With a focus on achieving a higher education, Calvin Russell has found his degree in Environmental Management has opened various other avenues in his professional life, providing a platform to work from.
“It also showed that I can apply myself in order to get where I needed to be,” he says.
A 2018 graduate of the Bachelor of Environmental Management, Calvin undertook his studies at the Southern Institute of Technology’s (SIT) Invercargill campus
Of Maori decent, he chose the environmental qualification to complement many of the outdoor activities he enjoyed and to learn more about the current state of the countrys environment.
“I worked at Alliance Group Lornville Plant and as an Open Water Scuba Diver In many of the off-seasons, travelling around various places.”
He had also completed a certificate in Workplace Health & Safety and was a graduate of the Level 4 Te Ara Reo Maori certificate.
Calvin felt the environmental course provided a broad range of knowledge and he learnt a lot more than he was expecting too.
“The tutors were very helpful to my needs as an adult learner.
“The whole design gave me a good understanding of what I was going to encounter in working life outside SIT.
“All volunteer field trips were stand outs and every opportunity to engage with them are highly suggested as a year 1 and 2,” says Calvin.
“These provide valuable contacts for future advancements into the sector.”
He says the SIT environmental programme offered various opportunities to network and engage with real people working within the industry.
“I believe there are several graduates who used this to their advantage and have gained employment in the sector.
“The sector is quite supportive of SIT students gaining employment and have several fixed term and contractual work available.
“At the end of the day it is up to the individual to open doors and create an opportunity.”
Calvin is currently working for Te Waananga o Aotearoa at SIT as a Programme Co-ordinator.
“I have found the skills learnt on the course have transferred into my everyday job,” he says.
He also has some advice for Maori students undertaking study:
“Ensure you are good within your own Maori identity, as there may be people you meet along your journey who are not.”
“Do not let others dictate your values and beliefs, let them have their say and carry on. Achieve what you need in order to provide a future for you and your whanau.”
“Study is not a social gathering, it is hard work and commitment. Ensure you tick all boxes and use your culture for positive inclusion in your own work and not as a separation item. “