A flowchart to happiness
Fawaz Dinnunhan is relishing a perfect balance of theory and practical learning.
The hands-on learning has really changed my views on my own abilities and the programme structure continuously builds your self-confidence.
Fawaz Dinnunhan’s educational journey could be likened to an I.T. programmer’s flowchart: a few ups and downs, a twist or two, then a happy solution.
Originally from Sri Lanka, Fawaz and his family moved to New Zealand more than a decade ago, eventually settling in Dunedin.
“I struggled a lot during high school with learning issues, health problems, and low self-esteem,” explains Fawaz, who is studying a Bachelor of Information Technology degree at Otago Polytechnic.
“I constantly failed classes due to my absence and what I believed, back then, to be an inability to learn. Having spent an extra year at high school due to my health, I was ready to give up. I still hadn’t achieved University Entrance, felt like I was going nowhere and my self-confidence was non-existent.”
Fawaz then heard about Otago Polytechnic’s range of certificate programmes.
“I wasn’t sure what to study initially. But I have always enjoyed using computers. From a young age, I would spend a lot of time playing games and looking into the files to try and figure out what was going on.”
With the support and encouragement of his family, Fawaz decided to give it a shot and started off by doing the New Zealand Certificate in Information Technology Essentials (Level 4).
Now, Fawaz is in the final year of his Bachelor of Information Technology.
“I believe Otago Polytechnic has the perfect balance between theory and practical learning. The hands-on learning has really changed my views on my own abilities and the I.T. programme structure continuously builds your self-confidence. I am a testament to that.”
In the past year, Fawaz has received a professional performance award and is now employed by Otago Polytechnic as a teaching assistant and peer tutor in the Bachelor of I.T. programme.
“Due to my own complex experiences with studying, my ability to empathise with other students has grown tremendously.
“I would like to work in a developer role in the IT industry for the next few years so that I can gain industry knowledge and experience. This will ultimately give me the confidence to pursue what I really want to do – which is teaching,” Fawaz says.
“I want students to know that how you perform in high school does not necessarily define how you will do in tertiary education. We all grow as people.
“My life has truly changed for the better and I am grateful to Otago Polytechnic and the amazing lecturers, who really made a difference in my educational journey.”
“I have never been happier.”
Develop high-level technical and problem-solving skills and a solid theoretical understanding of Information Technology concepts in this hands-on degree. If you have existing skills and knowledge due to practical experience in this area, you could study this programme via distance through Capable NZ (our recognition of prior learning centre). You may have already gained credits towards this qualification.
Want to develop great IT foundation skills and gain valuable practical experience? How about doing that and getting guaranteed entry into our IT degree? This programme is your first step to gaining great introductory skills across a range of IT areas. You’ll study in a creative, innovative and supportive environment and, with small class sizes, you’ll get plenty of one-on-one attention from your experienced teachers. Courses include Web Development, Programming, Computer Essentials and IT Industry Skills. When you finish and graduate, you'll have guaranteed entry into our Bachelor of Information Technology! Plus, study in 2022 for this programme is free for domestic students due to the Government's Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) (although you'll need to pay for any living costs).