'The learning culture that the lecturers have at Canterbury suits me...'
Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Geology
Studying towards a Master of Science in Geology
Graduate Coal Geologist, CRL Energy, Christchurch
Describing himself as ‘a guy that needs to be hands-on but with a mental challenge as well’, Patrick chose degree subjects that look set to steer him towards an exciting career. Already planning a master’s in Geology, he has clear ideas about what he’ll do after that.
‘I want to work in the precious minerals exploration sector in South America – hence the Spanish – New Caledonia, Canada – the French – and Australia, maybe even Africa for a bit of a laugh… Studying Geology along with the languages lets me be challenged both in and out of the office and gives me the possibility to work overseas more readily than those without the languages,’ he says.
Patrick’s interests include hunting, white-water kayaking, competitive multisport, and food, so Canterbury was the ideal place to spend his student years, having grown up in Piopio near Hamilton.
‘I chose UC because I wanted something new. The Southern Alps are just down the road and the hunting here is brilliant,’ he says.
‘The language and Geology departments are some of the best in New Zealand… The Geology department is really renowned and is taking big steps forward. And languages at UC are well recognised internationally.
‘One of the things I enjoy is the friendly nature of the lecturers and that you can get them to come to the pubs after a lecture for a beer.’
Patrick adds that the best things about his subjects are ‘the camaraderie that you get in the Geology classes, especially after the field trips, and the small classes in the languages. The learning culture that the lecturers have at Canterbury suits me – I know my lecturers and they know me by first name.’
Having completed his double undergraduate degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Geology, Patrick has now turned to completing a Master’s in Geology. His thesis focusses on the ‘mineralisation potential and hydrothermal alteration of the alkaline layered intrusives of the Mt Tapuaenuku igneous intrusion’ in the Inland Kaikoura Range. When he isn’t busy with that, he also works as a graduate coal geologist for a coal consultancy. It amounts to a large workload, but one he is able to manage successfully.
‘I try to treat uni as a job as well,’ he explains. ‘I work 8am–5pm minimum on the days I am not at work, and the two days I am at work I will be in my uni office at night catching up. My employer is really flexible and supportive, which is a massive bonus.’