running around with physio Brown (p20) On the ward with Dr Mearns (p32) It’s all about people (p45)
Milking a good knowledge base in dairy (p52) Breaking the mould (p54)
Business and public sector Crunching the numbers with Sarah Wood (p21) Brewing beer doesn’t feel like work (p22) How to make it in PR (p25) Insurance for a better world (p30) Justspeak: a voice for youth (p35) An eventful life (p38) Bottled at the source (p42)
Manufacturing and Technology Stay hungry. Stay foolish: Steve Jobs (p40) Bottled at the source (p42) Lord of the skies (p43) Making sparks with Sandfly (p59)
Keep calm and carry on with Antonia Prebble (p12) The benefits of failure: J.K Rowling (p14) Design student doing her ‘best’ (p18) How to make it in PR (p25) Peeling back the acting stereotypes with Vic Abbott (p28) Visual story: work (p31) Doing stunts with Shane Rangi (p36) Breaking the mould (p54) Visual piece (p71) The sky’s the limit (p58)
Engineering, Science Construction and infrastructure and IT Standing in Rivers with Jackson Shanks (p24) Top science jobs worth their weight in gold (p39) Stay hungry. Stay foolish: Steve Jobs (p40) Digging in for the big bucks (p60)
Making sparks with Sandfly (p59) Digging in for the big bucks (p60) Building to travel (p63)
vocational pathways Social and community service Education and People
The benefits of failure: J.K. Rowling (p14) A beautiful accident (p26) Justspeak: a voice for youth (p35) An eventful life (p38) The world needs the organisers (p44) It’s all about people (p45) A little bit of style brings a lot of confidence (p66)
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Coffee and art make a perfect blend (p27) Doing stunts with Shane Rangi (p36) Lord of the skies (p43) The world needs the organisers (p44) It’s all about people (p45) Patisserie queen (p48) Sailing to success: life on the superyachts (p50)
Batting for the black caps (p53) Navy provides an ocean of adventure (p64) A little bit of style brings a lot of confidence (p66)
Career GU de
Study Graduate GU de
Are your students spoilt for choice?
Life is all about choices. The JET Series is all about giving your students the most diverse information about what to do after secondary school, so they have the confidence to make educated decisions about their study and career pathways. From the acronym to the design and content, JET – Jobs, Education and Training – provides reference points, direction and lifestyle options for 15 to 25-year-olds in the process of embarking on their first steps into the wide world. The JET series consists of three focussed titles, clearly defined to help students make informed choices about their life after school. The JET series will continue to go from strength to strength in 2012, this is our first title, the JET Career Guide.
JET Study Guide will be released in July 2012 JET Study Guide is a unique resource. It includes a comprehensive listing of every undergraduate course in New Zealand and it is an essential guide to student life. Every prospective tertiary student needs information to help prepare them for the changes that accompany life at university or polytechnic; from figuring out which course of study is right for them, to study tips, to legal advice on flatting. JET Study Guide evaluates study institutions, options, and opportunities. It speaks to young people in a language they can understand and relate to. It is fun, relevant and colourful.
Go to www.jetseries.co.nz to make sure you’re in line to receive copies when they are published!
www.jetseries.co.nz | Life is all about choices.
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Published on May 22, 2012