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Future career and study options

Regulus // Issue 2 // August 2023

More news for Senior College

Year 13 students and Senior College Office Administrator, Jocelyn Simmons, with Focus group speaker, Sam Wilkinson, from Tesla.

The Year 13 Focus group and Careers Expo are two of the initiatives helping to expose St Andrew’s College students to a wide range of possibilities for their future and prepare them for life beyond school.

Each Monday, during Period 1, Year 13 students gather for the Focus group to hear inspiring guest speakers share their personal experiences and insights into different tertiary and career paths. Careers Counsellor, Richard Webster, starts each session with information about career events and opportunities, before introducing the guest speaker. Recent speakers have included Gary Haugen from the International Justice Mission, former Police officer and dog trainer, Tim Radcliffe, and Elle MacEwan and Bex Fittock from Pillars. Sam Wilkinson from Tesla, visited with his electric vehicle and talked to students about how they can best position themselves for a future in an ever-changing technological work environment.

The Focus programme is sowing seeds for the students’ future, says Head of Senior College, John Ruge. “Each speaker is invited to talk about their own career path, so that students get a sense of the range of pathways that are available, as well as the fact that things don’t often happen in straight lines. It’s inspiring to hear stories of how our guests ended up in their current roles, and to see how experience, qualifications, and serendipity combine to shape what happens over the years.”

The annual St Andrew’s Careers Expo for Years 11–13, held in early May, was another opportunity for students and parents to explore different pathways. This year’s event was attended by 26 exhibitors, including universities,
Ara and SIT (Te Pūkenga), industry training organisations, and private training providers, along with staff from the NZDF, ETCO, Air New Zealand, and Telford.

Richard Webster says feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive. “Parents and students alike are grateful for the opportunity to ask questions directly to providers and gain valuable insights into potential pathways. We encourage parents to get involved in the decision-making process, as they are still the number one influence on their child's future.”

The Careers Department at St Andrew’s provides a range of additional support including careers counselling, the StAC Careerwise website, and keeping students and parents up to date with news and events run by tertiary and training providers.

Nikkita McIntyre (Year 13) attended the Otago Open Day and had nothing but positive things to say. The trip gave her the freedom to visit residential colleges and get a taste of what university life would be like. She attended course expos and gained valuable insights into what her years of studying would involve. “I highly recommended the Open Day to anyone thinking of going to Otago for their university studies. The trip solidified my decision and made it clear where I will be studying.”

Year 13 Focus group and Careers Expo broaden horizons, exposing students to diverse paths for future success beyond school.