'Graduating and learning all the things I did at UC helped me get ahead...'
Bachelor of Sport Coaching with an endorsement in Performance Analysis
Apprentice Engineer, Air New Zealand
Playing ice hockey for New Zealand was 'definitely a carnival ride' for Zoe during study at UC. She first put on the Ice Fernz jersey at the 2014 World Championships in Asiago, Italy.
'When you win a game at the Worlds, they play your anthem at the end,' she says. 'Singing that with my team was definitely a proud moment.'
Representing her country is a huge personal achievement and surprised Zoe by showing her just what an influence she had on young players.
'The mum of one of the girls I used to coach told me that she cut my photo out of the paper and put it up on her wall. I was absolutely floored!'
Zoe normally spent her summers training overseas in places like Toronto and Banff in Canada, and Minnesota, USA. She enjoyed the camaraderie of playing team sports.
With sport a big part of Zoe's life, the Sport Coaching degree won out for her university studies.
'When I started at UC, it was originally to do a Law degree, but I threw in a couple of Sport Coaching courses for the hell of it. It turns out that I enjoyed them a lot so I stuck with Sport Coaching.
'The Sport Coaching degree is a lot more hands-on. I got to experiment and play with equipment in the lab, which is fun. I also enjoyed being able to put my own ideas onto assignments — I got to choose what I wanted to go out and examine or analyse.’
Zoe found she could apply a lot of what she learned to her own training, in collaboration with her fellow students.
‘This all creates a friendly environment as you actually work together with the people in your class instead of sitting in a lecture room all year and still not knowing anyone. Not that lectures are bad..!'
Apart from her studies, Zoe was involved with UC Sport’s Athlete Development Programme which helps student athletes with their own performance. It's a resource she valued highly.
'I got access to the ADP rooms in the Rec Centre, which was fantastic. They assisted me with things like training plans and rehab stuff.'
Zoe chose UC partly so she could save money by living at her home in New Brighton, but she knew it would be a good decision overall.
‘The campus is gorgeous and I had a lot of fun there. I think that if you get involved in the classes you can really enjoy it. The lecturers are incredibly knowledgeable, outgoing and friendly. Most importantly they encourage you to approach them. They have great lab equipment and it’s surprising how much you learn by the end of the year.'
Now graduated, Zoe decided to take on the challenge of following her other big passion – becoming an aircraft engineer! After training at the Air NZ Aviation Institute, Zoe is now starting her apprenticeship with Air New Zealand.
‘My biomechanics knowledge I learnt at UC was a huge advantage and actually helped me pass the entrance exam into this course. Also the performance analysis techniques and even anatomy stuff I've managed to relate over to a lot of the design and functions on planes. I believe that graduating and learning all the things I did at UC helped me get ahead.
‘A lot of the guys here had gone to UC and studied engineering, but crazily enough my degree seemed to have helped more.’
Zoe was also the only female student to be accepted into the apprenticeship in her year, and was one of the 8 students chosen from 20 applicants to be offered work with Air New Zealand.
‘From here I have a 5 year contact with AirNZ working in the hanger and will get my LAME certification (Licence Aircraft Maintenance Engineer), and hopefully finally get that pilot licence too.’
'By doing this degree it opens up so many pathways that you never thought were possible...'