I had no confidence in myself or my skill, and it turns out I was quite good at a lot of things!
Kinder Kara - Ngāti Kahungunu & Rongomaiwahine & Te Arawa
Kinder Kara got more out of his Certificate in Creative Studies than he ever thought he would.
“I had no confidence in myself or my skill, and it turns out I was quite good at a lot of things!”
Kinder has a background in Māori carving and art, but he wanted to learn how to paint.
“I loved every day of that programme. I was really shy before I started at Otago Polytechnic, but the lecturers there helped show me that I can do what I set my mind to”.
That trust in his lecturers is quite something. “Especially for someone who hated teachers!” he laughs. He left high school after only two weeks, so studying at tertiary level is a real accomplishment.
Kinder found a lot of support at Poho – the Māori student space in Te Punaka Owheo at Otago Polytechnic.
“I was there every day. It’s just like home, they make it like home”.
Kinder’s experience has been so good, he’s now studying for a Bachelor of Visual Arts.
“It’s scary, I have to learn a whole new language around art! But one thing I learnt last year is to ask questions. That was drummed into us at the pōwhiri.”
So now, Kinder asks questions, and he’s doing something he never thought he’d do … he’s succeeding in tertiary education.
Read more about the Certificate in Creative Studies.
Read more about the Bachelor of Visual Arts.
More about studying Art at Otago Polytechnic.
It helped us focus on our abilities and really gave us confidence to take the next step into the workforce or further study
Sally Cobb glows when she talks about working at Otago Polytechnic.
“I actually love it! I love face to face contact with customers, and now I get to do that every day in a really supportive environment” she says.
Sally first came to Otago Polytechnic as a student. She had worked in the hospitality industry for ten years, but she wanted a change.
“I’d come from a job where I was bullied, the Certificate in Foundation Studies was exactly what I needed.”
She found the programme really prepared her for the workforce.
“It showed us how to present ourselves, and how to portray how we really wanted to be seen. It helped us focus on our abilities and really gave us confidence to take the next step into the workforce or further study.”
Sally completed her placement for the course at the polytechnic’s reception desk – she was so good, they employed her full time!
“Foundation Studies really opened my eyes to what I can do. Now, I recommend it to everyone! So many people say it’s ‘just’ Foundation Studies’, but I point out that it’s really valuable, and they have no idea where it’ll lead them”.
Sally continued studying while she was working – graduating with a National Certificate in Business Administration (both level 3 and 4).
“It’s cool now, I get to see all the Foundation students graduate and then go on to other studies or work … it gives me the warm fuzzies”.
Sally loves reception, and wants to stay there, and she’s also planning on further study.
“I’d love to do a Capable NZ qualification through Otago Polytechnic. I know it’d be hard work, but I can’t wait to build more expertise.”
Read more about Foundation Studies at Otago Polytechnic.