After studying both tourism and arts and media at Ara Institute of Canterbury, Regan Walton has landed the perfect first job. He's getting to utilise the many skills he acquired from his studies while working as a museum assistant at the South Canterbury Museum in Timaru.
"The job involves many tasks and every day is different," Regan says. "I use my tourism skills when working with the public and with many different cataloguing systems, and I apply my arts, media and design training in the way I set up and pack down shows, and how I care for artefacts and other items that we're adding to the collection."
One of Regan's first tasks at the museum was to clean moa bones. "That took some time, but it's really rewarding seeing them on display for the public to view."
Regan, a former Opihi College student, decided to study tourism at Ara on the recommendation of a friend. "He told me the course was really great, so that made up my mind." During his tourism studies, Regan took many photos of class activities which he provided to the marketing department for use on the institute's Facebook page.
"That led to them offering me a part time job as event support, provided I stayed to study for another year," Regan explains. "So I decided to take the arts, media and graphic design course. That was the best decision, because the museum job uses all the skills I learned in my three years at Ara. The courses I did gave me so many skills to carry into real-life jobs."
Regan made many friends at Ara. He has especially fond memories of lunchtimes on campus in Te Whare Poutama, where he helped with SMILE (Students Meet, Interact, Laugh and Eat), a group created to encourage international students to talk freely with other students as a way of practicing their English.
"We also hosted parties and student events in Te Whare Poutama. Some of my best memories are from there."