Graduation from Te Wananga o Aotearoa was a family affair for the Carrs.
Last month, four members of the family – mum Sarah and her daughters Brittany and Becky and son Matthew – all gained their Level 4 NZ Certificate in Business (Small Business) and Certificate in Project Management.
“We got a lot of comments at graduation,” Sarah says. “People thought it was a great thing to have done together as a family.”
Studying the same one-year-long business course, at the same time, meant they could work on assignments together and when projects were assigned for groups of four, they were already a unit.
Sarah admits there was a level of competitiveness among the four of them – particularly when it came to getting assignments in on time.
Their studies also brought them together at least once a week for classes held at Kingsway School, as well as Sunday sessions to work on assignments.
Each had their own reasons for taking up the courses. Sarah already runs her own business and is the activator of the new Business Whangaparaoa organisation, which represents companies on the peninsula and at Hilltop.
She says she found the project management studies particularly useful, and learned different ways to manage her business more efficiently and how to streamline things. The focus on small business was useful for her work supporting local companies with Business Whangaparaoa.
Brittany 21, works for an insurance company but would like to open a dog grooming business. Twenty-three-year-old Matthew works for the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment but used the courses to follow up his interest in Smart Home technology and grow his skills.
Becky, 26, has a Masters of Architecture and will eventually be setting up her own business.
“It was interesting as a parent to study alongside your adult children – it’s an aspect of their lives that you don’t normally see,” Sarah says. “We soon worked out who had the best organisational skills and work ethic. It was a nice, bonding thing with a positive achievement for all of us at the end. Highly recommended to other families!”
Sarah says she might follow up and take the Level 5 course next year. “The others probably won’t because they are not actively running their businesses yet,” she says.