Otago Polytechnic
SOS profile MelanieTaylor 002
Life can throw you curveballs and challenges, and my role is to give others the support they need.

Melanie Taylor
Bachelor of Social Services

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!"

Read more about the Bachelor of Social Services 

More Social Services programmes > 

SOS profile PetraHass 001
It’s great to see others benefit from my guidance and advice.

Petra Hass
Bachelor of Social Services

Petra Hass is a Career Adviser at the University of Otago’s Career Development Centre. Her role is incredibly varied. She helps with everything from CV preparation and cover letter writing skills, to job search strategy and interview coaching. She also designs and runs workshops to help students improve their interpersonal communication and networking skills.

“My Bachelor of Social Services (Career Practice) was instrumental in helping me launch my career in Dunedin. I worked in the print media industry in Germany, before moving here, and was ready for a career change. I wanted a New Zealand qualification that would help me find meaningful work – the degree programme at Otago Polytechnic was exactly what I was looking for!" says Petra.

“The programme was both fun and practical. It was a great way to make connections in Dunedin and build a network of friends and contacts. It also provided a fascinating introduction to Māori culture. My degree definitely helped me gain employment. It connected me to work placements giving me plenty of space to hunt out my own opportunities.

“This career requires a high level of commitment, and it is very rewarding. It’s important to enjoy working with people, and to have a good knowledge of the employment market. In the fast-paced and constantly changing labour environment, a willingness to learn and to keep up-to-date is essential!”