by St Paul's Collegiate School

Helping students to get a foot on the ladder - Career support at St Paul's

Students at St Paul's are provided with careers guidance and support in making vocational/educational decisions. The Future Pathways facilitator (Mr Paul Wilson) provides students with a range of opportunities and experiences which encourage them to make informed choices about their future education, training and career pathways within and outside of school.

Careers education is offered at all levels of the school curriculum. Students and parents are welcome to come and discuss subject choices and first step options post-secondary school. The Careers Department arranges tertiary liaison visits from universities and other providers (the NZ Defence Forces for example) as well as the bi-annual Careers Expo. If students are interested in a GAP year, we have presentations from both Lattitude and Tutors Worldwide. Both companies offer great overseas experiences from three to 12 months.

The Careers Room, located in the Student Centre, has up to date information on courses and qualifications for all tertiary providers. The careers staff also provide support to students on course enrolments, applications to Hall of Residence and available scholarships.

St Paul's Careers Advisor, Mr Paul Wilson — Image by: Mark Hamilton

Careers Resources

On the student portal site, under Quicklinks, students can access a number of interactive websites that can assist in their subject choices, career planning and university courses.

The careers staff use a computer-aided careers guidance programme:

Career Central

The programme Career Central is available to Year 11–13 students. Transitioning from school can be a stressful time. There are so many choices for young people that it can sometimes seem overwhelming. Career Central is a tool to assist students to explore their options as they develop their career plans. The platform also allows Teachers and Careers Advisors to see student’s skills, values, goals and interests (including occupational and tertiary interests) in order to assist them in making informed choices as they transition through and beyond school.

This link gives a great overview of the Career Central programme.

Students can go to the school landing page and click on the Career Central icon to access both BULLSEYE and Career Central.

If parents are interested in in-depth career consultation, outside provider, Claire Oehley provides a great service. For more information see:


Image by: St Paul's Collegiate School

This programme is available to all Year 11, 12 and 13 students. This is seen as a very useful tool in the students’ decision-making process, both for subject choices and career planning.

There has been a strong emphasis in recent years on ‘following your passion’ and while that is a valid concept to a point, a more relevant and useful proposition is to help young people connect areas of interest, with areas of natural skill and strength, and then use this combination as a launchpad to explore a targeted range of career paths with a focus on areas with strong future prospects.

There are six steps to a robust approach to career planning (relevant to teenagers and adults alike!)

1. Understand Self

2. Identify Interests and Passions

3. Understand Talents

4. Understand the Career Implications (of 1, 2 and 3)

5. Identify Potential Career Paths

6. Consider Future Demand of Potential Career Paths

In terms of the above six steps, I would recommend asking and answering the following questions:

  • Who am I? (focus on understanding your personality)
  • What am I most passionate about or interested in?
  • What are my natural skills and abilities?
  • What does this combination of personality, interests and talents lend itself to, career-wise?
  • Of the career areas identified, what areas are in demand and/or are predicted to have strong employment prospects in the future?
  • How to work all this stuff out?

A good diagnostic assessment is a great start to helping teens focus on these questions. There are lots of tools around both paper-based and online as well as many career consulting companies who can provide advice and assistance. The best approach for you will depend on your particular circumstances, preferences and budget.

At BULLS-EYE we have developed an online tool which uses a quiz-based format to help young people work their way through the six steps outlined earlier. Our research told us that the internet is where teenagers prefer to go for their information. With a topic like careers where teens may lack direction and/or confidence we think an online tool is a particularly good idea. BULLS-EYE steps them through the process of reflecting on their personality, interests and talents, then introduces them to the career paths likely to suit them best. We’ve developed a resource page for more than 40 separate job families (with information on more than 400 jobs). We encourage teens to action plan, and get out in the real world to discuss and experience these areas for themselves; and, we provide up to date information on projected demand for as many career paths as we possibly can.

Year 13 Career Planning for 2020

It is essential that you commence with your career planning early in the year.

50% of school leavers change course, training establishment or place of employment in their first year out of school. 

This year will be the busiest of your time at school. Your time is precious and if you do not get started now, you will run out of time later in the year and make major life decisions based on little or no information:

Make an appointment to see Mr Wilson this term. The booking sheet is on the door of the office in the Career Suite. Note that Mr Wilson is available for times listed on the booking sheet every day, except when teaching. Please book a time during your study period if possible. Make sure you have completed the Career Central profile. Don’t rely solely on the school career service. Gather as much information as you can so that you are well informed. Check online sites – No Major Drama, Careers NZ, School Connect to help you.

1. Draw up a list of goals – Long Term, Medium Term & Short Term Goals plus how you intend achieving these. This list should be on your notice board at your desk. This is not restricted to career goals only.

2. Keep your CV up to date and make sure it contains all the information required for a school type CV. Get several people to check it for you to ensure that it is appropriate.

3. Start researching scholarships. Check Moneyhub. Remember that scholarships are not only awarded to the very academically able (although this does help). Many average hard-working students earn some very generous scholarships. If you don’t apply, you will not get!!

4. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. This includes paper/internet research into career areas of interest but also interviewing people in the industry and doing volunteer work with people employed in jobs of interest. Remember to write up your experience after an interview/job shadow and file this.

5. CONTACTS, CONTACTS – these are essential in your quest for work/money over the next few years. Get yourself out there and make a point of meeting new people – particularly in your career interest areas.

6. Making training decisions with little or no information will cost YOU big money (see the statement at the top of this page). Every year spent training costs about $20,000. Add to this cost, what you may have earned if you hadn’t gone to Uni/Polytech/Workplace Training. A four-year course can cost you over $100,000.

7. Try to get some work experience in potential careers of interest. This gives you real insight into what a job actually is about.

8. Have a good year – get involved (but not over-involved) work hard, and enjoy your final year at St Paul’s Collegiate School.

Important Dates

During Term 1, most of the Universities and Wintec will visit St Paul’s to give a presentation to students. This is an opportunity to find out what each Faculty has to offer.

University Liaison Visits

Here is the list of University visits this term:

  • Waikato Uni - 27 February
  • Lincoln Uni - 10 March
  • Auckland Uni - 12 March
  • Otago Uni - 19 March
  • AUT - 24 March
  • Massey Uni - 26 March
  • Canterbury Uni - 26 March
  • Wintec - 7 April
  • Victoria Uni - 5 May