Daejarn Rameka Heta is 18, from near Kaitaia and studied Hospitality at NZMA Otahuhu.
What are you studying at NZMA Otahuhu?
So you’ve spent a bit of time here?
It’s nice to have qualifications to your name, easier to get work that way. The industry these days requires certain qualifications to get certain jobs.
Was this the right place for you to study?
For me, I would say so. But I came a long way to study here. I’m not from Auckland, I’m from up north. Just before Kaitaia. It’s a very different scene for me to be here in the city.
Did you know you wanted to do hospitality before you started here?
No, I actually came here to test the waters with some things, and when I went through Youth Guarantee, we went through barista, and waiter service, running functions, I enjoyed doing it. So I ended up sticking with it. Training in barista is fun when you get to learn how to make the designs and everything.
How did you hear about NZMA?
My cousins actually. They were studying here down at the trades campus. My aunty told me I should join them down at trades, but I’m not really into trades. Then I heard they were doing a hospitality course here in Otahuhu so I thought I might see how that goes, and I did.
You left your family behind, moved down south, that’s a big change. When you started here, how did that feel?
It was new. When I started I wasn’t much of a people person. I didn’t really like meeting new people or interacting with people. But being here I’ve built that confidence in meeting and interacting with new people, and not being awkward all the time.
What is your typical day at NZMA?
Every day is very different for me. I work part-time. Usually, I come in at around ten. I travel very far, I live in Hampton Downs. I travel every day from there to here. I leave home at seven, drop my cousins off at school, and get here at around ten. I drive to Tuakau, then catch the train. I leave here at four.
With the commute and working, that’s quite a big commitment, you must like it here?
Yeah, I enjoy the environment and doing all these things here. I like keeping myself busy, and that does that here. I usually work four days a week, if anything a couple of days more than that, it really depends on my bosses. I work at night. Study during the day and work at night.
What do you think you’ll do after you graduate?
Well, try and get myself out of traffic management, and get myself a job in the hospitality industry. Can’t say specifically what, I haven’t planned that far.
What would be your dream job in hospo? What would you love to do?
Work my way up to running my own bar, or my own cafe.
Do you feel like you’ll know what you need to know to get started on that dream when you leave NZMA?
I would say so. Even at this point, I would say I have the majority of the knowledge to know how to run my own cafe, what I’d need to have, qualifications, licenses. By the end of this, I’ll know how to.
Do you think studying at NZMA has changed your path?
They’ve shown me different paths. Different things I could do with the qualifications I have, different paths I could go down. They’ve shown me what I’m capable of. A lot of things I’ve done, functions that we’ve run, have shown me I’ve got good management skills.
What’s the best part about studying here?
Meeting new people. The majority of friends I’ve met here, we’ve bonded. I’ve met a lot of people here.
Would you recommend NZMA to a friend?
I actually have. I’ve recommended a few people here. Even my little sister, I talked to her about coming to do a course here, it would probably be in trades because she likes that. But I would talk to people about coming here to NZMA. It’s not hard to convince people from up north, you’ve just got to tell them there’s opportunities if you work hard. I told her: if you know what you want to do in life, let me know, and she told me she wanted to become a builder and I told her about our trades campus.
What’s most important about your studies to you?
For me it’s about representing where I come from, and overall making my family proud. Up north not much people know about that area, and I tell them about it.
Interested in studying Hospitality? Learn more here