My last year of secondary school could not have been a better one. As part of the VCAL programme I’ve had amazing teachers who were always supportive and encouraged me to succeed. We completed activities and projects not offered at other schools which included many highlights so I have wonderful memories of my time at Aitken. I was able to complete the Duke of Edinburgh award and participate in a number of camps. These challenged me by taking me out of my comfort zone but it was an incredible experience and I have learned to be more independent as a result. I also completed my VETiS qualification with a Cert II in Community Services focusing on Children’s Services. To support this TAFE study I worked with the Prep students and teachers every Friday. They were such a joy to be around! I am really looking forward to further studies in the field and have a guaranteed place at VU TAFE to continue studying Children’s Services.
What influenced me the most at Aitken was being involved in the Performing Arts programme and working with staff in that department. I found amazing opportunities for practical and ‘hands on’ work in school musicals, drama productions and other events.
As part of my TAFE course I have spent hundreds of hours doing unpaid work experience for numerous companies and events including nightclubs, festivals and television stations.
A TAFE course is a great start to many careers because of the industry exposure. The connections you make with people will help you network to improve your employment prospects.
Photo credit: Simon Embury
In the later years of high school I had a vague idea of what I saw myself doing in the future; my heart was set on a position within the commercial/business world but with no exact job in mind. Aitken College provided the opportunity for students to participate in the Meet the Business Leader’s Day which helped shape my ideas into a goal. My direction was then set on securing an accounting cadetship with a ‘Big 4’ accounting firm. With support from my subject and careers teachers I was able to secure offers from two of the leading accounting firms. I decided to accept a trainee position with PricewaterhouseCoopers allowing me to enjoy the benefits of studying at university whilst working in my desired field concurrently. Without the foundation that Aitken College provided in terms of formal education, extracurricular activities and leadership opportunities my goal would not have been so easily achievable and for this I am very grateful.
I enjoyed many memorable experiences and wonderful opportunities as a result of attending Aitken College. The school provided: supportive teachers, great learning facilities and a caring and warm environment with the opportunity to make lifelong friendships. During my senior years at Aitken I received guidance about the transition to university with help from the Careers staff who were always available to answer questions, discuss my interests with me, consult regarding subject selection and offer course advice.
In Year 11 when I chose to study Health and Human Development Units 1-2 it all came together for me and I discovered my future career direction. I was able to identify a career focus based on my passion for studying health issues combined with a real commitment to helping people. This made my studies in VCE more purposeful as I had a clear goal and career direction. With my focus on studying Nursing and/or Paramedicine I worked with the Careers staff to investigate all my course options. When tertiary offers were made at the end of Year 12 I received my first preference and I am currently studying nursing at ACU. So far I love it. Once I complete my Bachelor of Nursing I will continue further studies in Paramedicine. Aitken College was a great school to attend and the staff, students, and memories I made there are something that I will always remember.
Doing VCAL at Aitken College was great for me because I could combine my studies with a School Based Australian Apprenticeship (SBAT). My apprenticeship is with Racing Victoria and I was able to continue my school studies at the same time as working for my employer. This allowed me to travel to race meetings during the week when necessary to learn my trade as an apprentice jockey without having to withdraw from school. The VCAL teachers were really helpful and supportive. They were very flexible regarding my school assignments and I now have a VCAL certificate and am well on my way to completing my apprenticeship.
Photograph courtesy of the Childs Family
I completed VCE in 2013, but always knew that I wanted a ‘hands- on’ job and wasn’t especially interested in going to university. Towards the end of Year 12 I worked with the Careers staff on apprenticeship applications and was lucky enough to get a position with Jemena as an apprentice cable jointer. Aitken was great because everybody supported my career decision and I found all the teachers to be helpful and encouraging.