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Ellie Moore

Architectural Technology Student

Ellie Moore - Architectural Technology Student

Ellie Moore got her first taste of architectural drawing in UCOL’s U-Skills Applied Construction Design programme. She loved it so much that she progressed onto the New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology.

Ellie came across U-Skills Applied Construction Design at a UCOL | Te Pūkenga Open Day while in Year 12 at Tararua College. At the time, she wasn't sure what wanted to do once she left school, but had some interest in architecture so thought she would give it a go.

"I had always enjoyed art and been pretty good at maths, so a few people suggested that I try this sort of course. I had never done any kind of architecture or technical drawing because it wasn't taught at my school, so this was a good opportunity," says Ellie.

U-Skills programmes allow Year 11 to 13 students to attend classes at UCOL (or an approved site) one or two days per week to develop industry-relevant skills. Learners work towards NCEA credits or, in some programmes, can earn a tertiary qualification.

Ellie says she had some nerves starting the U-Skills programme, but it didn't take long for her to fit in. Having supportive lecturers who ensured that nobody fell behind in their learning made things a lot easier.

"It was a little bit daunting at the start because I didn't know anyone, it's a completely new environment, and there are adults studying here – I wasn't used to seeing that. I started talking to people in class and made a friend group. A few of them have continued onto the architecture diploma as well, so that's quite cool."

Ellie liked the programme's mixture of practical work and theory. She particularly enjoyed building model houses and learning about one-point and two-point perspective drawing.

"I enjoyed being in a different environment to my normal college life. It had a different structure — I liked focusing on one subject during the day instead of switching classes. It helped me stay focused."

"The course really helped me with my social skills and being able to talk to new people, because you're not seeing the same faces that you have been seeing for years at college."

Near the end of the U-Skills course, Ellie decided that she wanted to study architecture further so enrolled in UCOL's New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology. Doing U-Skills Applied Construction Design first gave her good base skills and knowledge heading into the diploma.

"The U-Skills programme helped me a lot considering I didn't do any technical drawing at school. It gave me the basic drawing and AutoCAD skills, and a good understanding of construction design concepts.  I was able to pick it all up quickly again when I started the diploma."

"A thing I love about studying architecture is that I can now look at buildings around town and recognise how they were designed, understand why certain design elements were used, and come up with ideas for improvements."

Ellie says doing a U-Skills programme is a great stepping-stone for high school students wanting to go onto tertiary study, because it gives them a taste of learning in a new environment with new people.

Once she completes her diploma, Ellie hopes to find an architectural designer job with a local firm. After she has a few years of experience under her belt, she may do further study. 

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