Kara Donaghy is studying the New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory at Southern Institute of Technology (SIT). More commonly referred to as a ‘pre-trade electrical course’, students studying this programme use it as a stepping stone towards gaining an electrical apprenticeship, learning both theory and practical skills integral to the work they will undertake in their journey to becoming a fully qualified electrician.
As a female in a male dominated field, Kara doesn’t let that worry her, she knows what she is good at and what she enjoys and having come first in her high school STAR electronics class, she had some idea of what she was getting into when she enrolled in the full-time course after finishing high school.
“At high school I was tested and told I had dyslexia so throughout school I didn’t really like english, but enjoyed maths and science more.”
Finding the assessments the hardest part of her course as they are mostly theory based, Kara still maintains that, “I believe (and this is coming from a dyslexic person), that the knowledge we are taught is provided in a clear and simple way, with easy to understand language and diagrams.”
Kara decided to enrol in the programme at SIT following both her parent’s advice. “My mother always told me to get a trade under my belt before anything else and my father recommended I go into a career that will provide plenty of work opportunities. As a teenager I thought this was a bit stupid. I wanted to do something awesome like product and design, architecture or engineering, but after looking around the universities, I thought that environment seemed too stressful for me and I went back to considering my parent’s advice.”
Remembering her success in electronics class and having had family members work in the electrical business, she decided to pursue an electrical apprenticeship, enrolling for the 2018 intake of SIT’s ‘pre-trade’ course.