Lending a helping hand
After making the big decision to change careers, Melanie Taylor now has a rewarding role supporting others through counselling.
Counselling really is a journey – every client teaches you something – and it’s also a personal journey of discovery into your own life!
Melanie Taylor always wanted to be a social worker, but ended up working in the insurance industry after leaving school.
Then, after some big life events, she decided the time was right to follow her passion for helping people, and so she enrolled at Otago Polytechnic to begin her journey.
"It wasn’t always easy returning to study. I put high expectations on myself and it was hard to juggle full-time study with being a mum. The biggest challenge was finding the balance. However I now work as a full-time counsellor for Anglican Family Care, which is very rewarding. I’ve worked in the position for a few months now, since graduating. I see a mix of self-referrals, and referrals from other team members – and my caseload is steadily growing.
"I’m currently working towards my full New Zealand Association of Counsellors membership. At the moment, I help individuals, but I would like to expand my expertise so that I can work with couples and families too. Counselling really is a journey – every client teaches you something – and it’s also a personal journey of discovery into your own life!"
Want to become a counsellor, career practitioner or work in the social services, disability or mental health services? This degree programme will give you the necessary skills to be a capable and confident social services professional working in New Zealand.