Dream ca­reer in sci­ence

Hamilton News - - COMMUNITY -

Kris Beat­tie ad­mits she never en­joyed school. Defying the odds, she is now pur­su­ing a suc­cess­ful ca­reer as a se­nior lab­o­ra­tory tech­ni­cian.

No two days are the same for Kris since she started work­ing for An­a­lyt­ica Lab­o­ra­to­ries in 2014 straight af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Win­tec with a two-year New Zealand Di­ploma in Ap­plied Sci­ence.

Kris works within the honey test­ing team, and uses her skills to run data anal­y­sis, set up in­stru­ments, and work on re­search and de­vel­op­ment projects.

“I use what I learnt at Win­tec all the time and ev­ery sin­gle day in my work,” Kris says.

She wanted to go to univer­sity but didn’t qual­ify to en­rol in a sci­ence de­gree. At the time, with a two-year-old toddler, Kris could not af­ford to take re­fresher train­ing. She then dis­cov­ered that Win­tec was of­fer­ing sci­ence cour­ses.

“I’ve al­ways been pas­sion­ate about sci­ence but it’s not easy to get into ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion with av­er­age grades,” says Kris.

Six years af­ter leav­ing sec­ondary school and do­ing odd jobs, the young mum de­cided it was the right time for her to re­turn to study.

“I wanted a brighter fu­ture for me and my child and I wanted to get a job I en­joy, which chal­lenges and mo­ti­vates me.”

Study­ing as an adult was a com­pletely dif­fer­ent learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for Kris, and Win­tec was the per­fect match for her.

“Tak­ing a di­ploma at Win­tec was great and ac­ces­si­ble. We started by learn­ing the ba­sics as all stu­dents en­rolled came from dif­fer­ent back­grounds,” says Kris.

“We gained ex­pe­ri­ence us­ing lab­o­ra­tory in­stru­ments and do­ing cal­cu­la­tions. We got prac­ti­cal skills, al­low­ing us to be able to work im­me­di­ately af­ter grad­u­at­ing.”

Waikato-based CAIQTEST Pa­cific Lab­o­ra­tory Man­ager, Ok­sana Ch­erny­sheva, has been man­ag­ing Win­tec grad­u­ates for sev­eral years and shares her point of view.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate the pos­i­tive ‘can-do’ at­ti­tude of Win­tec sci­ence grad­u­ates and I’m im­pressed by their work-ready com­pe­ten­cies. They quickly be­come con­fi­dent and pro­fes­sional in their roles, and they are now able to train peo­ple and cover a wide scope of chem­i­cal test­ing meth­ods,” Ok­sana says.

How­ever, study­ing sci­ence is in­tense, and pas­sion must be part­nered with a strong com­mit­ment.

“It was hard tak­ing care of my daugh­ter and hav­ing to study at the same time, also man­ag­ing part-time work and a stu­dent loan on the top of that,” says Kris.

Kris be­lieves she stud­ied a lot harder and took her stud­ies more se­ri­ously than other stu­dents, due to the pres­sures that were placed on her fam­ily as she was study­ing. But she has no re­grets and she has achieved her dream.

When asked about her plans for the fu­ture, Kris says: “I will con­tinue where I am and see where it takes me, but I’ve found my call­ing with sci­ence.”

If you are in­ter­ested in a ca­reer in ap­plied sci­ence, Win­tec of­fers pro­grammes for stu­dents who want to work as en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tists, food tech­nol­o­gists, and engi­neers or sci­ence tech­ni­cians. Qual­i­fi­ca­tions start from cer­tifi­cate to bach­e­lor’s de­gree level.

Photo / An­a­lyt­ica Lab­o­ra­to­ries

Win­tec grad­u­ate Kris Beat­tie at work in her dream job in Hamil­ton.

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