Gain knowl­edge while study­ing at Ao­raki

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

‘‘After fin­ish­ing my de­gree at Otago Univer­sity I en­rolled in a Di­ploma in Jour­nal­ism at Ao­raki – now I am a jour­nal­ist for a ma­jor NZ news­pa­per,’’ Ben Guild said. Ben Guild wasn’t al­ways plan­ning on be­com­ing a jour­nal­ist. He saw his de­gree in English and His­tory as a step to­ward be­com­ing a teacher. ‘‘After grad­u­at­ing from Otago Univer­sity, I went to Aus­tralia and worked for a while. I did a heap of labour­ing and had a fan­tas­tic time, but I wanted a ca­reer.’’ Ben re­turned to New Zealand and en­rolled in Ao­raki Polytech­nic’s Di­ploma in Jour­nal­ism at the Dunedin cam­pus. ‘‘There were a few of us who chose to do post grad study in jour­nal­ism. I re­ally en­joy the prac­ti­cal el­e­ments as­so­ci­ated with the pro­gramme. You get out and about and talk to many dif­fer­ent peo­ple about many dif­fer­ent things. Pair­ing jour­nal­ism with my univer­sity qual­i­fi­ca­tions brings a prac­ti­cal el­e­ment to my skills and knowl­edge – which makes it eas­ier to find a job.’’ A highlight at Ao­raki for Ben was hav­ing a story he wrote pub­lished by in­ter­na­tional me­dia. He ex­posed peo­ple who were falsely reg­is­ter­ing their ve­hi­cles as am­bu­lances to get the sig­nif­i­cant cost dis­counts. ‘‘The Guardian in Eng­land picked it up from the ODT, who got it from the ‘Ao­raki Newsline’ page – a blog where we post all of our sto­ries.’’ As part of the Di­ploma, stu­dents com­plete work ex­pe­ri­ence with a me­dia out­let. ‘‘I com­pleted my work ex­pe­ri­ence at the ODT in Dunedin. It worked out fairly well – they of­fered me a job and now I’m a full time jour­nal­ist for the ODT in Oa­maru. I couldn’t pass up the op­por­tu­nity and Ao­raki are sup­port­ing me to fin­ish my Di­ploma by cor­re­spon­dence.’’ ‘‘Ao­raki equip you with the knowl­edge you need in the in­dus­try and I am con­stantly re­fer­ring back to what I learnt at Ao­raki. The tu­tor is ex­cel­lent and his con­nec­tions within the in­dus­try in­valu­able. It’s a re­ward­ing pro­gramme and peo­ple get jobs at the end of it – which is not al­ways the case with some qual­i­fi­ca­tions.’’

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