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JesseHi – I’m Jesse

I grew up with my two older brothers mostly living with Mum after our parents separated.

Growing up was not easy. We never had any money and never knew what the next day would bring. Mum tried her hardest, but all three of us kids landed ourselves in hot water more than once along the way.

I was an average achiever at most things at school but above average at Maths and Science, which I thought was weird for a girl! I love numbers and still do. I wasn’t motivated to return to school for Year 13 so thought I would look for a job instead and things became very difficult. I had very little in the way of qualifications and only a little work experience at a fast food store and had no idea what I wanted to do. Every employer seemed to want experience and qualifications! I spent time on a benefit which was a really tough time for me. Who knew finding a job could be so difficult?

One of my brothers then told me about an available cadetship in an engineering firm he knew of. I had never thought about this as a career, but I liked Maths and Science and I like being outdoors – NEVER in an office! The idea of these things together appealed to me. I got really excited and then probably made the best and bravest decision ever. Before applying, I contacted the company that was offering the cadetship and asked if I could meet with the appropriate person to see if this was for me.

They were obliging and ‘the rest is history’ as they say. I am now into year 3 working my way toward a diploma in Surveying. I have been challenged in many ways but at the same time new and inspiring opportunities are within reach and I am really excited about the future. I find I am now drawn toward environmental services and solutions and am so motivated to help create what matters to future generations of New Zealanders.

Don’t give up – be brave and grab every opportunity that comes your way. It may be the stepping stone you need.