student success story

Meet ambitious mum and savvy businesswoman Mariska.

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Mariska Olivier Steyn

Diploma in Digital Marketing Graduate

Mariska studied the level 7 Diploma in Digital Marketing with NZIE and this is her story.  

Mariska came to New Zealand in 2017, immigrating from South Africa. She was also a business owner who had a ceramics business where she manufactured vintage ceramics ware. As well as a Photography business. After Immigrating Mariska thought she could carry on with business as usual and just continue where she left off. But was unfortunately met with a bit of a reality check. Subsequently Mariska recognised how difficult it was to establish a brand in a new market that she was unfamiliar with. In addition to not knowing anywhere or anyone and where to start. First thought she had was to get a digital marketing company to help with brand visibility. However little did she know it was going to cost a lot of money. So that’s when she had the idea to study digital marketing, to help her own business and expand her skillset. And that’s how she ended up studying digital marketing @ NZIE. 

“When I came across NZIE what stood out to me was that it was the only NZQA accredited course in New Zealand at the time. I knew it was the programme that I had to do because it was also a globally recognised qualification. I didn’t even think twice I just enrolled straight away!”

Mariska’s challenges and struggles:

Mariska did the course as a domestic student and part timer. Simultaneously she had to juggle work, kids and family life together with studies. Her words of advice: 

“I would definitely say looking back that I wished I did it full time so I could learn more in a shorter period of time. And therefore get myself and businesses launched quicker!” 

Unfortunately Mariska faced a couple of challenges whilst I was studying. For example going through a separation, juggling for time with her two daughters, trying to run business. In addition to that was travel for in-person learning. [NZIE is now 100% online] For instance she had to commute from the other side of Auckland. Then sit in traffic 2.5 hours each way, and leave early in the a.m whilst it was still dark. However It made her realise that we have two choices in life… 

“You can either sit back and let life happen to you OR you can stand up and make life happen!“ 

“And that’s what I choose [the latter] and I just stuck in there and dug deep to get through. Finally it was all worth it in the end because today so many opportunities have opened up for me. In fact I’ve got my own marketing company now Metrics Marketing. As well as my own Photography company now focusing on commercial photography.” Mariska describes that by just putting herself out there she’s managed to rub shoulders with well known brands in NZ. Even with some famous influencers as well. 

Whilst studying Mariska still managed to run her ceramics business and continued with photography doing wedding shoots on the weekends. But since graduating she launched *full time* into her own digital marketing company. “Its just been an amazing ride ever since, I’ve gotten to work with incredible clients.” Mariska stated that it was challenging on so many different levels but also exciting at the same time. “Truly energising to work in the digital marketing industry.” 

Mariska’s favourite part about studying at NZIE

“The tutors – I had the most amazing tutors throughout the course. Also I made so many new friends, I got to rub shoulders with industry experts, it was just amazing! Truly was life changing because I learned so much. Sometimes when I’m busy working with clients or for instance when I’m struggling with a website or something. I can hear the tutors voice in my head saying do it like this or this and its awesome. I cherish the relationships and connections I made through NZIE.” 

I would definitely recommend studying at NZIE its been an awesome adventure and journey that has been well worth it. 

Entry Criteria:

To be admitted into NZ Certificate in English Language Level 4 General, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

a) Be a speaker of English as an additional language; and

b) Hold a NZCEL Applied Level 3 [3667] qualification; or

c) Pass an NZIE entry test that meets the requirements for the CEFR B2 requirements or equivalent; and

d) Be of a minimum age of 16 years or older; and.

e) Be a New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency OR Certificate of Refugee Status and evidence of eligibility to study for the duration of enrolment; OR Have a student visa.

Entry Criteria:

To be admitted into NZ Certificate in English Language Level 3 General, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

a) Be a speaker of English as an additional language; and

b) Hold a NZCEL Level 2 qualification; or

c) Pass an NZIE entry test that meets the requirements for the CEFR mid B1 requirements or equivalent; and

d) Be of a minimum age of 16 years or older; and.

e) Be a New Zealand citizen or resident; or have Certificate of Refugee Status and evidence of eligibility to study for the duration of enrolment; or have a student visa.

Fees 2020

Student loans available through Study Link. Check if you are eligible here. 

Fees-Free Study.  

You are only eligible for Fees-Free if you haven’t previously undertaken more than 60 credits (half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education, 0.5 EFTS) at Level 3 or above on the NZQF – New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

To check if you meet the requirements, visit the New Zealand Government’s Fees-Free website and enter your National Student Number (NSN)

If you do not have an NSN, contact your Student Support Advisor.

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