Preparing to leave school

When you begin investigating leaving school, here are some suggestions, places you can go for information and people who may be able to help you to prepare.  

  1. Make an appointment to see a Careers Advisor.

The team in the Careers Department are here to help you develop a career plan that will assist you to make the transition from school into further education, training or employment. It is a good idea to have a plan A, B and C before you leave, and to ensure you meet the right entry criteria from school before you finish. You can book an appointment HERE.

2.    Prepare a CV

Having an updated, detailed, honest, clear and well-formatted CV can help you get a job interview. Download a template HERE then personalise it by added all your own education, work experience, skills, strengths and achievements. Here's a link to some great adjectives you can use to describe yourself. Once you have written a detailed draft, you can email it to the Careers Department to proof-read, help with formatting or suggesting improvements. Ensure all your spelling and grammar is correct, and be prepared to back up your skills with examples. Kahore te kumara e whaakii ana tāna reka. However, if you do not blow your own trumpet, who will?

3.    Do some research

Students can log in to Career Central using your school Google account. Browsing the Jobs section gives detailed information on over 800 jobs. You can investigate details such as employment prospects, qualifications required, useful school subjects to take, what they actually do and much more. Year 12 and 13 students can access the "search & save courses" database in the "Next Steps" module.

For information about what is available locally, have a look at e2e (Education to Employment) designed to help you make a positive transitions from education to employment.  You can find out who in Whangārei can help you, and what opportunities exist in Tai Tokerau.  

In other parts of the "useful information" section, you can find links to trades organisations, universities and other tertiary providers. The team in the Careers Department can help you with research and finding information relevant to your interests and needs. no major drama is a helpful web tool to browse majors (specialisations) you can study beyond school.

4.    Get some experience.

Check out work experience opportunities.  Ask at the Careers Department for information about Gateway and STAR courses.  Find a part time job or see if you can volunteer or intern in a workplace.

Check out this great Job Hunters' Workbook.

The Careers Department website has some great resources on writing a cover letter and preparing for job interviews here.

5.    Finances & Study Link

Whether your next steps cost you money or earn you money, there is still a lot to learn. Taxes, saving, budgeting, banking, loans, debt and many more financial aspects, are all part of your adult life. Moneyhub and Sorted are great websites for money matters.

If you are continuing your education, the first thing you should check out is your fees free eligibility. If you are a NZ citizen or permanent resident and plan to study full time, then enrol with Study Link to activate a student loan and/or student allowance. RealMe® allows you to access multiple online services with one username and password, and securely prove who you are online. You will need this to sign up for Study Link.

6.    Scholarships

There are many places where you can find out about scholarships to help fund your learning. HERE is a step-by-step guide to apply for scholarships, along with useful websites and tools to help you increase your chance of being awarded a scholarship. Scholarship committees are not only looking for academic excellence, but also students who are active in giving back to their community.

6.    Do you need references?

Who can you ask? The Principal, your Dean, whanau teacher, subject teacher, coach, youth group leader or employer could be a good referee for you. A referee can describe as to your skills, strengths and talents; it could be verbal or written.  Make sure you ask permission first before you put someone down for a reference, and explain what you're applying for. Then they can tailor their comments to suit and give them plenty of warning so it is done in time! You should have 2 referees on your CV, and you may need referees for scholarship applications or tertiary study applications.

7.    Protect your WGHS digital footprint

When you leave, you will no longer have access to anything stored on the WGHS network. Copy all important files and documents to your personal device such as a USB drive or download to your personal Google Drive. An employer may want to see a report or portfolio of your work. Download any digital reports. You can download your "School Results Summary" by logging into the NZQA website (using your school email and password), then click the pdf link. Save this to your own personal folder or email it to yourself. If you are applying for a tertiary education programme or job, use your personal email, not your school email. Get used to checking this email address regularly. Also complete the "Leaving School" module in "Next Steps" of Career Central, then you will have access to the alumni part of Career Central.

8.    Complete a leaving form

Collect a leaving form from the Deans' Centre.  You will need to get this filled in by meeting with each of your teachers, your Dean, Library, Sports Office, Accounts and Careers.  This is a necessary process as it not only allows you to say goodbye and thank you to the people that have been involved in your school life, but also to generate your leaving certificate.  You do need a leaving certificate in order to enter into some courses for funding purposes.

Some additional useful sites.

Careers NZ have some amazing online resources and tools, and once you have left school you will no longer have full access to Career Central.

Money Hub have a great checklist for Year 13s about to leave school.

Advice about employment matters, rights and responsibilities, pay and leave entitlements.

NZ govt site with job vacancies, job seeking advice and tips and links to other job search sites.

The courses available locally at Northtec