Growing up in Masterton with the Tararuas as her playground, Susanne Scott was destined for a life in the outdoors.
“Living there as a kid was like kindling for the future,” says the 30-year-old. “I’ve travelled the world and seen a lot of places and nothing compares to home.”
After leaving high school, Scott completed a Bachelor of Science with a sports major and then worked as a relief teacher before beginning her globetrotting adventures.
Overseas, she worked as a live-in carer for quadriplegics and eventually worked for Geoff Holt, a man with an ambitious goal: to be the first quadriplegic to solo-sail the Atlantic.
A friend lent Holt a boat fully adapted to wheel chair users and Scott, with no sailing experience, went along on the voyage to provide personal care.
Due to a lack of wind, it took them 28 days after leaving England to reach the Caribbean.
After travelling through South America, Scott returned to Masterton and found work at Wairarapa Outdoor Pursuits and as a female facilitator for Project K.
“I realised I was really enjoying being in the outdoors and then a friend recommended Whitireia to me,” she says.
Scott is now a few months away from completing a Diploma in Outdoor Adventure at the polytech.
She says the course has improved her “hard skills” in the outdoors and also given her a strong theoretical background in group dynamics and the “experiential learning cycle”.
When she finishes her diploma, Scott wants to get a job teaching outdoor ed at a high school and she’s confident she’ll find work.
“I enjoy working with teenagers for short periods and then changing groups,” she says. “I’m thinking about working in the industry for a few years and then doing my teaching diploma and becoming a teacher of outdoor recreation.
“I think it’s a really exciting time to be coming into the industry because there are heaps of opportunities opening up in places like China.”
However, having already travelled the world, Scott says she won’t be leaving New Zealand again anytime soon. Her long term goal is to attain the same skills as her tutors at Whitireia.
“They’re so good in the outdoors and so good with people,” Scott says. “I guess when I grow up I want to be like them.”