2019 Academic Excellence: Vocational Education Training Awards

From a dream to build a software school for talented young programmers to following a lifelong passion as a ‘mature-age’ student, the winners in the vocational education and training (VET) category are enjoying Adelaide life to the max, exploring lifelong interests and developing career-ready skills.  We invited them to share their stories.

Virroshan Kumar

Winner: Virroshan Kumar from Malaysia

Studying: Certificate IV in Programming at TAFE SA

While Virroshan may be following in his dad’s IT footsteps, his independent life in Adelaide is building personal skills that will prepare him for future success. Virroshan plans to follow his VET pathway to university studies and beyond. And while he’s studying, he’s enjoying life in Adelaide happily juggling study and work and documenting his journey on his vlog.

Why did you choose to study IT?

When I was growing up, cars and computers were always my dad’s interests, and they soon became mine as well. It was a tough choice between studying automotive or IT, but I chose IT because I felt it would suit me better. My ultimate goal is to start my own technology company and run a software school for talented young programmers.

What are the advantages of a VET education?

I feel doing a VET course was the best decision I ever made. The lecturers are extremely helpful, and you get a lot of one-on-one time in the classroom. Even if you bump into them outside of the classroom, our lecturers are always willing to help. There’s more hands-on experience, and the assessments are based on what’s happening in the real world. Also, my program is part of a university pathway which guarantees entry into 2nd year when I complete the diploma. VET is a great choice and a win-win way to university.

How do you think your time in Adelaide will help you fulfil your career dreams?

Everything I am a part of is helping me fulfil my career dreams in some way. From the relevant teaching to extra-curricular activities and even having a mentor from the IT industry. I think living in Adelaide has also helped me to become more independent. I have to look after myself, juggle part-time work with study, and make my own decisions.

How has your South Australian journey impacted your life?

My journey is really astounding and has reoriented my life 360 degrees. I’ve managed to overcome my fears and have gained so much basic life knowledge. I’m unlocking new personal achievements every day. From the little things like taking my first ever bus, train or tram trip to speaking in front of an audience at TAFE SA and getting a part time job. My time management skills have improved, and I’m able to balance study, work and social life without any problems. And if I ever feel stressed, I’ll walk along the Torrens or go to the beach where I can enjoy the serenity and peace. I’m enjoying my South Australian journey to the max.

Highly Commended: Taraneh Saeedi from Iran

Studying: Diploma of Interior Design and Decoration at TAFE SA

Growing up in a home that was beautifully kept and welcoming, Taraneh developed an early fascination with furnishings, design and art. After studying for her bachelor’s degree in Iran, she opened her own interior design and jewellery business. But the call to travel beckoned, so aged in her thirties, Taraneh left her hometown to follow desire to experience life in a different country. Taraneh says her studies at TAFE SA have helped her develop valuable skills and she enjoys keeping up with the latest trends in design. She says students should consider many factors before applying to study in a foreign country. ‘The most important ones include a good education system and affordable living. South Australia offers both.’

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