NorthTec has recently had two local radio celebrities from competing stations “test drive” programmes at NorthTec. Charmaine “Char” Soljak, from The Hits and Toast, from More FM, both signed up to experience what’s on offer at Te Tai Tokerau’s largest vocational education provider.
As part of the campaign, the two radio hosts could choose any programme they liked and talk to any students, enrolment and student support staff without NorthTec having any control over what might be said or experienced during live broadcasts and video streaming.
Lyn Cheyne, Marketing Manager, said it was a risk but a calculated one. “I knew our team would come through whatever Char and Toast chose – everyone at NorthTec does their utmost to support our learners in their journey with us.”
Char and Toast talked about their concerns and questions over the air about learning at NorthTec, how friendly people would be and even if they were too old to look at a new career. The Northern Advocate came to the party too, publishing Char’s blog throughout the campaign.
Toast chose to test drive NorthTec’s New Zealand Certificate in Apiculture (Level 3) and showed Facebook watchers how to enrol online. Toast spent some time with Connie Tipene, NorthTec apiculture tutor, at the Future Trades campus in Dyer Street, Whangārei, and of course, the bees! All suited up and keeping his cool, Toast helped Connie move the honey to a lower hive for wintering, saying he found the humming bees very calming.
Toast said: “I was excited to be working with NorthTec again. I was impressed with all the options of courses and it took quite a while to finally settle on trying the apiculture course. Connie was an amazing tutor who made me feel comfortable and educated me a lot about the way of bees. Her passion for her work was obvious and infectious. I would definitely recommend studying with NorthTec to anyone looking to enhance their future.”
Char spoke to a couple of students, the enrolment team at the Raumanga campus, and NorthTec’s Student Voice Coordinator, Hoana Paul, who explained the range of support services available to learners as they start and continue their study journey. Nervous about being an “adult” student, Char was delighted to hear NorthTec has numerous learners across all programmes that are aged over 25 and embarking on new careers.
Char chose to test drive the NZ Certificate in Baking (Generalist) (Level 4) and attended a class in the purpose-built kitchen facilities at NorthTec’s Raumanga campus, making choux pastries. Char said she had an awesome time: “The experience proved I still have enough curiosity and passion to learn. If you are driven to study, possibly upskill or retrain. NorthTec can answer your questions so there are no barriers, and inspire greatness.”
Lyn said she was delighted with the two radio stars’ experiences and online coverage. “We have a fantastic team of tutors and support people here at NorthTec. We get that there are a lot of questions and uncertainty in deciding to upskill and making the decision to do more learning.” Lyn hopes the experiences of Char and Toast encourage others to make enquiries and become part of NorthTec’s whānau.