Stephanie Allen had a career in retail for 15 years when she decided she wanted to follow her passion, so she enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work at EIT | Te Pūkenga.
It has been a tough journey for Stephanie as she suffered concussion and underwent brain surgeries in the past. However, her decision to enrol in the social work degree has given her a new lease on life and now in her third year, she is loving it.
“I was originally working at The Warehouse where I worked for 15 years then I thought it was time to do something I really wanted to do as my journey has always been wanting to help people and trying to accomplish my dream.”
Stephanie, 37, says that she always wanted to work in social services, having done a youth diploma after leaving school and then worked, in a volunteer capacity with youth and the community through her church, the Catholic Parish of Hastings. Coming to EIT | Te Pūkenga has been the right move for her.
“I found it really good and supportive. The tutors are willing to help out wherever they can. It’s been a really good experience.”
Stephanie says there was some adjustment moving from the workforce to studying.
“It was hard getting into study and assignment mode again as I finished school in 2004 which was quite a big gap before taking on study for my degree.”
The third year of her degree means that Stephanie needs to do a placement, or work experience, at a local organisation. Stephanie has recently spent some time with Brain Injury Hawke’s Bay.
Her reason for choosing Brain Injury Hawke’s Bay is very personal because she has suffered from concussion.
“I have had brain surgery as well in the past and it is good to know what is out there for clients because when I was experiencing my health issues back then I did not know they existed. It’s been a brilliant placement. It’s been amazing. So just that support that they offer, how they help people.”
As for her future career path, Stephanie is quite open to opportunities that come her way.
“I am still thinking about which direction I want to go but am open to working in any field, although I am interested in Paediatrics and young people. .”
“Growing up I babysat a lot and had a lot to do with scouting both as a scout and a leader and was brought up to help whoever you can no matter what circumstances they come from and not be judgmental..”
Charlotte Chisnell, Principal Academic Staff Member and programme co-ordinator for the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) at EIT | Te Pūkenga, says: “Steph has made amazing progress whilst being a student on the BSW. She is a very diligent student who has taken on a mentoring role as one of our whānau representatives. We are very proud of all of Steph’s achievements.”