Jesse Whitehead (left) and Shayne Glassford in the server room for Gisborne District Council’s Council’s state- of- the- art computer system.
Two EIT computer systems degree graduates are living the dream, helping run one of the most sophisticated computer systems in the region.
Shayne Glassford and Jesse Whitehead have been working at Gisborne District Council since they graduated with their Bachelor of Computing Systems (BCS) degree at EIT four years ago.
It was through the EIT BCS Internship programme that the pair were able to gain their IT start at the council during the second half of their final year of study.
EIT has always put a big emphasis on industry-based learning modules for degree students..
At the end of their internship the council decided to keep them on.
They were placed on the IT service desk providing support to staff and later project support.
They still love their jobs working with the council’s Ozone technology, which runs across every department of the council, covering a huge spectrum of tasks.
“In terms of information technology jobs in Gisborne, this is definitely the best one,” says Jesse.
“Since we have been here the council has been quite technology focussed, which is good for us,” said Shayne.
This progressive approach helped keep them up to date.
“You can’t just do your degree and stop learning – you have to constantly keep up with things.”
The other aspect they really enjoy is being part of a team of 18 working with a wide range of staff.
“Not everyone has the same level of computer literacy and that’s where we need to help.”
Now aged 24 and almost 24, they have seen some of their peers working in places like Auckland, where they don’t seem to be exposed to such a broad range of work.
Neither do they envy them the long hours of commuting and high living costs.
“Here you can get up, have a shower and breakfast and be at work within half an hour,” said Shayne.
They also both stressed the advantages of studying for their degrees in their hometown, straight out of Lytton High School.
They both received an EIT Year 13 degree scholarship which helped defray the cost of their student loan.“We were able to stay at home while we studied, which definitely helped,” said Shayne.
“We also got the student allowance which was pretty good.”
They both ended up with student loans of around $5000, which they were able to pay off in a year.
“We’ve had mates who went away to study and came back after their first year with a $20,000 student loan and nothing to show for it.”
“One of the things that was really cool at EIT was the whole internship thing. It gave us a great opportunity to gain some experience. The difference between us and other graduates is that we did more practical stuff, not just theory,” said Jesse.
“One of our workmates always says we have a higher degree than him.”