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Natasha Szalkowski

Completed a Level 5 and 6 Diploma

What attracted you to NZIS for your course? 

Throughout college I was always passionate about and participated in sport. Physical Education was my favourite school subject. When it came to deciding what career pathway I wanted to take, I knew that it had to involve aspects around physical wellbeing. I also knew I wanted hands-on experience, as I was better at learning by doing, instead of just listening (I also wasn't exactly a huge fan of exams either!). When picking where I wanted to study, the courses at NZIS encompassed all aspects of study I was looking for.

How has your course at NZIS helped you?

Getting my qualifications through NZIS has helped me get to where I am in my career today. Without these qualifications, it could have been a lot harder to get into the Sport and Recreation Industry. After having a number of job interviews, it also became apparent that the Institute was well recognised, and I believe this worked to my advantage.

Where are you working now? And what is your role?

I am currently working for Fraser Park Sportsville, as the Event and Bookings Manager. I have been in my role for roughly six months and prior to this, I was a Customer Service Team Member and then Bookings Coordinator, at the ASB Sports Centre in Kilbirnie, Wellington.

What does your work involve?

My role at FPS involves a bit of everything at the moment, as the facility is still nearing completion. I have listed a number of my tasks below;

  • Securing a Facility Management System, which will be used on a daily basis to book out our Facility Assets
  • Securing a Point of Sale System
  • Creating event calendars, social calendars and plans
  • Managing FPS social media - Facebook Page, Website and putting together a bi-monthly newsletter
  • Organising and running a golf day fundraising tournament
  • Scheduling Winter and Summer Season Club training's and tournaments
  • Working on the Annual Report

What is the most exciting aspect of your job?

Being part of an exciting new project that the community are going to benefit hugely from. I am also excited that I am the first person to step into this role, so I get to set a good foundation for years to come.

How did you feel when you were coming to NZIS?

Apprehensive at first, as with everything new, but I was also excited. Once I was settled in I enjoyed coming to the classes and learning new things. I loved having both practical and theoretical classes. Having a classroom style setting also meant that everyone knew each other and were really close. It felt like a big family.

What were the highlights of your course?

Passing my Level 5 Diploma with Merit and Level 6 Diploma with Distinction.

If sport is your passion, do you feel you can combine your new skills with your sport?

Studying at NZIS definitely made me more conscious about my own well-being, but unfortunately due to a few injuries I had to stop participating in sport and never really picked it back up. However, when I was training in Taekwon-Do during my study, I was able to transfer a lot of the coaching skills I learnt, when I was coaching students in my class. I have also been able to apply the knowledge I learnt about how the body functions and various exercises, to my own training.

What is one life lesson you learnt during your study and work?

Never be afraid to go for what you want. If you don't ask you won't get.