Rangatahi Stories

“I’ve always dreamed of designing and building my own home”: Nivea secures an apprenticeship with DStevens

Kia ora, my name is Nivea Houia and I’m currently in my last year of school at Gisborne Girls High. I never had a clear idea of what career path I wanted to pursue. Through my careers advisor, Mrs Graham I was given the opportunity to take part in the Licence To Work Programme. This course gave me the choice to complete work experience in an industry that I was interested in. 

During my childhood, I’ve always dreamed of designing and building my own home. I’ve always enjoyed doing hands-on activities, such as wood work so I decided to put my interests forward and explore the industry. [On the programme] I had the opportunity to receive work experience in almost every construction related business. Considering I still wasn’t 100% sure of what career I wanted to pursue, I chose to complete the course through DStevens. They are involved in construction, joinery and interior design which gave the opportunity to explore all of these sectors.

Being quite a reserved person, I was very anxious about completing this programme as it was all new to me, especially being a female in a male-dominated environment. In spite of this, the team at DStevens made 

me feel welcomed and well supported. During completion of this course through my work placement, I received support from a number of people including my teachers Mrs Graham and Mrs Hunt, Paul from BCITO, the DStevens team and my whānau. This support system raised my confidence and encouraged me to do my best.

Through this course, I was able to further develop the seven key employability skills that employers look for in a job applicant: positive attitude, willingness to learn, communication, thinking skills, team work, resilience and self-management. 

Personally, I found that one of the best things about this course was being able to develop a relationship with my potential future colleagues. This programme along with the help of Mrs Graham has given me a stepping stone into my future career. It was through the course that I was given hands-on experience in the industry that I was interested in and I was able to confirm that this is the industry I want to pursue my career in.

Near completion of this course, I was offered an amazing opportunity which was to complete an apprenticeship in joinery with DStevens. To me, this offer meant that the DStevens team saw my commitment and thought that I would fit in well with their team. This opportunity made me feel a sense of accomplishment as I had received the best outcome possible. 

Recently, I’ve accepted the offer from DStevens and I plan to complete a Joinery Apprenticeship through BCITO with DStevens in January 2022. As the option of carpentry and interior design are also within DStevens, I may also decide to progress in one of these career paths later on in life. I am very grateful for having this opportunity given to me and for all the support that followed as I am now set up for a promising career.

My advice to the younger generation who aren’t quite sure about what they want to do when they leave school is to definitely do this programme. Whether you are outgoing or more reserved like myself, once you give 100% into whatever you want to do, you will be shown and given praise and support that will encourage you to go even further. Hard work pays off if you have patience and believe in yourself. If something interests you, go for it because in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take. The world’s your oyster!