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MIT computing students show their mettle

MIT computing students show their mettle

Three Manukau Institute of Technology information systems students cleaned up in the Auckland regional finals of the SkillEx work skills competition.

Bachelor of Information Systems students Jenna Gavin, Graham Aiken and Mark Spiers won first, second and third place respectively in the IT software applications category at the contest, which aims to encourage skills excellence among young people through competition.

As top prize winner Jenna, a Howick resident, is now set to represent Auckland in the national finals in Wellington from 21 to 23 September. The winner of the national competition will represent New Zealand at the international WorldSkills competition in Shizuoka, Japan in November 2007.

Jenna starts the final year of her BIS degree in July and says the SkillEx win has made her confident that her MIT studies are preparing her for a career in the real world.

“The competition was set up like a normal working day. Over eight hours we were tested on applications used in a real working environment, like Microsoft Word and Access. I was able to apply what I had learnt at MIT in the competition.”

Contestants were tested on their skills with spreadsheet, word processing, database and presentation software. Jenna aced the presentation software component. “We all have our strengths and Powerpoint is definitely one of mine,” she says.

Participating in the competition was a great learning experience for Jenna. “It was fun competing against other people and seeing how well you do. I learnt a lot on the day. It gave me more skills, improved my knowledge of the applications and boosted my self confidence.”

SkillEx is held every two years and covers a variety of trades including automotive technology, cookery, furniture making, hairdressing, welding and light fabrication (for which MIT will host the Auckland regional finals in July).

MIT is taking enrolments now for a range of computing and IT qualifications with classes starting in July, including the entry-level Certificate in Information and Communications Technology (Level 4) and the Bachelor of Information Systems. Current IT professionals can enrol in single papers from the degree to update and expand their skills. For more information contact MIT on 0800 62 62 52, or visit


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