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A recipe for success

Not many people have the courage to drop out of uni in the midst of writing a thesis to pursue their dreams but that is exactly what Samantha Levett did.

Not many people have the courage to drop out of uni in the midst of writing a thesis to pursue their dreams but that is exactly what Samantha Levett did.

Levett made the switch to TAFE NSW three years ago to become a chef and never looked back. Her decision is already paying dividends as she was recently named the Apprentice of the Year in Commercial Cookery at TAFE NSW's Student Excellence Awards.

"Whenever I was stressed or upset about uni I would go home and bake a cake or cook for my family. So I thought that was that I should do.

"It was always what made me happy," she told the St Marys Star.

The old saying mother knows best may have been what pushed Levett to make the life changing decision. 

"But when I was struggling at uni, mum said, 'If cooking make you happy then go for it.'"

Shortly after she applied for an apprentice position as a chef at The Star in Pyrmont and has no regrets. 

"But it's probably been the best experience of my life."

So what does any ambitious woman do after winning a big award? She looks to the future and how she can help others.

"I definitely think that there's a perception where uni is seen as the logical choice when you leave school," she said.

"There's a social perception that pushes a lot of kids down that path. But I think TAFE provides an incredible learning experience."