When Alison Tapper first visited Ara in Timaru to chat with a careers advisor, she was a solo mother who didn’t have a clue what she wanted to do.

Now, having completed the New Zealand Certificate in Foundation Studies L2.at Ara, she’s grown in confidence and is about to embark on a Diploma in Business.

“I found confidence I didn’t think I had,” Alison says of the foundation course. “It was such a brilliant starting point to a new career path.”

The course aims to build on students’ skills and give them the confidence to take the next step into employment or further study, in whatever field interests them. It covers goal setting, budgeting, problem solving, communication skills, interpersonal skills, customer service, networking and workplace health and safety. Students are also guided in employment-related matters such as creating a CV, personal presentation and interview skills.

During the course, Alison had two tutors. “Their styles were totally different but I felt that if I was having trouble with some of the content of the course, I knew I would get the help that I needed. The tutors were amazing.”