When 17 year old Hunter Gardyne attended a presentation by the NZMAC ITO Schools Transition Advisor Tracey Eaton at Whangarei Boys late last year, little did he know that it would be a life- changing event. As a passionate sailor at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Youth Training Programme, Hunter was interested in exploring career pathways in the marine and composites industry and was keen to learn more about being an apprentice in this industry. Having studied maths, physics and design at high school combined with a keen interest in electronics, Tracey identified that he was a good fit for the NZMAC ITO composite production qualification at Rocket Lab.
After a series of interviews, Hunter was selected and started work at the beginning of January. Since then he has never looked back. Rocket Lab is the global leader in small satellite launch, delivering payloads into orbit from its New Zealand launch site. With a wide range of customers, including NASA, these payloads are helping to connect us through applications such as the Internet of Things and helping us to understand our planet better by monitoring weather patterns and providing real-time Earth observation.
Working with a team of world-class technicians, Hunter is involved in the assembly of the highly sophisticated 17 metre Electron rockets, the fully carbon – composite structure rocket delivering satellites into orbit. Hunter is enjoying the excitement of working in this team environment and the new challenges associated with his role.
Hunter has now completed his School to Work programme and is now signed up to do a Composites Level 4 qualification at Rocket Lab. Who knows what’s next – the sky’s the limit!