Rangi Stories – Krissi Schumacher
Krissi is Rangi Ruru’s Careers and Pathways Strategist and international university admissions consultancy Crimson Education’s only in-school consultant. Hailing from the United States, Krissi relocated to Christchurch with her family in 2019.
My pathway to university wasn’t so straight and narrow, which I think gives me a unique perspective in guiding students, especially in having them recognise that there are many different ways to find your place in the world.
I bring that understanding of how stressful not knowing “what next?” is to my role here and, coupled with my experience in helping students find and apply for programmes that allow them to grow as individuals, I hope to be able to support our students in figuring out what that next step might be—and to be okay with not having an exact idea of what may come after it!
The work I do at Rangi Ruru serves to connect students to the world that surrounds us, both here in New Zealand and beyond. By making resources, opportunities and possible pathways known to students, I hope to allow students the opportunity to pursue their own pathways to their fullest potential.
Choosing (and Changing) Her Own Path
As a competitive basketball player throughout my youth and into my teens, I spent most of my time in high school thinking that I knew exactly what I’d do once I graduated: I was going to go play basketball for either the University of Texas or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
I’d spent every summer from the American equivalent of Year 10 to Year 13 attending basketball camps across the country, honing my skills and being recruited to play with some of the most respected women in collegiate basketball, but when it came time to make a decision about playing at the university level, I started to realise just what a commitment I’d be making and how little free time I’d have for the thing that truly mattered most to me: learning more about the world around me and about myself as I started to explore what I would become beyond being a student-athlete.
As such, I decided not to pursue collegiate sport and found myself wondering what I was going to do. In the long run, I found taking two years off to explore the world (starting with my first trip to Europe) and to get a bit of experience in the workforce (working in both hospitality jobs and helping at my father’s law office) was one of the best decisions I ever made because when I went to university afterward, I had a much better sense of who I was and who/what I wanted to be.
From there, my pathway still took some twist and turns (I changed my major/degree twice), but once I’d found the thing I knew I excelled at and loved, my university experience truly shaped who I am both inside and outside of my career.
Post-High School Pathways in an Ever-Changing World
Unquestionably, the pandemic has had a huge impact on a number of different industries. In turn, we’ve also seen many students who would have otherwise sought international education looking here within New Zealand’s borders for their tertiary education options.
As the world begins to reopen, though, I’ve seen a big increase in the number of students considering universities in Australia, the US and the UK, and I’m excited to have the opportunity of bringing my knowledge of the US admissions process particularly to our students, as well as setting up events for students to offer additional advice about the admissions processes.
I’ve also been connecting with my colleagues at Crimson and at the universities across New Zealand and other parts of the world to make sure I’m up-to-date on the programmes being offered to and expectations of students as they make the transition from secondary school to their pathways after they’ve left Rangi Ruru.
The Power of the Rangi Ruru Community
One of the things that stands out most to me about Rangi Ruru is the incredible sense of community that the school imparts on all of its students. Every student plays a part in supporting that community, and that sends our students out into the world with the understanding that, when we work together, anything is possible.
Working together with the students, the wonderful faculty and staff at Rangi Ruru, and my colleagues at Crimson means that we all have the opportunity to be a part of this community and sets the stage for being members of a global community that look out for one another and recognise the value in lifting each other up to be the best every individual can be.
I truly believe that the students I’ve worked with and will work with will bring so much amazing, positive change to the world, and I can’t wait to see them in action.