Fiona Hutchinson

Tourism and Hospitality Graduate

Programme attended: Food and Beverage Service for Cafes and Restaurants (Level 3)

Fiona Hutchinson says her decision to change careers and head back to study has led to her landing a job she loves.

After 12 years as a preschool teacher, Fiona decided she’d like to try something different.

“It was time for a change. I decided I’d like the idea of working in an office so I enrolled in Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s Business Administration programme; it made sense to follow-up with the Food and Beverage and Tourism programmes as that’s where the jobs are in Westport.”

Fiona says the shift back to study was a great decision and she enjoyed what she was learning.

 “I really enjoyed the Food and Beverage course, our tutor made it so much fun and it was great to be learning again. I got a taste for good coffee and I’ve had to invest in a new machine at home! And the Tourism training actually taught me a lot about where I live.”

Through contacts she made at the Polytechnic and on work experience, Fiona got a job at the Westport RSA as soon as she finished her training.

“I’m now the bar manager and I’ve combined all the elements of my training in my job. I’ll be working in the bar and someone might come in and ask what there is to do in the area – I can help them in more ways than one!

“Training with the Polytechnic definitely helped me get the job I love. It was about learning, making connections and creating networks.”