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From teaching to architecture for scholarship recipient


You might think that it’s a big career jump from early childhood teaching to architecture, but it has come naturally for double scholarship recipient Kay Aish.

Aish was one of seven UCOL Manawatū students to receive scholarships at a recent ceremony. She was awarded the UCOL Scholarship for Effort and Achievement and the Soroptomist International Scholarship.

Aish is in the final semester of her New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology and is set to start a part-time Junior Architechtural Technician role at Proarch Consultants while she finishes her studies.

It’s the next step in a career which has seen Aish teach at and manage early childhood centres for 14 years before running her own beauty therapy business.

“When I was younger I loved working with kids, so I worked as a nanny and then went into early childhood education. When I started having my own children, I wanted to do something different and came across a beauty therapy course. Beauty therapy appealed to me because it was something I could do from home while raising my children,” says Aish.

Aish was inspired to pursue architecture after renovating her home with her husband a couple of years ago.

“I had always loved playing with house plans. Our three kids were getting bigger, so we wanted to push some walls out to make larger rooms for them. I spent a year drawing up house plans and figuring out the best way to do it. I loved the whole process.”

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“My husband said that I should start spending other people’s money doing this stuff instead of ours,” jokes Aish.

Since starting the diploma in 2019, Aish has maintained straight A grades while juggling her family commitments.

“I’ve loved every minute of the course. It seems like a big change from where I started but it has all happened naturally. Each change in my career has worked for the different times in my life.”

Aish says receiving the scholarships means a lot to her and it will greatly assist her family.

“It has been a tough couple of years financially. My husband works part-time and I’ve been studying full-time, so to be able to go into this last part of the course with some extra funding is wonderful.”

“The acknowledgement from UCOL that I’ve done well and that they’re proud of me feels awesome. Then for Soroptomists to believe that I offer value to their organization is really cool.”

UCOL Manawatū Scholarship recipients

Andrew Cliff Award - Christopher Adams (Bachelor of Applied Management)
Jaycee Trust Scholarship - Rupa Koirala (Bachelor of Nursing)
Graduate Women Manawatū UCOL Award - Julia Conway (Bachelor of Applied Science - Medical Imaging Technology) and Josephine Meads (Bachelor of Nursing)
Soroptomist International Scholarship - Kay Aish (NZ Diploma in Architectural Technology)
Colleen McPherson Memorial Grant – Aliesha Waru (Bachelor of Nursing)
UCOL Scholarship for Effort and Achievement - Kay Aish (NZ Diploma in Architectural Technology)
Fenton Te Rauparaha (Ralph) Flavel Memorial Scholarship - Rihari Peeti (Bachelor of Applied Science - Wellness and Sport)

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