A recent recruit to the Architectural diploma, Rotorua-born Tamar Mareroa returned to New Zealand after spending the past seven years in Australia.
She worked at IKEA in Sydney for several years where their mantra ‘creating a better everyday living’ struck a chord.
“With that in mind, I began my journey of study, first with one semester of Engineering – Sustainable Energy, then onto a Certificate in Building and Construction.”
In 2018, Tamar decided it was time to cut her teeth within the industry and she started as a Contracts Administrator for a small building company in Sydney.
“This position expanded my knowledge and experience across many facets of design and construction, but the small operation meant that I could work in and alongside different roles – accounting, book keeping, scheduling, estimation, drafting, contracts admin and mitigation,” says Tamar.
“I was a ‘Jack of all trades’. Some days were spent on-site with the boys, others in court for tribunal hearings, but most mitigating contract details with clients.”
She says the experience helped her to narrow down her options and make a decision as to where she wanted to go next.
Tamar chose to return to New Zealand to study at SIT in Invercargill, with the Zero Fees Scheme further prompting her decision.
“It reall was a no brainer for me,” she says.
“When compared to other institutes who offer the diploma, SIT makes economic sense when you’re not eligible for the Government scheme.”
Enrolling in the Architectural Technology diploma is Tamar’s first step in testing the waters to find her ideal career.
“I’d like to find the role that leads to a career, hence starting with a diploma with the aim of finding scope across the construction industry, and where I’ll fit in.
“I don’t rule out further study at all.”
She has found the course challenging so far, but has been assured that the first year can feel like you are thrown in the deep end a bit.
“It’s like that in the industry, so they want you to feel that too. At the moment we’ve just come to model making, so it’ll be rewarding to step back and see what we all come up with.”
Tamar is enjoying the interaction she has with members of the industry in Invercargill and how supportive local firms are of SIT students.
“Of the three architecture firms in Invercargill, we have two directors as tutors, which is amazing,” she says.
“They give us well rounded feedback and advice, allowing us to ‘find our feet’ as such.”
Upon graduation, Tamar plans to return to Australia and beginning working in the industry.