Human geography paper Creates career pathway for Courtney Bond

 It was a human geography paper and the insight into how people interact with the environment that helped Courtney Bond realise her future career path: supporting communities to improve their waterways.
Courtney began studying in 2008 and alternated between studying full-time and working part-time, and then working full-time and studying part-time.
“I used Massey’s flexibility to my advantage and developed my own schedule using the support of lecturers, family and friends,” she says.
Courtney graduated with a Diploma in Business Studies in 2014 and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Environmental Studies in 2015.

Human geography paper Creates career pathway for Courtney Bond. Photo courtesy of Massey University

After studying she knew she wanted to work for Horizons Regional Council, but was unsure in which area. A quick chat and some advice from a former rural advisor at the council Pete Taylor, helped steer her in the right direction.
“Pete told me there was a vacancy in the local plant nursery and suggested that I apply. After 18 months, I was working in a general managers position and had gained a mammoth amount of knowledge in native plant husbandry."
“The timing couldn’t have been more perfect when the role I am currently in was advertised. In July 2018, I became a Freshwater Advisor at Horizons Regional Council.”
The role involves working with landowners and community groups providing advice and connecting them to funding to support the fencing and planting of riparians and natural wetlands.
“The end goal is to improve water quality and make our degraded awa safe for future generations,” she says. “Not only do I get to help improve water quality, enhance biodiversity and native aquatic habitat – I get to reconnect people with the awa and at times, that is the most rewarding outcome.”
While working for Horizons she was also able to continue her studies and in 2019 she graduated with a Certificate in Sustainable Nutrient Management in New Zealand Agriculture.
Her advice for other students is to find a way of studying that works for them – and to not be afraid to ask questions.
“I found that it wasn’t until my final years of study that I had enough courage to ask questions, this helped my understanding of topics and my assignments, greatly.”

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Source : Massey University  

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