For the majority of students, studying for one qualification will suffice. For Otago Polytechnic student Rowan Tumai, studying for two qualifications is something he thought “he’d give a go”.
The 21-year old is in his final year of an Applied Science degree, majoring in Environmental Science at Otago University and is studying a New Zealand Diploma in Civil Engineering at Otago Polytechnic.
Hailing from Roxburgh in Central Otago, Rowan says his interest in the environment and “engineering things” came from his childhood.
“Growing up, we spent a lot of time outside. My nana and granddad lived on a farm, so we’d always be up to something; blocking creeks and making new paths.”
A childhood love of playing outside has evolved into the pursuit of a career working in the outdoors. “I’d like to become a project manager,” says Rowan. “I’m interested in water resources and management as well as environmental engineering.”
Having studied for four years already, Rowan says he enjoys the practical, hands-on components of the Civil Engineering Diploma and the open-door policy that his lecturers have at the Polytechnic.
“They’re very good to talk to. You’re not just a number and you can’t be a grey man when you’re sitting in class of twenty. The lecturers know your name and know if you’re not paying attention!” he laughs. “I’ve got some good mates here and it’s really good to study with like-minded people.”