For travel and tourism student Sarah Gillies, the VET Delivered to Secondary Students program represented the meeting point between her career aspirations and a desire to continue her education. Motivated by the goal to become a retail travel agent, Sarah didn't wait for opportunity; rather she embraced the chance to find her own study pathway.
With VET Delivered to Secondary Students (Formerly VETiS) offering a suitable alternative to her previous studies, Sarah was able to build her skills and knowledge when initially undertaking a certificate III course at Holmesglen.
"Being in the travel industry, it's almost like the possibilities are endless. The [certificate III] course helped you work out what you actually want to do. If [the field] is not for you, it made it clear and if it suited to you, it showed you where you can go," Sarah recalls.
Thankfully, Sarah's passions only grew stronger upon entering the classroom, with her enthusiasm then seeing her make the transition into travel & tourism's diploma course. Importantly, Sarah also understands the importance of the role she hopes to achieve. "You can shape someone's dream. I love the customer service component as well," she says.
Sarah has since received the opportunity to help with these dreams when completing work placement at Warrandyte Travel and Cruise. Equally, her experiences have reinforced the relevancy of the skills she picked up on campus. She points to Holmesglen's use of current computer reservation systems as having helped with her daily tasks.
"I could see that this stuff we were doing in class is actually being used in the real world."
Throughout the travel program, Holmesglen has hosted networking opportunities for students to further their development. Sarah (pictured above), along with her classmates, spent five days on the Pacific Jewel P&O cruise recently, gaining insights into the cruise market. While, an industry dinner, held at the end of 2016, also helped students meet professionals working within the travel and tourism field, and a student-led travel showcase allowed the cohort to show off their skills when presenting his or her individual tour packages. Moreover, the Institute's Graduate Employment Service has assisted students with cover letters and CV's, and how to prepare for interviews.
For Sarah, the mindset is a simple but important one. "You're continually learning."
You can read more about opportunities available within the tourism industry via our feature article.