Student Story

Chris Neville

When Chris Neville started hating Mondays, a passion for animals lead Chris Neville on an entirely new path.

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Chris Neville had worked in the telecom industry for 12 years, but his real passion was with animals. He volunteered with various charities including SPCA and K9 Dogwatch.

But he wanted to know more, so he signed up to do a New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Level 3) (Companion Animals) with Otago Polytechnic’s Veterinary Nursing School.

“I live in Christchurch, so I did it all through distance learning.  The learning materials were really good, and there was always a lecturer available online. It was just like you could walk into their office and ask!”

Chris worked part-time while he studied, and if he missed any classes he found he could easily make up the time and learning. He says he had to be disciplined to sit down and study, but the workload was realistic.

“It gave a really good broad education of the industry. It’s an ideal course if you want to get a job in animal care, or carry on and become a vet nurse.”

Volunteering and work placement was a part of the programme, and Chris says that prepared everyone for work.

“It shows you what it’s actually like to work with animals … that it’s not all about patting puppies … it can be dirty, hard work.”

Chris is now working his dream job at ‘Kuri’ in Christchurch. He’s a supervisor at the dog-care facility, interacting, playing with and monitoring the dogs in his care.

“Now, because of my education, I can also offer advice on nutrition and training.  I love it, and my plan is to move forward with the company as it grows.”

Now, Chris Neville loves Mondays!

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