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Charlie Le’s parents wanted him to pursue a career in medicine or another traditionally ‘prestigious’ field. When Charlie finished Year 12, he did much as his parents expected and went off to university.
Unfortunately, there was a major problem: Charlie had no real love for what he was studying or the sort of future that degree might lead to.
“Eventually, I discovered a passion and love for property,” Charlie says. “And that's when I decided, ‘You know what? I'm going start doing property valuation!’”
Enrolling in the Bachelor of Property Valuation degree at TAFE NSW immediately started to pay dividends for Charlie and his career.
“In my first year, I wrote a paper about property valuation and that got picked up by one of the TAFE teachers and submitted to the Australian and New Zealand Property Journal, and it got published,” Charlie said, as he proudly described his first year at TAFE NSW.
“TAFE gave me a scholarship to help with tuition and just encouragement to keep going.”
In his second year, Charlie was able to get a graduate position at a leading bank.
“I think that shows how competitive TAFE is compared to other university degrees,” he says. “I was in a room full of other university students who had already finished, and I was in my second year at TAFE and they gave me the job!”
“Because it's so specialised, we got hands on experience - industry experience,” Charlie says, describing the value of his course.
“When I did my interview, I was way ahead of the other graduates who had more theoretical-based knowledge. So, I knew exactly how to do a valuation in the beginning of my second year already.”
Thanks to what he had learned at TAFE NSW, when Charlie commenced work at the bank, he was able to get off to a flying start.
“I was already valuable to the company. They didn't need to train me as much – I could just walk in there and go, ‘Hey, look, I already know how to do this’. I could hit the ground running, and that was a major selling point for me and also why I did the (TAFE NSW) degree.”
Charlie has some advice for people starting the studies that will lead toward career options that excite them.
“The journey never ends. As long as you feel that you're doing the right thing, then I think that's the right choice.”
“You have to really dig deep. You have to really think about what you want, what your personality is, and don't be scared to make mistakes. You're going to have to make mistakes to find out what you want,” Charlie said, warning about the likelihood of road bumps along a career journey.
“Go out, don't be scared, just do it, and if you make a mistake that's fine because I think that's still a step forward – at least you know what you don't want, right? But without doing that, you’re just stationary. And I think stationary is probably just as bad as going backwards.”
Find the TAFE NSW degree that helps you hit the ground running.