From a passion for science to a dream career
Wintec graduate Kris Beattie at work in her dream job (Photo: Analytica Laboratories).
Kris Beattie admits she never enjoyed school. Defying the odds, she is now pursuing a successful career as a senior laboratory technician.
No two days are the same for Kris since she started working for Analytica Laboratories in 2014 straight after graduating from Wintec with a two-year New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science. Kris works within the honey testing team, and uses her skills to run data analysis, set up instruments, and work on research and development projects.
“I use what I learnt at Wintec all the time and every single day in my work,” Kris says.
She wanted to go to university but didn’t qualify to enrol in a science degree. At the time, with a two-year-old toddler, Kris could not afford to take refresher training. She then discovered that Wintec was offering science courses.
“I’ve always been passionate about science but it’s not easy to get into tertiary education with average grades,” says Kris.
Six years after leaving secondary school and doing odd jobs, the young mum decided it was the right time for her to return to study.
“I wanted a brighter future for me and my child and I wanted to get a job I enjoy, which challenges and motivates me.”
Studying as an adult was a completely different learning experience for Kris, and Wintec was the perfect match for her.
“Taking a diploma at Wintec was great and accessible. We started by learning the basics as all students enrolled came from different backgrounds,” says Kris.
“We gained experience using laboratory instruments and doing calculations. We got practical skills, allowing us to be able to work immediately after graduating.”
Waikato-based CAIQTEST Pacific Laboratory Manager, Oksana Chernysheva, has been managing Wintec graduates for several years and shares her point of view.
“I appreciate the positive ‘can do’ attitude of Wintec science graduates and I’m impressed by their work-ready competences. They quickly become confident and professional in their roles, and they are now able to train people and cover a wide scope of chemical testing methods,” Oksana says.
However, studying science is intense and passion must be partnered with a strong commitment.
“It was hard taking care of my daughter and having to study at the same time, also managing part-time work and a student loan on the top of that.”
Kris believes she studied a lot harder and took her studies more seriously than other students, due to the pressures that were placed on her family as she was studying. But she has no regrets and she has achieved her dream.
When asked about her plans for the future, Kris responds with a smile: “I will continue where I am and see where it takes me, but I’ve found my calling with science.”
Interested in studying for a career in applied science? Wintec offers programmes for students who want to work as environmental scientists, food technologists and engineers or science technicians. Wintec’s science qualifications start from certificate to bachelor’s degree level.