Inspiring Rotorua rangatahi about tech and innovation

  • Five role models seated during a panel

Rangatahi found out about careers in tech and innovation at an Inspiring the Future event at the Rotorua Careers Expo on 17 May. We asked the organisers how it went.

Why did you decide to run an Inspiring the Future event?

There were two reasons why we were motivated to organise an Inspiring the Future event in Rotorua; firstly, our schools and Careers Advisors were requesting in-person events about career options, highlighting different career paths and starting career conversations earlier. Secondly, the research speaks for itself – Inspiring the Future events make a positive impact!

The Rotorua Careers Expo was an opportunity to showcase the programme across multiple schools while working within a career-and-study kaupapa. It was also Tech Week, so we saw this as a great opportunity to provide a platform for our local tech and innovation industry and professionals.

The purpose of the event was to inspire students about career possibilities, increase the local role-model pool and demonstrate to schools how an event can be organised.

Overall, 72 students and 9 teachers attended the workshops.

How did the kids find the event overall?

The students were engaged and intrigued! They asked questions, talked with the role models and actively participated throughout the event. As part of the evaluation, there was a “happy or not” machine that students could use at the end of the event. They could push one of five faces, ranging from very unhappy to very happy. 93 percent of the responses were happy or very happy.

What was the best part of the event?

After months of preparation, the workshops just came together well. The students were involved and engaged with the content, we had a great MC who kept the sessions running smoothly, the event space looked welcoming and fun, the resources available were well utilised and the role models were passionate and inspiring. The students left the workshops inspired and excited and the teachers left the workshops with business cards, eager to start the initiative within their own kura.

Tell us about the role models.

For each workshop we had either four or five role models from the tech and innovation industry. Due to the nature of their roles, most of the role models did not bring a prop but revealed their career by an image. One role model did bring a prop (a drone and tree) and this was very well-received by the participants. Our role models were:

  • Celene – Security Specialist
  • Amelia – Social Media Specialist
  • Claire – Portfolio Leader: Digital Forest and Wood Sector
  • Josiah – Digital and Web Specialist
  • Jay – Youth Worker
  • Leon – Senior Designer
  • Shilo – Marketing Advisor
  • Jayne – Aeronautical Manager
  • Nige – Animator
  • Melissa – Destination Manager

How did you find running the event?

The Inspiring the Future resources and support from the Tertiary Education Commission team made for a successful event! We ran 90-minute sessions and this format worked well for the Rotorua Careers Expo and the participants. The content is engaging and the structure allows for discussion and exploration.

Want to be involved in an inspiring event like this as a role model? Find out more and sign up.

Want to host an Inspiring the Future event at your school? Find out more.