'Mr Secretary' 25 years on
A few years ago, we found in our archives a newspaper clipping dating back to 1991 with the cheesy headline ‘Mr’ Secretary (see photo below).
Recently we caught up with Martin Carroll (AKA Mr Secretary) about what he’s been up to since finishing his studies ...
Martin has been working for Genesis Energy for the last 13 years, and is currently a Senior Energy Trader. However, his career all started in 1991, when new to New Zealand, Martin (originally from the UK) enrolled to study a year-long Office Systems and Technology course at Wintec.
Martin was one of only two males in a class of 20, and the transition from typewriters to computers was beginning. In one semester Martin was learning on typewriters, and by the following semester he was using the latest technology – IBM 286 computers run on DOS, with word processing software WordPerfect. The technology was cutting edge at the time, and Martin said it later gave him a real advantage in the workplace where they were only just moving onto computers. Martin says he often recommends Wintec because of the work-based approach to learning that helped him to get the skills he continues to apply today.
Martin describes his study as “fun, fast-paced and work-relevant.” He was a top achiever in his course, coming first in the Waikato Youth Skills competition.
In 1991 it was highly unusual for a male to be working in an administration role, and Martin’s story was picked up by a local newspaper. Martin says in the early nineties people were often “shocked and surprised” to see him at reception: “I was a male in a female role” he said. He got a fair bit of ribbing from people, but said it never bothered him.
Martin isn’t the only one in his family to study at Wintec. Martin’s wife Kristen enrolled alongside him in 1991, and they completed the Office Systems course together. Kristen also gained immediate employment following completion of the course. Years later Kristen decided to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse and returned to Wintec to study the Bachelor of Nursing - she now works for a Hamilton community health organisation. Their two children are also now studying at Wintec – one training to be a midwife, and the other studying to become an accountant.
“Doing what you love is key” Martin says “I always wanted to work in an office, I like helping people, problem solving and co-ordination.” And it looks like Martin has been able to successfully build his career around exactly what he loves.