Student offered dream job

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​​Gabriel Scholtjes (third from left) is a recent graduate of New Zealand Certificate in Pest Operations (Level 3) and has managed to secure himself a job far above your normal graduate role.

Gabriel is originally from Wellington and relocated to New Plymouth specifically to study the pest operations programme.

For Gabriel, relocating to study was a no brainer and enabled him to take the next step in his career.

"This course is becoming more widely recognised, and I see it as a pre-requisite for jobs in the primary industries sector more and more. There are very few providers in the country that offer it, so moving was one of my only options," he said.

A career in conservation has been a dream of Gabriel's and this programme was the perfect stepping stone for his development.

"I wanted to get into conservation and become a ranger and pest operations is a huge part of this," he said.

"It's not just your average 9-5 job. A career in pest operations could mean you're hiking, in a helicopter being dropped into the bush, dog handling, using a quad bike, a chainsaw or even thermal imaging and this just touches the surface".

When asked about the highlights from studying the programme, Gabriel was quick to answer, saying that his tutor and the practical elements of the course have been huge for him.

WITT Pest Operations Tutor Daniel Waterson said that Gabriel was a talented and committed student, "the job he has secured is not just a graduate job. The company he is working for is highly recognised and one of the three highest providers of contractors to the Department of Conservation. I am very proud of him and he is an excellent example of someone who was willing to put in the work when it counts," he said.

Daniel said that the practical based learning of the course is very beneficial to students.

"It sets them up for the industry and familiarises them with the real-life experiences they will encounter in their day to day job".

Gabriel's advice to anyone considering studying in any course at WITT is passion is key.

"Try and get the most out of the course. You will get whatever you want to out of the course if you are willing to put in the time and effort."  

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