Student Outreach Programme
Katie Haggath, our Student Outreach Coordinator, has been kickstarting a busy year of student outreach at tertiary and secondary level. She reports on recent activities in this space, and calls for volunteers to get involved.
So, what’s this Student Outreach Programme all about?
The Student Outreach Programme is what it says on the box – we’re reaching out to students. Student membership of TechCommNZ has typically been less than 1% of TechCommNZ members, and we all agree that number should be higher. We’re all passionate about growing our industry, and supporting our up-and-coming technical communicators.
When asked, approximately 35 out of 40 students at Victoria University said they had no idea what technical communication was, or that it was a career option for them. The first goal of the Student Outreach Programme is to get it out there; this is a great career opportunity, a well-paid, interesting field, and it needs skilled people.
Any tertiary student can join TechCommNZ as a student member
Last year, we opened up student membership to students of any institution, studying any degree. This was previously only open to students enrolled in a course related to technical communication. We all know well that technical communicators come from all walks of life, and work across a wide range of industries, so our student members should too!
We'll be at Careers Fairs around NZ
This year, the Student Outreach Programme aims to get more students on board, receiving our newsletters and taking full advantage of free events. This starts with telling them we exist. To that end, throughout 2017, TechCommNZ members will be attending Career Fairs at Victoria University of Wellington, Auckland University of Technology, the University of Canterbury, and the University of Auckland.
Katie Haggath represented TechCommNZ at Victoria University of Wellington’s ICT Careers Expo in early May, offering free student membership trials until July. We’re thrilled to report that 39 students put their name down for our newsletter, and 29 of these students would consider a membership. Our Student Outreach Coordinator, Katie Haggath, is now working with Wellington branch coordinator, Jane Armstrong, to follow up with a student-focused event in the capital.
Rock-star writer Shelly Davies and Tyson Bennett held a Hamilton event for students at Waikato University on Thursday 1 June, following expressions of interest from Waikato University Linguistics majors.
We're also reaching out to school students
TechCommNZ is also a sponsor of TechHub in Schools. TechHub aims to inspire school-leavers and college students by introducing them to the breadth and depth of tech roles in New Zealand and the opportunities the sector presents. Thanks to their presenters, IT-related tertiary enrolments have continued to climb since TechHub started. We are also seeing more female, Māori and Pasifika enrolments in IT than ever before! The Student Outreach Programme hopes to continue this upward trend, reaching out to college students with an interest in IT or Humanities.
Going forward, the Student Outreach Programme will be looking to build on these strong foundations by facilitating work experience and internship opportunities for students, and we look forward to including our corporate members.
If you would like to take on a student volunteer, graduate employee, or fixed term paid work placement, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll help you get the message out there.
If you'd like to help out Katie in your area, or you’ve got an idea for a presentation that might interest student members, contact your branch coordinator to arrange an event.