‘Wildboy’ chooses NMIT

‘Wildboy’ chooses NMIT

When ‘Wildboy’ Brando Yelavich chooses your institute’s outdoors adventure education programme above all others in New Zealand you know you have something special.

That’s the case for Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), which counts Brando among its first year students in 2016.

It’s the 21st year for the Certificate and Diploma in Adventure Tourism programmes, which are so highly rated around New Zealand. Since 1995, hundreds of graduates from NMIT have been able to find jobs in NZ and around the world.

Brando Yelavich is now another of those students.

If you haven’t heard Brando’s name, you probably soon will. At 23, he’s already done adventuring like few other people with one media outlet calling him “New Zealand’s version of Bear Grylls”.

Brando made his name two years ago when he circumnavigated the New Zealand coastline in 600 days, living off the land as he went.

So what made this seasoned young adventurer from Coromandel choose to come to Nelson to undertake NMIT’s Adventure Tourism certificate programme, aiming to continue with the diploma course next year? “In the real world you need a piece of paper to go along with your skills in order to get a job in the industry.”

So why NMIT? “Firstly, it’s locality. Everything is here – snow in winter, the most hours of sunshine in the country and three national parks where you can kayak, raft, climb, go caving and everything else. The other thing is it lets me have a lifestyle that I really enjoy outside studying. I get to go out rock climbing or rafting or kayaking every weekend. When I’m not on the course I can still do all these things and I’ve got a great bunch of mates to do it with.”

NMIT Adventure Tourism programme co-ordinator Todd Jago says there have been many changes with the adventure tourism programme over its 21 years, but one constant remains – the fun factor. 

“Studying adventure tourism is a ticket to an adventurous, varied lifestyle that can take you around the world. All of last year’s diploma graduates went straight into industry jobs, with some receiving multiple offers,” he says.

NMIT graduates are sought after by employers wanting guides and instructors on mountains, sea, rivers and in bush or as trainee rangers for the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Likewise, the 12-week Certificate in Superyacht Crewing opens doors to jobs on board a motor or sailing vessel and in marine tourism.

Toby Wild says the NMIT campus is close to the buzz of Nelson city attractions, its tutors are vastly experienced and equipment is first rate. “NMIT works closely with industry to offer students recognised and up-to-date industry qualifications.”

Just a few months into his first year, Brando Yelavich is already relishing the outdoor adventure opportunities and looking forward to gaining that vital “piece of paper” to further his career.

He already has his own website http://www.wildboyadventures.com/(external link) and, between study, is planning his next adventures; a circumnavigation of Stewart Island followed by a paddle board journey across Cook Strait.

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