Warren Smith
Publish Date: Monday, 23 November 2020
Warren Smith

Programme Manager Profile

#SIT2LRN #Programme Manager

When SIT2LRN programme manager Warren Smith comes home at night and his daughter asks him what he did during the day, it’s not always easy to come up with an answer.


“There’s never a dull moment in the office,” Smith said.


“From assessing my share of the 4800 applications so far in 2018, discussing new programmes with developers, meeting with advisory committee members or answering questions from potential students, each day brings a new set of challenges. That is what I love about the role – each day presents new opportunities and challenges.”


Warren joined the Southern Institute of Technology’s Invercargill campus in April 2017.


His experience working with international students initially led to him managing the onsite business programmes in Invercargill and Auckland, a role he has recently handed over and he now oversees distance learning programmes in Agriculture, Horticulture, Environmental Studies, Travel and Tourism, Health Sciences and Sports Coaching.


Originally from Chatham, a small town in south-western Ontario, Canada, Warren comes from a family of educators.


He played a range of sports growing up, but his main passion was volleyball and he played as a setter at Brock University while studying towards an Honours Bachelor in Physical Education.


Warren completed his Masters in Human Kinetics, specialising in Sports Management at the University of Windsor, putting his studies to good use by helping run a Canadian Beach Volleyball tour that raised funds for the Windsor Hospital Outreach programme which was designed to help those with disabilities find employment.


“Rather than going straight onto teachers college training in Canada, I decided to get some practical experience by teaching English as a second language in South Korea,” Warren said.


“I ended up spending 12 years teaching in Korea. The majority were spent delivering classes in English language to students from a wide variety of departments (dental hygiene, geography, engineering, physical education, outdoor recreation and leisure, business, and history). I met my wife, Julia, a fellow educator and dental technician, while in Korea. We have two children – Serina who is 8 and Noah who is 4.”


Warren and Julia also ran their own after-school English language school for elementary school children for five years before moving to New Zealand.


Having lived in different places throughout North America, Asia and Australasia, Warren is a firm believer in the power of travel to develop a greater appreciation of life.


“When I was young I didn’t travel much. But as I’ve grown up, I realise how important travel is. It’s one thing to see a documentary on TV about Lombok, Indonesia. It’s another to actually swim and dive with the marine life. To have your children meet and interact with the locals who do their part to save the sea turtles from pollution and illegal fishing helps give them an educational experience far beyond books and TV.”