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Pathways to Success: School-based traineeships

Jaz Campbell, Executive Assistant to GOTAFE CEO, proves that your career can begin while you’re in high school.

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Post date: 8th October 2021

There have been plenty of conversations over the years in the educational sector around what a pathway to success looks like for everyone. And as a result, schooling systems are starting to adapt to a new wave of education delivery.

Jaz Campbell, Executive Assistant to the CEO at GOTAFE, gives us the rundown on how you can start your career in high school and why your year 12 exam results do not define your pathway.

Thanks for joing us today Jaz! Tell us a little about yourself…

Hi, I’m Jaz and I work at GOTAFE as the Executive Assistant to the CEO. I’ve worked at GOTAFE for four years. My first two years were spent as a school-based trainee in the Enrolment and Admission Department where I learned office skills such as printing, filing, customer service, system data entry, compliance and computer literacy. I attended the Fryers Street campus every Wednesday to complete my traineeship hours by working and learning the basics and systems with my mentor. The days on campus also helped me complete my Certificate III in Business (BSB30120) which was part of the traineeship. I selected 11 units for my course, all of which were completed using an online platform.

Some of the units were: organise schedules, develop keyboarding speed and accuracy, process account payable and receivable, process customer complaints and deliver and monitor a service to customers – just to name a few!

So what did you choose to study and why?

Certificate III in Business – I chose this course initially to enhance my knowledge of the business industry and thought it was a great opportunity at GOTAFE, not knowing where this journey would lead me. I completed this during years 10 and 11 at school.

Certificate IV in Business – I chose to also undertake the Certificate IV as I finished the Cert III early and still had another year of my contract/school left. I didn’t find the extra work challenging at all as I decided that I wasn’t going to complete my year 12 exams, which helped me focus on my career and further education at an early age.

Were there any challenges in your educational journey?

The main challenge was that my year 12 coordinators and teachers didn’t really understand my choice not to do my year 12 exams, and to complete a traineeship during my final year of school. I’m proud of standing by my choice as I think it’s important for students to know there’s not just one pathway to success.

two women looking at book smiling
"I’m proud of standing by my choice as I think it’s important for students to know there’s not just one pathway to success."

Jaz Campbell, former GOTAFE student

Well done Jaz! So were there any highlights that you think of in your educational journey?

Some highlights were…

  • Engaging with such amazing staff at GOTAFE, who I still work with currently.
  • Gaining new skills and further developing my current skills and personality.
  • I’m so proud that I went from knowing nothing about how an office worked to now understanding the whole GOTAFE organisation and the work of each department.

Flash forward to now - what have you been up to since completing your studies?

After my traineeship, I was successful in gaining full-time employment in the Enrolment and Admission team. Another opportunity arose when there was an internal expression of interest for the Executive Assistant to the CEO. Initially that was a secondment role for two weeks, after which I was offered full-time employment in the position. I’ve now been in the role for six months and am really enjoying focusing on my job before I choose to study again or pursue another opportunity.

How would you describe the GOTAFE community in a few words?

Positive, welcoming, accommodating, modern.

Last question, do you have any advice for anyone thinking of following a similar career path?

Just go for it, don’t hold back as you don’t know where you’ll end up and what opportunities you’ll be given.

If I didn’t complete my traineeship with GOTAFE and have the contacts that I have now, I don’t know where I would be. I couldn’t recommend a school-based traineeship enough, it’s a great head start straight out of school knowing that you have a qualification under your belt that can help you as a pre-requisite for university, further study, or future employment.

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