Kickstart to a lab career – Jolene Jones

Jennie Carson & Jolene Jones

Jolene (right) with colleague and fellow graduate Jennie Carson (left).

For Jolene Jones, a Phlebotomist based in Invercargill, Diploma in Applied Science was the ‘kickstart’ to her laboratory career.

“I wanted to study preanalytical laboratory science but did not have the background. So, the course was a great way to build knowledge, get an overview and a comprehensive understanding of preanalytical laboratory sciences and kickstart my lab career.”

Jolene joined the organisation in 2019 in what she describes as a career change following 14 years at Spark. She started the course in early 2020 after her manager told her about it and how Awanui was making it available to staff.

“I liked the fact the course was online, so being a mum and not losing out on work time was big thing. The course kept you going, focused on work, and it was fun to study with colleagues. Even online you felt part of a group. There were excellent resources, including videos, and the tutors were great.”

Jolene says she had great support from the Learning & Capability team, including Heather Compton and Vicky King, and was also well supported by the organisation.

For Jolene, it was a ‘no brainer’ to go on the course and she says she is grateful for the chance to study. “It is not always easy and some parts of the course were tough. But if you are new to laboratory science, or it is not your background, it brings your knowledge up to speed.

“I felt a lot more confident in my job and can apply a lot of the reflection learning to my role, looking at what I can do better and continuing my professional development.”

Jolene has been in her role as a trainer at the community lab since 2022 and loves the training side of her work. But the future is now open, and she is thinking about using the diploma as a springboard to other types of work within the organisation.

“The diploma may take me into the lab, specimen recovery, or keep going with further study. I am also keen to see what learning opportunities are next, and if another course comes up in the future, then I would take it.

“Right now, I will always have my qualification which can be directly applied to my job. It is awesome the course is offered, and I need to convince my sister who also works at Awanui to do the same.”

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