When it comes to career choices, Danielle Huntington has two passions, and she is intent on training for both of them, to provide her with interesting and engaging opportunities in the future.
Danielle first considered the tourism industry as a possible career path, in Year 13 of high school; it appealed to her because of its endless job opportunities. However, she found herself enrolling in and completing a Certificate in Beauty Therapy Level 4 in 2019. She graduated with ITEC qualifications and achieved the 'Top Practical Student' award of her class. The Beauty Therapy qualification she first accomplished, has created an income stream while studying and provides another string to her bow.
“I used my beauty therapy skills after the course to work part-time at a local beauty salon in Invercargill, filling in for one of the beauticians who was away on leave. I hope to continue using my beauty skills in the near future by setting up my own beauty salon, offering beauty services in Invercargill as a side occupation”.
“I decided to continue studying at SIT after beauty therapy as I enjoy learning, developing skills, meeting new people on campus, and having the opportunity to expand my career options. The switch between the two courses wasn't difficult as I knew I had a passion for both professions”.
Danielle’s fortunate to have travelled, exploring other parts of the world, such as England, France, Germany, and Dubai, which has helped shape her decision to now focus on travel and tourism.
Closer to home, her adventures throughout New Zealand include the Kawarau Bridge Bungy, the Milford Sound Cruise, and Auckland Sky Tower. Somewhere along the way, she developed a love for travel.
“Travelling became a passion for me and influenced my decision to pursue study that incorporated something I love doing, as a career path”.
She studied the Diploma in Tourism and Travel Southern Experience (Level 5) at SIT in 2020, to expand on the skills and knowledge gained in the previous year when she completed the Certificate in Travel (Level 4)
The Diploma in Tourism and Travel (Level 5) course at SIT covers a range of subjects to develop students’ skills, knowledge, and experiences for the tourism industry. The course includes modules such as: communications, tourism principles, workplace practices, tourism enterprise development, marketing, establishing a tourism event or activity, and work experience within local businesses.
Danielle gained important insight into working in the industry during her work placement, which is a component of the programme.
“I gained invaluable work experience at Great South, the Southland Regional Development Agency, by working alongside professional, and knowledgeable staff, as well as contributing within the organisation. I had the opportunity to implement skills I had learnt during my course, and experience ‘first-hand’ the operation of a tourism and travel business”.
Danielle said the Zero fees scheme at SIT allows qualifications to be affordable and accessible for anyone who has a passion to study. The course fees are free for eligible students, meaning the only costs she had were for books needed throughout the course, and course trips.
“My favourite part of being a student at SIT are the countless opportunities, support, and possibilities to either pursue further study, or employment within your dream job”.
She said the high point of her course was organising a farm tour for international students studying at SIT, providing them an opportunity to experience local sheep farming, and giving them an insight into New Zealand culture.
“At the completion of my studies I was awarded ‘Top Student - New Zealand Diploma in Tourism and Travel (Level 5) - Southern Experience’, which was an amazing highlight to end my studies on for the year”.
Danielle’s back at SIT in 2021, enrolled in the Diploma in Hospitality Management (Level 6), to experience a different branch of the tourism and travel industry. She hopes to complete her diploma by the end of 2021, before going on to achieve the Bachelor in Hotel Management (Level 7) by completing one more additional year of study at SIT.
“As the tourism and travel industry has endless job opportunities, I am hoping to discover my strengths and interests to determine which career path to take at the completion of my studies. I am considering a career in hotel management and I am excited to see where my journey of studying at SIT takes me”.