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Student and Graduate Stories

Graduate Stories

Cassiano Garcia

I came from Brazil to Sydney 11 years ago to study English. When I arrived, I couldn’t speak any English and it was very hard for me to get a job. I then started working in the kitchen as a Kitchen Hand. I slowly started falling in love with cooking and working in the kitchen and so I decided to become a chef. That is when I started studying at TAFE NSW the Diploma of hospitality, so I could get some skills to eventually become a Head Chef.

And so I did. After working for seven years in various kitchens, I realised that my lifestyle wasn’t the way I planned and I needed a career change. I was always good with people and Maths so I decided to become a financial planner. I went back to TAFE NSW and completed a Diploma in Financial Planning which got me a job in banking with Westpac. Within three years, I went from being a teller to being a Bank Manager at a branch.

Why did you choose to enrol at TAFE NSW?

I chose TAFE NSW because I needed a course that would give me knowledge and real practice at the same time. Both industries (Finance and Hospitality) are very competitive so I knew that I needed to do something about it to get my foot on the door. Both times it was very successful and worth my time and money.

Tell us about your time at TAFE NSW

My time at TAFE NSW was amazing. I learned by having fun. First becoming a Chef and working in a real kitchen at TAFE NSW, which gave me so much confidence to join the workforce. I have still a good relationship with quite a lot of people from TAFE NSW including teachers, staff and students. That place became my second home.

How would you describe the quality of teaching staff? How have they supported you during your studies?

The teaching staff know what we students are going through and know the tricks to help us along the way. The teaching staff have the theory but they also battled on the work field and so they understand our gaps and how to overcome them. Sometimes when I struggled I always had someone there ready to help me, no matter how big the challenge was.

Why would you encourage others to enrol at TAFE NSW?

The reason I chose TAFE NSW is because the experience that you get from TAFE NSW is priceless and it remains with you for a lifetime.

When did you graduate, from which course and what Campus?

I graduated from the below:

  • Diploma in Hospitality –2010 TAFE NSW Brookvale
  • Diploma in Financial Planning 2016 – TAFE NSW Meadowbank

A big thanks to all TAFE NSW staff for their hard work to help us going through hard times.

Ron Rocio

Why did you choose to study at TAFE NSW? 

Firstly, I chose TAFE NSW because of its heritage. The heritage of educational excellence that TAFE NSW has built made me feel confident that I will be receiving top-notch education with this institution.

Apart from TAFE NSW's heritage, I also chose it because of the course design. Unlike other university degrees with comprehensive theory subjects, TAFE NSW went the other way and combined both theoretical and experiential learning into one. The synergy of practical subjects together with the mandatory internship placement program creates a robust learning experience that, I feel, will help me hit the ground running. Lastly, I chose TAFE NSW because of its more personal approach to educating its students. As the class sizes in TAFE NSW are smaller, you get a better experience. Your teachers are more able to personally interact with you and guide you through the subject matter. 

What do you enjoy most about studying at TAFE NSW?

The small class size … makes the learning experience more relaxed and less formal - which is very conducive to learning. With TAFE NSW, I never felt like just a number in the school roster. I felt like I was home. I got to talk and interact with my teachers more. You'd never feel like a stranger at TAFE NSW. You'd feel the genuine care of the entire academic team, which is extremely important, especially for an International student. I gained lifelong mentors, both in the professional and the personal sense. 

What do you hope to do once you have finished your degree?

TAFE NSW has allowed me to really grow, both as a person and as a professional. I gained a very practical and efficient education and I'm very excited to show the world what a TAFE NSW graduate can really do! 

What advice would you give a student considering coming to study at TAFE NSW?

TAFE NSW gives you the benefit of a uni experience but with the practical approach that TAFE NSW is known for. If you're looking for a more personal and relaxed learning experience, go for TAFE NSW.  If you want to learn practical i-need-these-skills-to-actually-become-employable skills, go for TAFE NSW. If you want to feel as if you're part of a big family, go for TAFE NSW. 

Ronak Patel

What is your name and nationality?

My name is Ronak Patel and I am from India.

Please tell us your course/s?

I did full-time Diploma of Hospitality Management as an International Student.

At which campus did you study and what was it like there? Friendly, supportive, comfortable?

I studied at Orange TAFE NSW campus, which has a wide range of courses, fully experienced faculties and new technologies. Staff members are more friendly, supportive and provide a range of experience learned in their chosen field. 

Why did you choose to enrol at TAFE NSW? Did you know about TAFE NSW’s high reputation with employers?

I checked many institution and found TAFE NSW is best compare to others in affordability, range of courses, flexible study options, more experienced teachers, method of teaching and practical classes – and even help to students in finding casual work during studies and part time and full-time work after studies.

How would you describe the teaching and the course? Was everything linked to what you will be doing in your career?

I did hospitality management and I now work as a motel manager. My TAFE NSW course definitely helped me to make me more comfortable in my career.

How else has TAFE NSW supported you during your studies? Did you feel isolated here in Australia or did TAFE NSW help your time to be positive and warm?

TAFE NSW supported me to find part-time or casual work related to hospitality during my studies.

Why would you encourage others to enrol at TAFE NSW? How do you feel your career options have been improved?

I encourage all to enrol at TAFE NSW because of the wide range of courses, flexible study options, affordable fees, experienced staff and new facilities. Employers probably preferred TAFE NSW students.

Student Stories

Paul Maduabuchi Ezidiegwu

I have a Certificate IV and Diploma in Telecommunications Network Engineering as well as an Advanced Diploma in Network Security (IT). I obtained these qualifications at TAFE NSW Lidcombe. My journey started back in Africa where I used to run an IT company. However, I decided to acquire more knowledge in ICT.

My experience in TAFE NSW was phenomenal. With good teachers and an enabling environment, I was informed in ICT beyond my expectations. Now I plan to gain work experience in Australia before going back to Africa to expand my ICT business.

The value of education cannot be over emphasised and it is evident that I have really broadened my knowledge in different areas of IT.

Paul Maduabuchi Ezidiegwu, Nigeria, Advanced Diploma Network Security

2016 NSW International Student Award Finalist

Reginold John John

“My lifelong ambition has always been to work as a manager in the hospitality industry. To further progress my career, I came to Australia and enrolled in the Diploma of Hospitality at TAFE NSW Campbelltown. I intend to use this as a pathway to a degree in hospitality management at Southern Cross University.

TAFE NSW has changed my life. I have gained so much confidence in speaking and communicating. The hands-on approach in the Diploma was instrumental in helping me integrate into my current work place, Rydges Hotels and Resorts, as well as the Australian way of education and day to day living.”

Gerard Reginold John John, Sri Lanka, Diploma of Hospitality

Institute International Student of the Year 2016