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Get a head start on making career decisions and preparing for a job

August 1, 2014

Originally posted on Vic Careers:

In the Vic Careers office we speak to students and graduates on a daily basis who are feeling a little bit lost – either in their study or job decisions or in their job applications. Questions such as: What subjects should I study? What jobs can I do with my degree? What companies can I work for? How do I write a CV/cover letter? will frequently come up.

We like to speak with as many students as possible who have these queries but in order to provide the best possible advice it really helps if people have already started to explore their options.

It can be confusing knowing where to do this so below are some of our favourite resources we frequently refer our students and graduates to.

Career Exploration and Occupational Awareness

Career Viewgives you an excellent overview of a wide range of subjects, what skills…

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How a ‘Rainbow CV’ got results

July 30, 2014

The official job-hunting advice is to produce a plain CV which is easily read by computer applications. However  Steve Chernishov found there can be times when you need to break away from the standard approach.

Guest blog from Steve Chernishov

At first I developed a traditionally formatted CV and focused heavily on using models/templates. After sending a lot of those out (and getting no phone calls), I decided that the plain look and formal writing did not represent me well, so I decided to be bold.

A set of coloured pages containing a CV

Steve applied his marketing and design skills and built a ‘Rainbow CV’

Making beautiful documents to market a service or product was something I offered for others, so I made the call to do the same with presenting my own services.

Read more…

Students’ view – Laila

July 25, 2014

This in the final post in a series of blogs by a class of Year 10 students from Mission Heights Junior College in Manukau. Read what they have to say about education and the future.

Laila Abada

Laila Abada

Laila Abada

Age: 15
Favourite subjects: English, Debate and Music

Teaching for our students future, not our past!

“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.” These are the astute words of Rabindranath Tagore, the first non-European to win the Nobel prize in literature. To me, this quote echos what every school teacher should be implementing in their classrooms. The reality, however, is sadly a little different.

Our world progresses at a speed that is undeniably hard for schools to keep up with. But like everything in this world, standards need to be reached and maintained, predominantly in schools. In this modern era, we have technologies such as bio, nano, cogno and genetics. We bring a new iPhone out every year, new brands and companies are always surfacing and developing new devices to make us more efficient and by 2045, we will be known as the era of Neo-Humanity. Evidenced by such examples, you can see that this ‘wired generation’ is extremely prolific and intelligent. Yet, the issue that New Zealand seems to have a hard time facing is the lack of 21st century technology in our classrooms, and how our teachers choose to utilize these outstanding tools.

As much as we LOVE our teachers, the true fact is that they were born in an age where a typical class setting would consist of the teacher as the focal point at the front of the classroom, were the chilled sound of chalk on the blackboard filled the stuffy, non air-conditioned atmosphere. I believe (and as a 15 year old I could be wrong) that from Victorian times to present, the focal point continues to be the teacher, writing on a board at the front of the classroom, which for us as 21st century learners is immensely frustrating, because of the way that our teachers have been schooled, and how they bring these same habitual patterns into our learning environments. Only now are educators such as John Hattie proclaiming ‘NO!’ Mr Hattie believes that the biggest effect on students’ learning is their ability to be their own teachers and lead their own learning. Which is exactly why devices are key.

The culmination is that us, as a 21st century generation, have brains that are wired differently to that of our previous generation, meaning that a different learning style filled with all the inspiration and contemporary art of 21st century technology is vital. Nevertheless, it is not all bad! When you look at New Zealand’s curriculum, which is currently being used by other countries because of its innovative makeup, not to mention the new initiatives being put into place in schools such as breakfast and free fruit, boosting the attention of students who do not receive food from home or who come from impoverished backgrounds, the country is addressing 21st century issues to a certain extent.

In summation, New Zealand is a great place to live and to be educated, but, for a nation who generally knows what it wants, and who decided to spend $80 million on education only last year, why do we not have enough key 21st century technology tools in all schools around New Zealand, and why aren’t our teachers being trained to use them to the students advantage?

Ngā mahi me te reo Māori – work and the Māori language

July 22, 2014
A woman in a traditional Māori costume performing a pukana or eye action

Māori language is no longer restricted to traditional events such as kapa haka

Thirty-two years ago, the first Kohanga Reo opened its doors in Wainuomata.

Those first dedicated pioneers set out to reverse the decline of the Māori langage. Ngā mihi nui to the kaumātua who were involved, on a volunteer basis, in this incredible effort.

I wonder if they dared to dream that several decades later there would be nearly 500 Kohanga Reo educating 9,000 children a year – and that speaking te reo would be a prerequiste – for a paying job.

There’s the obvious need to speak te reo Māori fluently to work as a:

However, my search on Seek showed that knowledge of Māori language would be essential or desirable for working in jobs as diverse as:

  • lawyer
  • administration assistant
  • librarian
  • childcare assistant.

And that’s not all. Some knowledge of te reo is useful in a huge range of jobs. Check out where te reo could take you. Read more…

Students’ view – Rahul and Akshay

July 18, 2014

Each week we are sharing posts by a class of Year 10 students from Mission Heights Junior College in Manukau. Read what they have to say about education and the future.

Rahul Banerjee

Rahul Banerjee

Rahul Banerjee

Age: 14
Favourite subjects: English, Global Studies, Physical Education and Health, Science

What sort of plans or dreams do you have for the future?

I have a dream of playing cricket as a leg spinner for Auckland and then gradually making my way up the ranks to potentially play for the New Zealand Black Caps. I would love to grow up and travel around the world and gaining further experience playing cricket around the world. If I can reach this feat, I would love to help out young children in countries were cricket is only a developing sport. I would also like to have  back up option in place. This could be being a sports journalist, eg, writing about cricket matches on websites such as Cricinfo, and writing analysis on a cricket match on what happened and why. I want to do this as I am interested in using English in my profession and this could combine both my interests together. I am also interested in subjects such as global and social studies, which may have an impact on my profession and may have links towards it.

Describe a role model that you look up to. What makes them worth admiring?

I look up to a role model who is known to be the King of Spin Bowling (Shane Warne). He has taken 800 test wickets. One of the reasons why he is someone to look up to is not because he is been so successful in cricket, but how he has persevered to get there, and how he actually took those wickets. Being a legspinner he used his brains, and skill to outhink and out bowl the batsman who he confronted. He used his smarts to find a way to get any batsman out. He had many ups and downs in his journey through cricket, but kept persevering and continued the art of legspin bowling. He had many challenges like getting out the class and facing the class of the great Sachin Tendulkar. He was the utmost challenge for Warne, their battles continued for very long and was a very interesting battle of witt and skill. I think Warne’s skill was not only a cricketing lesson but a life lesson. His levels of perseverance, critical levels of thinking and being a great person fo the cricketing field was something too look up to. His contributions out of cricket were a major reason for his overall success as an indiviual.

Money or happiness – which is more important and why?

To be honest, happiness is what is important for someone, it is about what makes them happy as a person. If they are fine being wealthy then it is great. And maybe a wealthy person leading a luxurious will like his life, in another total contrast. It is also very true, that the point is one that money creates happiness, although I stick by people can be happy with or without money and happiness is the most important for a person.

Akshay Kakkar

Akshay Kakkar

Akshay Kakkar

Favourite Subjects: Science, Maths and Global Studies

What sort of plans do you have for the future?

For the future I aim to gain further knowledge in the field of engineering. I aim to achieve enough knowledge to help me innovate ideas for better use. Through the knowledge I gain, I would consign to beneficial use, like creating new inventions to ease the human efforts.

Do you have any hobbies or interests you’d like to turn into a job?

My most loved hobby that I aim to turn into a job/career is inventing. I am a machine-loving guy, which means I love to break things apart and put them back together. Thus, I achieve to pursue engineering which would give me the knowledge and skills to enhance my inventions – helping me give back to the world and myself. Another hobby is leadership. Speaking in public and leading groups has always been a major part of my life. Thus through innovation I aim to become a leader, leading others to the right path. This reminds me of a quote by Steve Jobs, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”.

Which will be more important in the future: up-to-date technology or innovation? Why?

For up-to-date technology to exist, innovation is needed. Innovation is the application of better solutions which means up-to-date technology is only “up to date” because of innovations. If humans don’t innovate which means if they do not modify/alter inventions to their needs it means that the up-to-date technology would only be limited to where we innovate to.

Learn computer skills and get a job

July 16, 2014


Two surveyors using surveying equipment

New technology means surveyors have had to upgrade their digital skills

I was listening to talkback radio when a painter called “Bruce” came on to speak. Bruce had called talkback before – he was in his forties and couldn’t find a job. The host had suggested he learn how to use a computer.

A couple of months later Bruce rang back: he had learnt to use a computer and he had found a painting job.

Knowing how to use a computer is essential these days for job seeking, and for most jobs. For example, many plumbing companies require their plumbers to fill in their jobsheets on tablets and then email them through to the boss.

Office workers who have relied on the basics are finding that they might need to learn some HTML coding or how to adapt to cloud software or social media. Read more…

Students’ view – Navya and Yvonne

July 11, 2014

Each week we are sharing posts from a class of Year 10 students from Mission Heights Junior College in Manukau. Read what they have to say about education and the future.

Navya Passi

Navya Passi

Navya Passi

Age: 14
Favorite subjects: Science, Media Studies, Mathematics

How important is education?

Visualise that you are in university and receiving your bachelors’ degree. You are finally heading out into the world on your own and the next step is finding a career. It feels good to know that you have achieved your goal after working hard for years. Right? Now imagine that you haven’t even been able to get into university and the only job that is left for you is becoming a checkout operator at a supermarket. This is because you have been mucking around your whole school life and now, the state you are in is, ‘something is better than nothing’. See what education can do? You can be the CEO of a company or a checkout operator just with the power of education.

Education is extremely important as it determines what a student will do as a career. As a student, I believe that education is the base to a better future. It is what creates the concrete of the child from primary school to university to getting a career. A revolutionary politician, Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world”.

Money or happiness – which is more important and why?

One way to gain happiness is to splurge money on your favorite things. Right? Wrong. You may feel happy when you buy your favorite luxury items, either for yourself, your home or for someone else. You feel proud of yourself while receiving a pay raise from your job, although that just stays for a while. Happiness is gained easily, whether it’s by spending time with loved ones or participating in an activity that interests you. Whereas, to earn money, you need to work hard and may not be able to spend time with family and friends resulting in stress or depression. Today many people are reliant on money but does it make relationships better or buy you time? In my opinion, happiness is more important than money as it is a large factor to success. “Happiness is the highest level of success”.

Which will be more important in the future: up-to-date technology or innovation? Why?

Today, most people rely on up-to-date technology over innovation. Waiting for the new iPhone from Apple is always on their list to keep up to date with the world. Although, what about when iPhones are not even in the market, people are going to rely on innovation. I believe that innovation is going to be more important in the future as compared to up-to-date technology. Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”.

Yvonne Ruan

Yvonne Ruan

Yvonne Ruan

Favourite Subjects: Japanese, Maths

What plan of action do you have for your next years of secondary school?

Hopefully during the final three years of secondary school, I hope to take on the subjects that will guide me into my dream career as a forensic scientist. With the help of the “Forensic Scientist” profile from Careers, I have a brief understanding as to what subjects will be of use to me. I also hope to have finished and passed L3 biology, chemistry and mathematics and english with applications already sent in to University of Portsmouth, England and University of Kent, England to be a student for Criminology and Forensics Studies.

Money or happiness – which is more important and why?

Of course it all depends upon which level of happiness one is speaking of when asking if money can buy happiness. On the most basic levels, money most definitiely can buy happiness. It is genuine happiness to be able to provide medical help for your children. It is quite decidedly happiness to pay rent or mortgage to have a roof over your head and your children’s heads. It is indisputably happiness to buy wholesome and adequate food to serve your family and yourself and your beloved four-footed furry friends. It is most certainly happiness to have money for some form of transportation, be it public transit or private automobile, that allows the escape from walking 1 or 2 miles carrying supplies for familiy meals for a day or two. Money can and does buy happiness

However at the end of the day, happiness is by far more important. You don’t want to be stuck with a job you despise and that also offers low pay. Happiness is a state of mind, you can not purchase it. And even if purchased, it would’ve only been only temporary. A job well done brings more money in eventually. Besides, what good is money if you’re not happy? The greatest things that life has to offer is priceless.

What advice do you have for employers of young people?

Give it your 100%. Give the attention they need. Provide positive inductions into their working life, as a good introduction to employment practices will not only aid a smooth employment transition into employment, and make a better employee, but may also impact on the young person’s subsequent experiences in the workplace. Employing young people should be no different as to hiring adults as young people are just full of bright ideas and enthusiasm, which usually boosts morale in the workplace. Be harsh, but do not them an extremely difficult time trying to adapt to new things. Constructive criticism is good, but do not take it to an extreme as we are not only in the process of creating experience for these young people, but also shaping our future for the better.