Te huarahi ako mai i te tauira ki te kaiako
Whangarei Certificate in Money Management kaiako Fiona Ajani is making a difference in people's lives.
Below she shares her two-year journey from tauira to kaiako at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
"I was an educator in the army for five years then in 2014 I was a stay at home mum and I wanted something to do. My daughter was six months old, I was over coffee groups, so I thought I'd give this free Small Business Management course a go.
I thought I'd cruise along but Linda (Marsh) my kaiako said, 'You need to treat this course like a business'. I thought 'Woah this kaiako is not going to let me slip'.
I'd done my whole education degree by distance learning so to come to class, I loved it! The information I learned that's not in a book, it's way more than what the curriculum's about.
On the course, I started working part-time through some people I met, then at the end I went full-time. That's when I said, 'I love it here, I want to stay.' So I looked up what I could do and I saw Money Management. I really wanted my husband to know about our finances so I said to him 'Lets do it together. It can be our date night'.
We learned so much, it got us motivated and we can say we're mortgage-free now. I also did the computing course because I'm a workplace assessor, so the more credits in my pocket the more unit standards I can assess. Again, I can say that course was awesome and I met so many friends.
At the end of last year I started thinking about self-employment. My Money Management kaiako was going to retire and I thought 'I can do it'. I knew I wanted to teach but my biggest thing was I wanted to make a difference in people's lives. But going from a salary, the risk is not knowing if a pay cheque's going to come in. The business course gave me the confidence to take the leap of faith, quit my job and take on this contract in March.
This was my first contract ever, but it was a starting point. I sat down and wrote my plan using the business course template and what's exciting is all of a sudden I've got other business contracts from other work places.
I'm not Māori, I don't speak Te Reo but being a student with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, it's really broken down that barrier which I think stops a lot of people. But I know I don't have to be Māori to be part of the whānau. I just really believe these courses changed my life."