Career change to tourism pays off

Career change to tourism pays off

With a wife, five children and a mortgage, making the decision to embark on a major career change in his mid-thirties took courage, commitment and a lot of family support for David Stephens.

At that stage, David was working as a baker on the West Coast – putting in long hours and working weekends and public holidays.

“I had children but wasn’t getting to see them grow up,” he says.

David and his family shifted to Motueka to move in with David’s parents while he retrained at NMIT. With a goal of working in the tourism and travel industry, David first completed NMIT’s Certificate in Tourism and Travel and the New Zealand Certificate in Tourism (Operations) -  followed by a New Zealand Institute of Management diploma. He also gained industry experience by working at the Motueka i-Site during his summer breaks.

While balancing study, work and family commitments was a challenge at times, David’s gamble paid off when he landed his dream job as a Travel Consultant for House of Travel Motueka.

His role involves consulting with “lots of wonderful people” either face to face or over the phone, finding out what they want, then finding the best possible deals to create an excellent holiday for them.
“The job is really rewarding because you’re making people’s dreams come true. For some people, it may be their first time overseas. I’m also working for the best bosses I’ve ever had,” he says.

David says the communication and technology skills he learnt at NMIT have proven the most useful. “The facilities were good and the tutors were lovely. While I’m not using the business management skills so much at the moment, maybe at some stage they will be useful - a lot later on.”

He is also enjoying having more quality time to spend with friends and family and says they have nothing but admiration for his decision to embark on a mid-life career change.
“They were a bit jealous when we went to Fiji the other day! They feel like I’ve done pretty well - and so do I.”

Studied: Certificate in Tourism and Travel, NZIM Diploma in Management

Now: Travel Consultant, House of Travel Motueka

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