Faleola Faingataa - Telecommunications Apprenticeship in NZ

Courage comes in many forms. Sometimes it is taking the road less travelled, as with Faleola Faingataa who chose to enter a telecommunications apprenticeship instead of university after Year 13.

Faleola was offered an apprenticeship at Vodafone while in his final year of school and says he tossed the idea around for a bit.

“We’re always told after school you should be trying to get into uni,” he says.

“Honestly, it can be hard to change your mind-set but the opportunity to earn while I learned really appealed to me. Also, this is an industry experiencing exponential research, growth and development opportunities.

“Our generation uses digital devices and the internet constantly – we are the digital age. I love the idea of working in an industry which impacts each person, every day, globally.

“To me, this is the future and it’s exciting.”

Faleola is halfway through his two year apprenticeship comprising of on-job learning and exposure to multiple disciplines within the telco industry.

“It’s a really flexible program. You get to rotate through different areas of the business, trying new things and figuring out what you enjoy doing the most. I feel like I know my abilities better from doing this apprenticeship than if I had spent three years at uni doing a degree which, when I got into a job, I may or may not have liked and I may or may not have been good at.”

Faleola has worked in the Online Application Services team maintaining all Vodafone applications and the website, he has also worked in the Business Intelligence (BI) team tracking all device data usage in order to help shape the high level business strategy for Vodafone.

“In the BI team I was able to generate my own report about globally roaming customers, collating information about their network usage in the countries they were visiting. It was really cool to be a part of that and have an insight into the way our customers use their devices globally,” says Faleola.

Now with the Release and Deployment Management team, Faleola gets to work on some pretty cool things including the launch of the Netflix app.

“It’s really important to have an open mind, to try and think outside the box and not be scared of doing things in new ways. Training in telco has already opened up so many career pathways I hadn’t even thought about in high school. I want to explore opportunities in app development as well as developing my management and leadership skills,” Faleola explains.

“Being an apprentice has really shown me a realm of new possibilities.”

When asked about what it’s like at work, Faleola says Vodafone is really upbeat and fun but productive because it can be a fast paced environment.

“I recommend being an apprentice because it’s an enjoyable and alternative pathway to uni where you always have a new and hands on skill to learn. If you’re interested, go for it. Run with the opportunities you’re presented!”

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