Life skills lay foundation for ultimate career in aquaculture

Life skills lay foundation for ultimate career in aquaculture

More people than ever before are retraining and changing their careers due to COVID-19. NMIT aquaculture student Mike Dick is one of those people.
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A visit to an NMIT Open Day opened Mike's eyes.

Mikes 40-year career journey has seen him go from commercial pilot and instructor, to teacher and until most recently, a senior management role in the hospitality industry.

It was during his time as Duty Manager at the Scenic Hotel Marlborough when COVID-19 reached New Zealand and Mike suddenly found himself out of a job.

“For someone my age it was really difficult to think what do I do now as I’ve done so much in my life,’ says Mike, “So, I thought I’d like to do something completely different and hopefully outdoors.”

A visit to NMIT was the catalyst for Mike’s decision to study aquaculture.

“I had a Career Conversation with Kirsten from the NMIT Engagement Team at their Information Evening. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so we sat down and talked about it. We went through things I like doing, like fishing and boating.”

“The idea of studying aquaculture popped up and… bingo, it was just like the lights came on.”

Mike made the decision to meet with one of NMIT’s aquaculture tutors to get more information before applying.

Mike says he enjoys everything the programme has to offer.

“I’ve been dissecting fish, doing health checks and raising salmon from eggs to small fry, it’s just amazing.”

Mike intends to start his aquaculture career in a salmon hatchery and then see where it goes from there.

“I really enjoy seeing something grow and then nurturing it and ultimately, it’s going to end up on someone’s table.”

“Aquaculture is a really good fit for me. I’ve got a lot of life skills I can adapt and transfer to whatever’s required in the industry.” 

To find out more about our aquaculture programmes, visit

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