Visiting the Navy stall at Western Bay@Work's Tauranga Rotary Careers Expo & Priority One Future Focus 2013 has convinced Zoe Heather the seafarer's life is for her.
The 17 year old was one of thousands of high school students and their parents who visited the careers expo on Friday and Saturday to get information from various tertiary organisations, trades providers and the Defence Force about different career paths.
Miss Heather, an Otumoetai College student, said she had always wanted to join the Navy and visiting its stall had convinced her it was the right choice.
"I want to go into the Navy, possibly next year. It was very helpful. I talked to a guy and he gave me heaps of information about it so I know what to do to sign up and do it.
"I had a look around at everything but I really just wanted to see that because that's what I wanted to do."
She said the Navy man had told her about all the international travel personnel did and the training he had gone through. "The training looks kind of hard but I'm still willing to do it.
You have to be really fit. I will have to do some extra training before I join. They have requirements like push-ups and stuff which I'm not very good at."
Miss Heather also had a go on an airforce flight simulator and said it was a lot of fun.
Priority One INSTEP manager Lyn Parlane said there had been a good turnout during the two days, with about 4500 people walking through the doors.
"It went really well and the response from exhibitors was very good. We keep developing it throughout the coming years as a really good opportunity to showcase the career options in the region.
"We also had a really good response from schools. One of the principals said the kids were really buzzing when they got back to school."
Ms Parlane said one boy had no idea what career path he wanted to take until the expo, when he came back with about 15 different options.
"That's a fantastic outcome for one of our young people."
She said parents often had no idea of the different careers available to young people.