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SHIFT Profile: Foster Chinorinda

Thursday April 30, 2020

Congratulations to SHIFT graduate Foster Chinorinda, who has just begun a new full-time job in tech, combining his love for both medical sciences and technology.

Foster is originally from Zimbabwe and was made a New Zealand citizen in Dunedin in 2014. He graduated with a degree in Neuroscience at the University of Otago in 2018.

After working with large amounts of data using Excel and other statistical analysis programs, Foster wanted to understand the programs underneath, not just at the surface level. “I realised I would need to gain the skills to learn more about coding and up-skill myself,” says Foster.

Foster Chinorinda, 2019 SHIFT Graduate

SHIFT was recommended to Foster by the Otago University Career Development Centre, as it "offered me a sort of boot camp to quickly learn the basics of programming, development skills such as AGILE, and included visits around tech industries to show us how they worked and operated day-to-day,” said Foster.

What Foster enjoyed most about SHIFT was the studio group projects with the cohort.  “We worked together using all our knowledge and teaching each other for anything new we found. Our academics Pat and Stuart were also there if we hit a wall, ready to help us."

Helping the helpers: (From left) SHIFT students Teo, Joshua, Foster, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Manager Matthew Button, Andrea and Aidan developed a 'deals' app to allow BBBS mentors to easily access discounts and events when out with their mentees.  — Image by: Kylie Jackson

“A project we worked on for Big Brother Big Sister Christchurch (BBBS) is one of my highlights during the programme. We worked on everything frontend and backend using all the requirements the client gave us to make a web application. BBBS was so happy with the project that they deployed the web application and are using it now."

Foster completed his industry placement with RCG Creations Christchurch on their new automation platform AUTO OPS.  This allowed Foster to work with the development team alongside two SHIFT alumni,  Harry Taylor and Carl Dodds, who are both now working at RCG.

2019 SHIFT intern Foster Chinorinda (left) worked alongside the RCG Creations Ltd team for his SHIFT Industry placement.  He is pictured here with previous SHIFT'ers Carl &  Harry, & Craig Goodenough - MD at RCG Creations Ltd (second from right). — Image by: Lenore Wright

Excited to be starting his tech career at not-for-profit Community Living in Auckland, Foster is working from home due to the lockdown. He has excellent support and training and is in regular contact with his team of twelve colleagues via Skype and emails. 

“IT is an interesting industry and everyone can find what interests them, said Foster. “Not only does SHIFT teach the fundamentals, but you have the choice of not taking the coding route if you wish and doing something like data analysis, but you still have the chance to gain some understanding of code."

We are very proud of Foster and look forward to updates on his new job. If you or someone you know is keen to add tech to their existing degree, or make a change in career direction, get in touch with us at or call 0800 99 00 24 for a chat. Or feel free to join us at our next free Tech Careers online session. 

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