BEFORE Shanita Collins of Bega started studying at TAFE Illawarra, she felt nervous whenever she had to face her computer.
“I had a PC when my daughter started school, but for years I was getting frustrated as I couldn’t do much on it,” Ms Collins said.
“All the sorts of things to do with computers scared me, I didn’t even know much about Microsoft then!”
She enrolled in her first course in Business Administration at TAFE Illawarra’s Bega Campus, after graduating and is now at Certificate IV level in the subject.
“I started studying because I really needed to learn more about computers,” Ms Collins said.
“I am happy with my choice – I should have gone to TAFE much earlier, when I first came to Australia.”
Since arriving in Australia in her 20s from Fiji, Ms Collins had taken on work in restaurants, at Bega Cheese and local shops, yet the jobs were just earners and did not engage her fully.
“Studying at TAFE has meant my mind is active, I like learning, and I like new ideas,” she said.
“It is not only for me, it is good to be able to help my daughter, with her schoolwork.
“I have made lots of friends, even from my first course - we regularly have coffee get-togethers and lunch.
“The environment is very friendly and flexible – the teachers are approachable and it is a great atmosphere.”
“I started Certificate II to get computer skills, continued with Certificate III and almost finishing Certificate IV in Business.
“I have achieved a lot more than what I had imagined”.
Ms Collins is currently in the final stage of her TAFE study program for now, and afterwards said she would like to get a job or take further studies at the University of Wollongong Bega Campus.
Ms Collins message for any prospective TAFE students is “believing in yourself and reaching for your dream is not hard”.
Bega Campus is holding a Choices Day information session on June 14 to help people learn more about the courses on offer in Semester 2.
Read more about the Choice's Day by clicking here.