18 Oct

November 2011. Greg has been working with Rob and the guys for 18 months. It has gone quite fast. The cabling jobs and the onsite visits for server installs are part of his routine. He is tidy and gets the job done and the clients ask for him specifically when they ring Rob for the next job.  

He is picking up new computer skills fast and has added a couple of certifications to his qualification. He's made sure he has scanned them, because he is not good with paper. Greg is having to work hard at a few things that he had not thought of initially. He sounds shy and monotone at the helpdesk. Rob has commented that stressed clients need a more positive response.

Greg is aware of his weakness but unsure of what to do. It's only when he hears Ella the receptionist talk on the phone with a client that morning that he realizes he actually needs help with this. He asks Ella if she would walk him through a few phone manners. Rob practices by recording himself on his phone and playing it back. He now sounds more convincing at the help desk. He is gaining confidence, and Rob has noticed.

Allanah, Greg's big sister is doing teacher training at Waikato University. Last weekend, she asked him if he'd have a look with her at this ePortfolio software she needs to use for her course. Allanah is happy to use Facebook and messaging and Office. She needs to use the ePortfolio, an online space for her to keep evidence of her learning and share it with her tutor. She gets that this is the place where she'll store her files, but is unsure how she is going to organize it. Greg sits with her, and discovers Mahara. He helps Allanah get started with her files. He sees the system has a CV builder and that it lets you embed content from elsewhere on the internet.

Later he searches for and downloads Mahara on his machine to have a closer look. He uploads his certificates, his sound files and the collection of pictures he continues to take while on a difficult job to the repository. He also uploads some of the documentation files he produces. He has got better at writing, although he keeps thinking there is got to be a better way of documenting procedures. Later that week, he digs out the CV that got him the job at Rob's. The old CV is now good for the bin. While he fills in the CV template on Mahara, he realizes that he has learnt heaps since he started. He can identify stuff he is good at and fills in "organized, tidy, gets the job done and good phone manner" in the skills section. At least he has got evidence to show for it.

October 2013, Greg is still with Rob. His experience is noted, and he is proving he can learn and grow with a job that is constantly changing. He has developed a keen interest in mobile technology. He keep traces of the research he does on this subject, and embeds the articles and videos in his eportfolio, making some notes. He is thinking he and the guys could use a tablet at work. Greg talks Rob into using tablets to keep records from on the job visits to spare them having to write in notes afterwards. Rob considers this new strategy positively as Greg shows him his research, his findings and some useful comments from his colleagues as Mahara is now on the server at work. Greg is thinking using a form app and a file share app and sync with the server. He has done a fair bit of planning. As Greg has shared the link to his ePortfolio Rob can see Greg has started to look into coding. He was intrigued about the badges he saw on Greg's profile, and by clicking on them discovered what they have been awarded for.

Greg has been on Seek and Trademe. He sees there are quite a few jobs going in app development. He realizes he needs more skills. He also knows he can work on them in his spare time. There is so much he can learn online.  He has now long gone from home and he is flatting. He also spends less time in the surf, he has less time for it, new drivers have emerged. How long will Rob continue to be Greg's loyal good worker? What will it take for him to go? Or what will it take for him to stay?

27 Sep

Meet Greg. Greg is 23 and lives in Tauranga New Zealand.

Greg has actually lived there all his life. He went to the local Boy's college and hung in there until he gained his NCEA Level 2 credits in 2007.

This particular young man found the last year at school a bit of a challenge. All of his courses required a fair amount of writing,  which was not his forte. He enjoyed the Digital Technologies standards and despite the report writing he gained the credits attached to the course.

Growing more certain that University was not for him, Paul, Greg’s dad, was happy for him to find something to do rather than see him through another school year and get to the same conclusion.

While at school Greg had also been quite involved with the local surf life saving club and was looking forward to the summer season. He had been training hard and was looking forward to his competing chances. He had started 2008 as an ocean athlete but now the lifeguard season was drawing to an end he had to give serious thoughts to what he was going to do. With the surf close by and with his mum Annie not quite ready for her youngest to leave home just yet, he wanted to stay in Tauranga.

Over the summer he had fixed some issues on his cousin's PC. He also researched and compared long and hard before deciding to invest his few savings in his first laptop. Greg figured that he was going to need one of those. Within a few weeks, he decided to enroll in the Diploma in Applied Computing starting in July at the Polytech. He was happy to commit to study for another year as the course looked hands on with some practical skills and the bonus of a recognized qualification. To make ends meet till the course started, Greg did some laboring work for his uncle Peter, a well established local builder.

Fast forward to July 2009. Greg is now qualified, the year went fast. While training, Greg has become the techie port of call for his surf mates' laptops. Most times he sorts them out. Peter has now got him to help on Saturdays in the office as the networked PCs are needing a bit more maintenance before the next upgrade.

Greg is enjoying making the computers work, even if it often requires him to search for solutions to problem he had not met before. Peter is happy with his work and pays him for his trouble. Greg buys his first smartphone. Taking pictures of the job at hand, rather than writing notes, proves very useful for him to remember what to search for. Greg needs a full time job though. He still wants to stay in Tauranga.

Rob, owner of a local Technology Services business, is looking for someone. He has started to diversify his activity and some of the guys he started with five years ago have moved on with the demand but he still needs a reliable network technician. Rob receives ten CVs. He discarded five at first glance and the five remaining were almost similar. Rob recognizes the referee on Greg's CV: he has done business with Peter before and values his opinion. And Greg added a couple of pictures of the jobs he did to his CV. Rob gives him his first job. Greg does not know it yet, but he has effectively started building his ePortfolio.

Contact Details

PO Box 15160
Tauranga 3144
New Zealand


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