Aroha Brown has always loved sport and outdoors, so it made sense for her to enrol in EIT’s NZ Certificate in Outdoor Experiences [Level 3] and then the NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Services Pathway [Level 3] with a view to having a career in the defence force.
Nineteen-year-old Aroha, who was born and bred in Hawke’s Bay, finished school at Hastings Girls’ High last year. She says that when she was little she wanted to be in the army.
“Growing up, there wasn’t much encouragement to join the army, but becauseI’ve always enjoyed sports and the outdoors I wanted to do something outdoorsy.”
It was a New Zealand Defence Force pamphlet dropped off at her school that reignited her interest in joining the military.
“When I finished school I didn’t know if I wanted to go straight into the Army or not, but I knew I wanted to do something that involved the outdoors.“
Aroha says she loved the NZ Certificate in Outdoor Experience [Level 3], which is currently free to learners, and the opportunities to learn about, among other things, water safety, land safety, and life skills.
“I enjoyed everything about the programme and felt that it pushed me.”
After completing EIT’s NZ Certificate in Outdoor Experience [Level 3] , Aroha moved on to EIT’s NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Services Pathway) [Level 3] , which prepares learners for careers in the New Defence Force, NZ Police or Correction Services. She did make time, however, to tackle one of the courses in the NZ Certificate in Outdoor and Adventure Education (Multi-skilled) [Level 4]
“ I had every intention of joining the Service Pathways programme, but because we did the level 3 outdoors programme an opportunity came up to us where we were able to do just the rock climbing course in the of the level 4 qualification if we wanted to. I was afraid of heights, so I did it to get out of my comfort zone a little bit.”
Aroha is now fully involved in the Services Pathway programme, which she says is good preparation if she gets into the army. She is in the process of applying to join the New Zealand Defence Force.
“I like the fact that what we are doing now is mimicking what we’re going to do in the defence force. It’s just a good challenge because it’s not made to be less than what we can expect. I get to push myself really hard, and I like it.”
She is keen to make a career out of the army and sees herself in the Logistics Division, with the aim to work her way up the ranks.
One thing is sure, Aroha believes EIT has helped her move forward towards her goals and will be encouraging others to enrol.
“I think it’s good for people who enjoy being active and love trying new things. I certainly will be encouraging whoever I can.”
Kris Harris, EIT Outdoor Experiences and Services Pathway Tutor, says Aroha’s first introduction to EIT was through the Trades Academy Services Preparation programme while she was still at school in 2021.
“Aroha is a determined young woman who is not afraid to give anything a go. She conquered fears on the Outdoor Experiences Level 3 Programme and pushed herself further by completing an 8 week rock climbing block course.”
“She now has the confidence and a new set of skills to help her with whatever she chooses in the future,” says Kris.
Andrew McCrory, EIT Services Pathway Tutor, says: “Aroha is a fit, motivated young woman who pushes herself to the best of her ability and we are extremely pleased to have her studying on the Services Pathway Programme.”
“She is a role model for other students and if her application is successful with the NZ Defence Force, she will definitely be an asset to them in whatever role she is selected for.”