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Graduate stories

Your knowledge and work-experience deserve recognition!

Capable NZ has helped a number of experienced adults like you, both in New Zealand and internationally, gain qualifications through measuring their life experience, skills and knowledge against a qualification; or supporting them in undertaking a degree or postgraduate qualification through a work-based project.

Our two pathways are:

Our success stories come from a range of backgrounds – from those who made a distinct career change and wanted their years of experience to count towards another qualification; to those who had been in the industry for years and wanted a formal qualification to recognise their years of hard work and dedication.

 

Capable NZ graduates tell their story

Read our graduate stories below to find out how Capable NZ has helped many people reach their full potential. These graduates engaged fully in the Capable NZ learning process, while earning recognition for their knowledge, experience and understanding. Since graduating, they have gone from strength to strength!

  • Shirley Kerr
    Bachelor of Applied Management
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    Shirley Kerr started at St John as a volunteer paramedic, and has worked her way up to a national position in charge of compliance and quality in first aid training. Although Shirley has had more than 30 years of experience with the organisation, she used to feel inferior and in awe of anyone who had a higher education. Then a friend introduced her to Capable NZ.

    Read more about Shirley Kerr
  • Grant Elliott
    Bachelor of Applied Management
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    While his Black Caps teammates put themselves to the test against Sri Lanka, star player Grant Elliott celebrated another achievement. His broken arm may have kept him off the sports field, but it meant he could attend graduation. New Zealand cricket superstar and living legend Grant Elliott graduated from Otago Polytechnic, Friday 11 December 2015, with a Bachelor of Applied Management through Capable NZ.

    Read more about Grant Elliott
  • Nikki Simpson
    Bachelor of Social Services
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    Like many of us, busy mum Nikki Simpson lives and works in a world where lots of people have degrees. Despite having lots of on-the-job learning, she felt she wasn't good enough to get a tertiary qualification. Then she encountered Capable NZ when completing an accreditation programme we were running for her employer. Little did she realise that this would be the first step on her journey to achieving that dream and earning the Bachelor of Social Services Degree in September 2015.

    Read more about Nikki Simpson
  • Adrian Woodhouse
    Master of Professional Practice
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    Adrian Woodhouse is Principal Lecturer at the Food Design Institute, Otago Polytechnic, teaching the Bachelor of Culinary Arts Degree. He completed the Master of Professional Practice in 2015 focusing on his own teaching practice, believing that the qualification "changes you on multiple levels and gives you depth to your work.”

    Read more about Adrian Woodhouse
  • Wayne Doyle
    Bachelor of Design
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    Wayne Doyle wanted to update his qualifications and initially sought a distance option but found this wasn’t a style of learning that suited him. “I had already enrolled to do another degree which was going to take me more than three years part time. By discovering Capable NZ and realising that my recognition of prior learning and life experiences can all contribute to allow me to enter into the last year of a degree was just perfect. I couldn’t believe my luck,” says Wayne who has successful earned his Bachelor of Design (Communications) Degree.

    Read more about Wayne Doyle
  • Joy Hooker
    Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education
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    Joy Hooker is the Programme Development Manager at Elim Leadership College in Auckland. She spends her days developing on-site and online Christian leadership training curriculums for students across the country. Read more about Joy Hooker
  • Aaron Halstead
    Master of Professional Practice
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    As a Regional Manager with the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, Aaron Halstead wanted to undertake study that would be immediately relevant to the work he was doing every day. During 2014 /15 he successfully completed the Master of Professional Practice Degree, a work-based learning qualification studied at Otago Polytechnic through Capable NZ.

    Read more about Aaron Halstead
  • Kiri Sloane-Hobson
    Bachelor of Applied Management
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    Kiri Sloane-Hobson first encountered Capable NZ as part of a programme being recommended by her employer. Having recognised great value in the reflective process to achieve a qualification, she decided to continue her learning journey. Kiri enrolled on the Bachelor of Applied Management programme and in Spring 2015 was successful in being awarded the qualification.

    Read more about Kiri Sloane-Hobson
  • Shea McAleese
    Bachelor of Applied Management
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    Shea McAleese has played at two Olympic Games, two Commonwealth Games and two hockey world cup events, and at the age of 29 he is now vice-captain for New Zealand’s national men’s hockey team, the Black Sticks. His next goal is the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Since the age of 20, his semi-professional hockey career has taken him to Australia, Germany, Belgium and Holland. Read more about Shea McAleese
  • Murray Hyslop
    Bachelor of Applied Management
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    As it turned out, Murray had his contract extended no less than five times before he decided to move on of his own accord. And, while this made for a long period of employment uncertainty, the additional months allowed him time to earn a management qualification drawing from his experiences in an organisation where he had a great strategic knowledge. Read more about Murray Hyslop
  • Stuart McDonald
    Bachelor of Applied Management
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    People have many different reasons for wanting to get a degree. Sometimes it’s because they enjoy learning, others want to progress at work or even start a whole new career. For Stuart McDonald there was a very unique and personal reason behind why he approached Capable NZ to complete his Bachelor of Applied Management degree.

    Read more about Stuart McDonald
  • Debbie Galdeman
    Bachelor of Applied Management
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    "I never really worried about getting a qualification earlier in my career, because I was growing in an organisation, moving though the company and being presented with a lot of challenges and experiences," Debbie explains. "But when I decided to move I found I missed out on a few jobs because I was competing against other candidates who in some instances held degrees." Read more about Debbie Galdeman
  • Margaret Dempster
    Bachelor of Applied Management
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    Margaret Dempster has strong farming roots in the Otago region. Her family have farmed here for 90 years, and her husband’s farming family is now in its fifth generation. Over 4,300 hectares of stunningly beautiful farmland, they run more than 16,000 stock units made up of sheep, cattle and deer, with lamb  being their traditional main output. But shifting global economies have meant that they need to be nimble to react to changes in product demand and farming trends. And this has meant understanding your business. “We need to analyse what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and where’s the profit being made,” says Margaret. Read more about Margaret Dempster