Massey University CareerplaNZ

Career and student learning issues brought to you by Massey University’s Careers Service – New Zealand

Archive for October, 2007

John is on the road again…

Posted by John Ross on October 12, 2007

This blog is about Massey University in New Zealand – not least, because that’s where I work.

This post, on the other hand, is to tell you that we’re on tour.  If you’re a Massey student at the moment; if you’re thinking that you might want to become one or if you just want to chat to a (pretty) friendly face – that’ll be me of course – about courses or careers – and can get to where we’re going – come up and see us (sometime; make us smile…and other songs!)

We can help with, say:

  • planning your study
  • exploring career opportunities with your degree
  • assistance with the selection of papers
  • confirmation that you are on track to complete your qualification
  • clarification of degree or major regulations
  • exploration of possible postgraduate study options and
  • obtaining assistance with any other queries you may have.
  • There, that’s the shameless plug over.  Now, take a look at the schedule for Massey On Tour:  


    Posted in Blogs, Career, Choosing a course, Distance Education, Distance Learning, Massey University, New Zealand, Student, Studying, Tertiary Education, Thinking of study, Uncategorized, University | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Studying Students

    Posted by John Ross on October 9, 2007

    Chances are you’ll know a student.  Indeed, if you’re reading this you might even be one!  Where does Massey get its students from though?

    In 2005, we had over thirty-nine thousand enrolled students of which in excess of nineteen-thousand were studying extramurally – i.e. at a distance.  Breaking these overall numbers down, almost four thousand were Maori – giving Massey the largest number of Maori students of any NZ university – and over nine thousand were studying at the postgraduate level.

    Our gender breakdown was 60% female, the rest – surprise, surprise male.  Almost thirty percent were aged 20 – 24 but around a quarter were aged forty or over.  Most of our students were drawn from the North Island but five percent were international students and three percent were New Zealanders (citizens or permanent residents) currently based overseas.

    Right, that’s quite enough figure work for one blog don’t you agree?  We’re “the country’s pre-eminent supplier of distance (extramural) education”.  Extramural students face unique challenges but more on these – and on how we help them to meet their challenges – in a later blog. If you’re thinking of becoming a student figures such as these could be important.  After all, you might want to study with people similar to yourself – or people from very different backgrounds.

    Other things to think about though, are where the university is based; what the campus is like; how big your lecture and seminar groups might be; what support services are on offer; the reputation of the university and its programmes – to name but some. Massey has three main campuses – in Auckland, Palmerston North and Wellington and offers in excess of a hundred qualifications.    

    Posted in Blogs, Career, Choosing a course, Distance Education, Distance Learning, Massey University, New Zealand, Student, Studying, Tertiary Education, Thinking of study, Uncategorized, University | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Massey student – or thinking of becoming one?

    Posted by John Ross on October 2, 2007

    Are you studying at Massey University – or thinking of doing so?  If you can tick that box then read on coz’ this event might be just what you’re looking for!

    Many tertiary students wonder if they are still “on track” with their studies and career directions: if what they’re doing is “correct” and if it will lead towards where they want to be.  Studying is a big commitment, and one that’s often juggled with family, work, and other life demands – particularly if you’re a distance (or extramural) student.  As a result, it’s essential that you have some ideas about where you are heading at each step along the way.

    A team made up of senior administrative staff from Massey’s colleges, Student Liaison Advisers, (SLAs) and career consultants will be visiting centres around the country to host a “staying on track” event, during which current as well as prospective students can simply drop in at their convenience to explore their next academic and career steps (and have a cup of tea or coffee).  Come along for assistance in:

    Ø      planning your study;

    Ø      exploring the career opportunities with your degree;

    Ø      your selection of papers;

    Ø      confirming that you are on track to complete your qualification;

    Ø      clarifying degree or major regulations;

    Ø      exploring possible postgraduate study options and

    Ø      obtaining assistance with any other queries you may have (if we don’ t have the answers, we will take responsibility for finding out for you).

    We have venue details posted on our website:  

    Jjust click the link but keep an eye on this website as it may change!  The dates are given below, but if you have any questions please do not hesitate to email  

    No need to book – just pop in at any time between 3.00 and 8.00 pm – full addresses are given on the website).

    14th October – Taradale

    15th October – Tauranga

    16th October – Manukau

    17th October – Albany

    23rd October – Nelson

    24th October – Christchurch

    25th October – Invercargill

    20th November – Wellington

    21st November – Palmerston North.

    We’d love to see you there! 

    Posted in Career, Choosing a course, Distance Education, Distance Learning, Massey University, New Zealand, Studying, Tertiary Education, Thinking of study, University | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

    Learn to Earn?

    Posted by John Ross on October 1, 2007

    I have an awesome job – one that I genuinely don’t think you could ever tire of!  I get to spend my days with people who have stories to tell and goals they’re working towards.  Better still, I get to explore their goals, dreams and stories with them.

    Often, I’ll be thinking ‘why are you here’?  I don’t usually use those exact words though – just in case I get the tone wrong and scare off my clients – but why people become students in the first place has always intrigued me.   

    There might be a clear-cut career reason – the qualification is needed for the career that they want or will broaden their career choices and boost their earnings potential.  For those of you considering tertiary study in NZ the awesome organisation Career Services Rapuara has a useful ‘Take off to Tertiary’ guide.  For school-leavers, the NZ government’s ‘In Transit’ site is worth a look too.

    University can be a chance to pursue subjects liked at school, or to follow a passion for a subject.  Some have a love of learning; a keen sense of the value of a ‘good’ education or a burning desire to meet challenges.  Some crave the independence of student-hood and want to grow in confidence and self-discipline surrounded by like-minded people.  While you’re here, take a few moments out to look at what Massey University has to offer (shameless plug #1)!  

    There’s no doubt that – for some – the ‘whole student experience’ is still there for the taking.  The living in Halls or student flats; the clubs and societies from abseiling to zen; the socialising vs studying balancing-act and the ‘budgeting through baked beans’ challenges.  Has this been ‘diluted’ though – with the impact of student debt; the rise in numbers of people studying at tertiary level and the need for many to work while studying? All of the above are influences.  So too are people – parents, partners, peers; family, teachers and the like.  Their influence can be enormous, for good and for bad – I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve seen who’ve said “I really want to be a …or to study…but my parents want me to become a…or study…

    Equally, I’ve been impressed by the number of people influenced by inspirational teachers or other role models.    So feed my intrigue then.  If you’re a student, why did you become one?  What could your university do to make your student experience better?  If you are thinking of going to university what factors are important to you?  If you’ve been a student, what things do you think have changed?

    For those of you interested in an in-depth analysis of student decision making by prospective tertiary students check out this research.

    Posted in Career, Distance Education, Distance Learning, Massey University, New Zealand, Studying, Tertiary Education | Leave a Comment »

    What makes you happy?

    Posted by John Ross on October 1, 2007

    Following on from my first posting, it appears that happiness is pretty much on top for quite a few of you in your careers.  Well – happiness or the lack of it that is!  What makes you happy is a question that I (and my colleagues) often ask people who are looking for help with choosing (or changing!) their career.  We do so with a keen sense of awareness that happiness is rarely found through working long hours or – for those above a certain income – through earning more money.

    Career choice is difficult for many people – often because they ask themselves the wrong question.  It’s impossible for us to know all about all the possible jobs out there yet it’s common to think that there’s one ideal job for us and that everything else will be ‘wrong’. Instead of saying ‘what job could I do?’ try asking what are all the things that make me happy?”  Then, look for the ‘threads’ in the things you’ve found fulfilling.

    Career happiness means different things to different people – all of us have an idea of what motivates us and what we think we need.  Knowing your wants and needs, and knowing ‘what makes you come alive’ could be the first step on your road to career happiness.

    For example, is salary; status or security your primary motivator?  Are you seeking responsibility; respect; autonomy; a sense of ‘belonging’ or a feeling that you are ‘making a difference’?  Is your career making you unhappy or are you bringing your unhappiness to work?  What are your realistic options – changing career; changing employer; changing role; changing location; or finding fulfilment through other aspects of your life than work?  Remember too that these can change over time.

    Think about your relationships too – what sort of person are you and what types of people do you want around you at work?  Generally, people who are ‘socially embedded’ live longer and get over illnesses quicker than those who are more socially isolated. This embedding can be achieved inside and/or outside of work – what’s important is to be motivated, active, engaged and to see progress in whatever you do.   

    Posted in Career, Distance Education, Distance Learning, Happiness, Massey University, New Zealand, Studying, Tertiary Education | Leave a Comment »