Rebecca Francis made the massive decision to change careers to building design when considering building a house, after 15 years in administrative roles in the finance sector.
She is now following her architectural dream with Pace Architects, a boutique firm specialising in innovative industrial and healthcare design projects.
Randwick local Ms Francis said: “I chose to study a Diploma of Building Design with TAFE Digital after I found a growing passion for re-designing properties.”
At that stage Ms Francis did not have any specific career aspirations, but wanted to move into a field she enjoyed and which also gave her the option to continue studies in architecture at a later date.
“I am passionate about sustainable building design practices and had the desire to put theory into practice,” she said.
Studying online with TAFE Digital was a critical success factor for Ms Francis.
“I chose online study to fast track my career change as a mature-age student,” she said. “This proved to be the best decision for me because I had the flexibility to work at my own pace, while working full-time and taking care of my family.”
Soon after completing the diploma, Ms Francis started working at Pace Architects in Crows Nest.
“My role includes construction and development application documentation, finishes/fixtures and fittings specifications, supported by client liaison,” she said. “I am lucky to have the opportunity to take on a broad range of tasks, which would not be possible in a larger organisation. An added bonus is that I’m able to encourage sustainable design elements in my projects.”
Ms Francis said she enjoyed the entire course.
“Most notable in my working life has been the construction and sustainable design units,” she said. “This was key to me being employed in my current role and gave me the confidence to further develop my knowledge and abilities.”
Due to her projects being in the industrial and healthcare sphere, Ms Francis is always looking for sustainable new materials and configurations.
“I am quite proud that I play a prominent role in construction detail documentation within the business, which all need to be referenced against current legislation, to ensure compliance,” she said.
Ms Francis is complimentary of the TAFE Digital staff who were only a phone call away to provide valuable design and documentation advice when she was on deadline to complete assignments.
“They were especially helpful with accelerated marking times toward the end of the course when I had limited time,” she said.
Throughout the course, relationships with fellow students were also very beneficial to Ms Francis.
“We shared ideas in cyber classes, helped one another through group Skype and Facebook forums, and interspersed with one-on-one chat bots communication.”
Media contact: Bonny Gunn, TAFE Digital Media Business Partner. M: 0417 134 048