Tue 21 Apr 2015

Former student turned tutor

Goonjan Gupta is WITT’s new tutor in Professional Cookery – and she’s loving it!

As a former international student at WITT herself, she is ideally placed to understand and meet the needs of the international students who study here.

 Many of the international students, who are mainly Indian, subsequently apply for residency in New Zealand and continue their culinary careers here, so it can be very much a transitional experience.

“I came to New Zealand in 2008 after I got my degree in hotel management as we call it back it home,  I started working in pastry just after I finished my course and carried on working there,’’ says Goonjan.

“Then I came to New Zealand, finished my level 5 diploma in professional cookery at WITT. ‘’ Goonjan subsequently worked in various restaurants and hotels around New Zealand and says it was a valuable learning exercise.

“I wanted to learn new skills, get a feel of the industry and gain experience. ‘’

Goonjan taught at Pihms Hotel School at Bell Block for three years and during that time also earned her Adult Education Certificate.   “That helped me lay down a foundation for my teaching.

“It’s really good to be back at WITT and doing what I love. I really appreciate all the support that WITT offers and everyone is really helpful and will happily guide you if you’re not sure about something.

“That is what I enjoy most, especially after coming here as an international student, and now I’ll be teaching them,

“I know where they’ve come from and what’s going on in their minds. I think I know how to deal with them. I try and tell them not to make the same silly mistakes I did - but it doesn’t stop them from doing it,’’ she says with a laugh.

Goonjan started on March 23. “I’m teaching pastry at the moment to my group of 24 students. We have one theory day and two practical days each week for their 18 month course. Some groups are mixed, but mine are mostly from the 18-month diploma course.

“I like dealing with different students at different levels and help them understand what’s happening. The international students are always fun, ‘’she says with her trademark chuckle.

Goonjan says she enjoys living in New Plymouth, “it’s home for me now and I’m not going anywhere in a hurry. “