Nurse - Caleb Bottinga
2007 University of Auckland graduate
Bachelor of Nursing
Left MRGS 2001 with B Bursary in Economics, Accounting, Stats, Calculus and Chemistry
“When I told people I was changing from business to nursing, some people were surprised. Others said they thought it was a really good match because of my people skills.”
Nursing is a great profession, says Caleb Bottinga, who graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing from University of Auckland in 2007. Bouncy, affable and friendly, Caleb chose nursing because he wanted to interact with people and be of help.
“Nursing is really enjoyable because there is a lot of variety. You are helping people so it feels worthy. I meet people that I never would have expected to meet and it is a great profession if you want to travel.”
Caleb works on the General Surgery and Trauma Ward at Auckland Hospital. There are 7 nurses and a number of health care assistants caring for up to 26 patients that have either been injured through something like a fall or car accident or have been admitted with abdominal issues.
“It is a great place to nurse because it is a ward where you can see a patient’s health improve rapidly. We take them through the transition from ill to well. That said, it can go the other way as well.”
Nursing involves taking a holistic approach in caring for patients, explains Caleb. There are the physical needs of a patient, which means completing tasks like changing dressings, giving medication, mobilising and washing patients. There are also the spiritual, emotional and social needs to address.
“Nurses are the patient’s advocate and co-ordinator of the patients care. They identify and involve all services that are required by a patient. They also act as the voice for the patient within the hospital team, and ensure patients understand what is happening with their care.”
The hardest part of nursing is the shift work, says Caleb, because you have to develop strategies to cope with changes to your sleep patterns.
“The important thing is to make sure you do rest during the day when you’re on night shift.”
When Caleb left Mt Roskill Grammar School in 2001, he had his sights set on a future in business. He enrolled in University of Auckland’s Bachelor of Commerce, but during his first year he started to question his decision.
“I chose business subjects at school because I enjoyed it and was good at it. I hated English and dropped it as soon as I could. I had originally thought of medicine but couldn’t see myself doing the study.”
Part time work in restaurants, and then a sales role at Dick Smith Electronics, helped Caleb realise what he really enjoyed was interacting with people and helping people.
“The Commerce subjects I was doing would only lead to a desk job, working with numbers and doing paper work, and I realised that wasn’t what I wanted.”
So, after two years of studying Commerce, Caleb switched to nursing. The change of study required more essay writing and for a while he struggled to succeed until he came to realise he had a slight learning disorder.
“I re did my third year and worked hard on developing strategies to overcome the main issue which was my approach to problem solving.”
The first year of nursing degree study involves human biology, basic maths, population health (understanding how diseases spread) and general health studies, says Caleb. You then continue into topics such as mental health, paediatrics and surgery.
Although Caleb hadn’t done Year 13 biology, he doesn’t feel he was too disadvantaged. Nor did he feel disadvantaged being a male nurse, although he says males are still the minority.
“When I told people I was changing from business to nursing, some people were surprised but others said they thought it was a really good match because of my people skills.”
In 2009 Caleb plans to go nursing part time so that he can finish his Commerce degree.
“It seems silly not to complete it when I’ve only got a year to go.”
Study will always be part of his life as a nurse, he says, because nurses are expected to continue to upskill, particularly if they want to move into higher nursing roles in a hospital setting.
“There are many good career paths if you want to keep on learning and upskilling. You also don’t have to be in a hospital setting as a nurse. You can also work in schools, GP centres, blood donor centres, communities. Or you could become a even cruise ship nurse and go travelling!”
Communications - Kesha Robertson
AUT 2007 Graduate
Bachelor of Communication Studies (Video Production)
Left MRGS 2004 after gaining NCEA Level 3 UE in English, Classics, Design, Painting and Statistics and NCEA Level 4 Scholarship in Classics
“TV is a great industry to work in. The people are all down to earth and you have lots of opportunity to express ideas and be creative.”
Telling people’s stories through the medium of television is a powerful and satisfying experience, says Kesha Robertson, who graduated from AUT’s Bachelor of Communication Studies in 2007, majoring in Video Production. She headed off on her OE in May 2008 and is currently based in London.
Kesha originally enrolled in Communications Studies with her eye on an advertising career. However she became more interested in television and majored in video production instead.
“Television is very hands-on. You make everything happen from one idea or concept. It feels so satisfying when it all comes together. You can use television to make a point, put across a message an idea, challenge people, or you can use it to entertain and make people laugh.”
Kesha never saw herself as a technical person, but through her video production major she learned how to record sound and use broadcast cameras. She also developed skills in script writing, directing, interviewing and editing. “The AUT degree develops a very broad range of skills and understanding of all the processes involved in video production.”
While studying Kesha did a number of projects on the side. She worked on a graduate student's short film, edited a promotional video for the AUT Art & Design faculty and helped with other student documentaries.
In her last year of university she worked at TV3 as an autocue operator for TV3 News, Campbell Live, Sunrise and Nightline; work that she was able to continue on a part time base once she graduated.
“This was a great job because I was able to put into practice skills I was learning at university. I also got to work behind the scenes in the news room and met presenters and reporters. I learned a lot by osmosis and it really inspired me to want to continue to work in television, particularly because I found people seemed to really enjoy their jobs!!”
After successfully completing her degree, Kesha spent five months working across a range of part time or contract roles around the TV and video production industry in Auckland. These experiences consolidated her skills in editing and video production work.
She worked in the weekends for a wedding video production company editing together montages of wedding highlights. She got a four week job as a post-production assistant for a documentary series - Behind the Darklands - produced by production company Screentime Ltd.
“This involved organising and finalising all paperwork, tapes and important documents, correctly filling out the appropriate music return forms and archive documents and contacting all talent involved and sending out screening schedules.”
She also worked for Screentime as a consent former for their television programme Police Ten 7 which involved liaising with the programme’s police, criminals and witnesses and making detailed notes for the directors and producers.
“This was a really fun job as you got to be in the heart of all the action. I drove around in a nice new company car and in February I was flown to Dunedin, Timaru and Christchurch for about 2 ½ weeks - all hotel and food expenses paid.”
It is the variety of people and experiences that makes television such a great industry, explains Kesha.
“There is so much variety and you get to meet so many different people and have strange and wonderful experiences.”
Over all she worked 14 months on a part time basis for TV 3, before heading over seas in May 2008 on a two year working holiday visa. She spent two weeks in Malaysia and two weeks in Ireland before settling into London.
Over the European summer (NZ winter) she joined up a group of old Mt Roskill friends and travelled through Italy, Croatia, Slovakia and visited Vienna, Budapest, Krakrow, Prague and Paris.
“I have been doing office temp work to fund all the travelling – and for now that's what I'm focusing on – getting life experience and trying to see as much of Europe as I can while I'm over here. I’m currently doing office administration for a construction management office in London.”
Future Career Goals
Kesha’s plan is to return in December to New Zealand through South America.
“I haven’t really decided what I want to do when I come back yet. Ideally I would like to start by getting a production assistant job in documentary, drama or film. Although it is slightly ambitious, I’d love to work on Outrageous Fortunes. I’ve become an avid fan while being in London.”