“One of the real highlights of the job is being able to see a large part of the country.”
As a lover of the great outdoors whose hobbies include rock-climbing, surfing and windsurfing, Mike Owen was never particularly keen on the idea of spending 40 hours a week cooped up in an office.
Indeed, the Bachelor of Surveying graduate cites the blend of indoor and outdoor activities – along with travel opportunities, variety and job security – as reasons why he decided to come to Otago and study surveying.
“Any day of the week you might be out in the field, running around the hills,” he says. “Another day you might be in the office, out of the rain. This work provides a really good balance.”
Mike is currently working as a surveyor on a range of different projects, including the Mahinerangi wind farm, the new Caversham highway development and a number of smaller projects in various parts of the South Island.
“One of the real highlights of the job is being able to see a large part of the country,” he says. “I've already travelled around most of Otago and Southland, and next week I'm off to do some work in Milford Sound, which I'm looking forward to.”
Otago is the only university in New Zealand that offers a Bachelor of Surveying, and Mike says that the quality of teaching was high.
And as an outdoor enthusiast, he says he felt right at home in Dunedin, with its numerous rock-climbing sites and the promise of good surf on at least one of the area's many beaches, any given day.
Like many Surveying graduates, he was tempted by the number of job opportunities available to graduates overseas, and particularly in Australia, but by the time he graduated, Mike had already made Dunedin his home. As job opportunities in the region continue to present themselves, he doesn't see this changing any time soon.