Former “wild child”, Carissa Looij credits EIT with helping her grow and find a career direction.
Unquestionably bright, Carissa found school “all too regimented”. Before allowing her to quit at the end of 2010, however, her parents insisted she complete her Level 1 NCEA.
Concerned about where she might head her life, her father, Chris Looij – on the advisory committee for EIT’s School of Applied Science – suggested she consider the Certificate in Applied Practical Skills – Land Skills.
Carissa agreed the 17-week course looked “cool” and enrolled to learn about agriculture, horticulture, animal care, tree care and forestry.
“It was hands-on and 90 percent practical learning and outdoors stuff and I definitely tried out a lot of things,” she says. “The thing is that it is a good transition from high school to adult learning.”
Aiming now for a career in social work or counselling, Carissa is now studying for EIT’s Certificate in Introduction to Social Science as a stepping stone towards gaining the Bachelor of Applied Social
“So many young people don’t know what to do when they leave school,” she says, “and yet they keep being asked: “What’s your life plan?” I think EIT helped me grow up quite a lot.”