A back-breaking career change

I wasn't really into the whole university atmosphere where everyone seems to be competing. At TAFE, everyone kinda helps each other

We love hearing the stories of our students. And although everyone's journey is unique and personal, the more we chat to people the more we notice that some common, unifying themes emerge.

One of these themes that pops up again and again is when study plans are affected by injury or illness.

From construction to bed rest

Jesse Skinner is a young man who knows all about this. Originally working in the construction industry, Jesse's career came to a grinding halt when his spine broke. "It was a gradual deterioration of the bone in the spine over many years of working my back so hard through construction," he said. "The spine just eventually broke. I had to learn to walk again after eight months of being laid up. In fact, doctors told me I'd never even walk again at all."

Staying motivated

Knowing that he'd never be able to work in construction again, Jesse turned his attention to other career options – ones that didn't involve placing his body under any exertion. As he'd always had an interest in the digital arts, he finally focused his attention on graphic design.

"I'd dabbled a bit with this before," he said. "I actually graduated with a Bachelor of Art and Graphic Design earlier at uni. That course involved some 2D animation, but it focused more on gaming and stuff. I was more interested in film."


As luck would have it, one of Jesse's uni lecturers also taught Graphic Design at TAFE's Design Centre Enmore. He thought the Bachelor of 3D Art and Animation would be a perfect fit for Jesse's skills and interests, so recommended Jesse check it out.

"I applied for other courses and got accepted as well, but I chose TAFE over the others," said Jesse. "I felt more comfortable in the TAFE environment. I got to meet the lecturers beforehand at one of the open days, whereas with the others I didn't. And I wasn't really into the whole university atmosphere where everyone seems to be competing. At TAFE, everyone kinda helps each other. It's much more supportive.

Life after TAFE

Now, three years down the track, Jesse has turned his life around. He's successfully graduated and has plans to get married, followed by a holiday in Hawaii. After that he'll be looking for full-time work.

Want to know more?

If you're considering a career in design, click here to download your free course guide and find out more info.

Also check out the inspiring story below from graduate and student of the year Soheil Agha.