Third year Bachelor of Environmental Management student, Aurora Grant spent several years working in hospitality, starting a family and competing in Equestrian sports, prior to deciding on future career options.
She recognised she wanted to complete formal study of some sort, but just wasn’t sure what.
“I did have a strong environmental ethic, and it was an area I was interested in,” Aurora says.
“After taking multiple online career quizzes and considering what would be best for my situation and family, I decided to enrol in the Bachelor of Environmental Management because of the lower cost, local provider and appealing course content.”
Having learnt about the course through word-of-mouth, Aurora says she really didn’t have any expectations as to what the content would include.
“I did expect to meet some cool, like-minded people, and the course certainly delivered on that, as I have made some life-long friends who I studied with.
Now in her final year, she says the course has set her up brilliantly for her present role at Environment Southland.
“The practical element to the course is second to none, and the course content is well rounded and relevant to the environmental field.
“For me, it was life changing. It has given me opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise without studying and gave me a stable base knowledge to launch my career from.
For practical activities or field trips, Aurora and her classmates spent time travelling around Southland and Otago, gaining valuable hands-on experience with environmental issues.
“Highlights for me included tramping up Mt Luxmore and an overnight trip to Queenstown with a tour through the Clyde dam.
Auroras study to work progression was a little unusual when compared to the average student as she obtained a summer student role with Environment Southland at the completion of her second year of study.
From there, Aurora continued with work experience and applied for, and was successful in receiving a full time role.
“As I still had my third year of study to complete, I chipped away at it part time while working full time,” she says.
“I lead a team of up to 15 direct reports in the resource consents team.
“ My day-to-day job requires making decisions on applications to use natural resources, audit, prepare evidence and report on complex applications, attend hearings, guide team members and train new staff.
“I also get to do some awesome site visits to the likes of Fiordland and Stewart Island.”
A busy Mum, Aurora doesn’t let lack of time get in the way, and is currently undertaking further study towards an MBA.
“ Long term, I am aiming to continue to progress up the leadership ladder, with the aim of one day being a senior executive.”