Winnie Rawiri-King takes the expression “work hard, play hard” to a whole new level! As well as smashing her electrical apprenticeship and becoming a qualified Electrician, she’s got a hectic social life, is travelling the world one country at a time.
Winnie works as an Electrical Service Technician with the Air New Zealand maintenance team at Auckland Airport. Being a young female is relatively uncommon in the Energy Industry, but Winnie is showing the guys how it’s done and has a bright future ahead of her.
Winnie is originally from the Waikato and went to Hamilton Girls high school, where she was a House Captain. “When I was at school, trades weren’t even considered as an option for females,” she says. “I’ve been back several times since I left to talk to girls in years 11 to 13 about careers in the Energy Industry. I enjoy helping to change perceptions. I’m a really girly girl, so my school friends were shocked and amazed at my career choice.”
While her friends might have been surprised by her career choice, Winnie wasn’t. She says, “My careers counsellor told me to figure out what drives me and what I enjoy doing – then everything else would fall into place. So I put together all of those things, and did an online quiz on the Careers New Zealand website. The top five roles that came out for me were in the Energy Industry, and the next five were in Engineering and Construction.”
The combination of academic and practical learning of an apprenticeship suits Winnie’s learning style. She explains, “Apprenticeships are ideal for people that want to progress a career without the requirement to take a strong academic (via university) route, as this doesn’t suit everyone. Having said that, an Apprenticeship is far from the easy route, and it can be intense at times. It’s important to take regular breaks from studying and to make the most of your downtime.”
When she’s not at work, Winnie is passionate about the outdoors. “In Summer I do as many mountain walks and treks as I can, and I also play hockey for various teams, which is very social. When I feel like some alone time, I go to the gym. I also enjoy doing art, when I need a total release or don’t feel like doing anything physical. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends. It’s all about balance.”