Otago Polytechnic
MED profile DavidBeck 002
I think journalism is a really good career, every week you’re doing different stories, it’s definitely an interesting job.

David Beck
National Diploma in Journalism (Multimedia) (Level 5)

David Beck moved to Dunedin for the student lifestyle after completing the first year of a commerce degree in Wellington.

“I think coming to Dunedin was the best move I ever made," he says. 

David researched programmes online and found the National Diploma in Journalism (Multimedia) (Level 5)* had a very good job success rate.

“I could see on the website how many students had got jobs fairly quickly, and out of the ten students in my class three of us got jobs before we even finished the Diploma.”

David says having a small class allowed for great group discussions and one-on-one tuition.

“Everyone got along really well and there was always plenty of time to talk to the tutor. I did commerce at university where I was one of two hundred students in the lecture theatre, and you couldn’t get a word in. It was so much better than that.” 

David says the Diploma programme really prepared him for a job as a newspaper reporter, covering a surprisingly wide range of topics from Media Law to Photography.

“Photography is half my job now as a reporter, I take all my own photos for my newspaper stories. There’s also four weeks of work experience and that was great value. In fact, it was when I was on work experience I was offered my first job.”

*The National Diploma in Journalism (Multimedia) (Level 5) used to be offered at Aoraki Polytechnic but moved to Otago Polytechnic in 2015.

MED profile ChristinaJadePhotography 002
We went straight into working as commercial photographers as soon as Jade graduated.

Tina & Jade Watt
Certificate in Digital Photography (Level 5)

Mother and daughter, Tina and Jade Watt, never imagined they’d end up owning and running their own commercial photography business together when they both enrolled in the Certificate in Digital Photography (Level 5)*.

“I already had a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Otago Polytechnic Dunedin School of Art but I wanted to be more proficient in digital photography as I was using a lot of photos in my artwork,” says Tina.

“My dream was always to be a flight attendant or a vet nurse, so I did a flight attendant course, a certificate in vet nursing and then a business administration programme but I found it hard to get a job. I’d always liked taking photos, so that’s when I thought I could do a photography programme and take photos of animals,” says Tina’s daughter, Jade.

Both mother and daughter were amazed and thrilled at how much the one year programme covered.

“We had a full day in the studio every week, field trips to Queenstown and commercial photographers came in to talk to us about their work. We even had someone from Inland Revenue come and talk to us about tax,” says Tina.

Jade went on to complete the Diploma in Digital Photography (Level 6)* the following year and they started their business Christina Jade Photography soon after.

“We work from my home, in my garage. As soon as the cars go out, the floor gets luxed, the backdrops come down and the lights come out. One day, we would love to have a permanent studio where everything can remain out,” says Tina.

“As well as studio work, we also do natural light shoots, particularly weddings and maternity/newborn photography, which are my favourites, and of course, anything to do with pets. And having a vet nursing certificate gives the client confidence that I’m actually trained to handle their animals,” says Jade. 

*The Certificate in Digital Photography (Level 5) and Diploma in Digital Photography (Level 6) previously offered by Aoraki Polytechnic are now offered through Otago Polytechnic.

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I’ve been able to go along and see my work and my name on the big screen. It’s a dream come true for anyone who works in film and television.

Maggie Campbell-Hunt
Certificate in Film and Television (Level 4)

When Maggie Campbell-Hunt left school she initially went to university simply because “everyone does”.

However, studying Commerce, she soon found that she wasn’t passionate about the subject. So in a bold move, she switched institutions and decided instead to study the Certificate in Film and Television (Level 4).

“I loved the idea of being able to study in a hands-on way without being committed to three or more years of study and the fees that go along with that.”

Maggie enjoyed the personalised attention and small class sizes too. “I got a sense that people cared about my success and that I wasn’t going to go unnoticed. I also got more one-on-one time with lecturers,” explains Maggie.

“However, the best thing was definitely learning industry-relevant skills. We got to learn Premiere Pro which is one of the leading pieces of software in the editing profession.”

Maggie currently works for Warner Brothers television on the TV series “The Block”. “When I watch an episode I think to myself, “Oh I synced that footage” and that’s quite a cool feeling.”

In her spare time, Maggie dabbles in documentary film-making. Last year she edited a documentary which was accepted into the Documentary Edge festival and screened in both Auckland and Wellington. The same documentary has also just been accepted into a film festival in Melbourne.

Maggie’s next goal is to continue working in post-production and get a job editing reality television.

“Every day I am learning new skills that allow me to grow and take the next steps in my career. I’m confident that if I keep working hard I will get there.”

Read more about the Certificate in Film and Television (Level 4) 

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