Izaya (Izzy) Jahnke is looking forward to graduating with a Bachelor of Computing Systems from the Tairāwhiti Campus of EIT | Te Pūkenga tomorrow (Friday 4 August) as he will become the first in his family to do so.
It has been a long journey for Izzy, who went to school at Gisborne Boys’ High. Upon leaving school he received numerous scholarships to study engineering in Auckland. He spent a year and a half there, but returned to Gisborne after finding the going too tough.
Izzy says looking back the leap from school to university in Auckland had been too big.
“I guess I just had no experience at all. I felt like we jumped straight into the deep end at uni and I knew nothing at all, which was very high level coding and software development. So I kind of needed to come to EIT where they could have more one-on-ones and teach the fundamentals, the basics. I decided to pick up where I left at from uni and finished at EIT.”
Enrolling in EIT | Te Pūkenga in 2019 is a move he does not regret as he now prepares to graduate, which he describes as “quite an honour”.
“It feels like a dream has come true.”
Izzy’s father is German-Samoan and his mother is Māori (Ngati Porou), which makes his achievement more special for him.
“I guess I just wanted to show that as a Māori/Islander, you can get a high qualification such as degree, even if you are living in tough situations with financial issues. There’s always ways to increase and improve your growth.”
He says that what he enjoyed about the EIT | Te Pūkenga degree was the friends and colleagues he made.
“It helped me seeing everyone going through the same struggles and seeing them overcome them as well.”
Izzy says he found the three years fun and the lecturers and tutors supportive.
He finished his degree early last year, but has had to wait to graduate because COVID-19 delayed the ceremony.
While he was studying he had worked part-time in an orchard and has moved to fulltime while he waits to graduate.
The plan is to now begin looking for an IT job.
“I really love cybersecurity, however, at this time I’ve been doing my own hobby, which is fixing things and laptops, replacing screens and all. So I guess I will look at something along those lines, repairing hardware.”
As for studying further, it is something he is keen to do.
“It’s in my mind to either further the degree and do a Masters or return to engineering eventually. And then to specialise in either computing engineering or software engineering.”
EIT | Te Pūkenga Senior IT Lecturer Tina Blumenthal says: “It was our pleasure to have Izzy in the BCS programme. Not only did he achieve well throughout his study journey, but he also brought a positive, enquiring energy into our learning spaces, engaging others, and often coming up with innovative solutions to problems.”
“Izzy’s positive attitude, coupled with his professional smarts were evident at the outset. He received the Spirit of GovHack Award, when a group of Tairāwhiti BCS students travelled to Hawke’s Bay to participate in the annual event. We wish Izzy all the best for the future.”