Study plus commitment equals success

Michelle Beckett is a hard worker. She has completed not one, not two, but five qualifications with TAFE Queensland; all while balancing her family commitments with her partner and their two children. She hasn't had a traditional study journey, but is proof that determination plus commitment equals success.

8 Jul 2017

I fell pregnant in 2004 at the age of 18. As a young mum-to-be I realised my future was changing direction. I dropped out of my tertiary education in hospitality and moved to a small country town to be closer to my partner and high school sweetheart who was an apprentice electrician.

Living on apprenticeship wages, and knowing the struggle my own parents faced with four children on minimum wage, I dreamed big. We wanted the great Australian dream; to own our own home. So I gained knowledge from the local library about the property market and how others had been able to use property as a vehicle to provide passive income for early retirement. Their achievement inspired my dreams.

Michelle in Brisbane

My journey towards accounting officially began in in 2007. I undertook a traineeship in Business Administration and we purchased our first home six months later. We read investment books and were inspired to purchase consecutive investment properties. I resigned from full time employment in 2009 to undertake property renovation full time.

For me, undertaking further education at TAFE Queensland in accounting was a challenging, yet natural progression in achieving my dreams. I’ll admit, my study journey since then hasn’t been easy. In my first attempt at accounting I tried to complete the Diploma of Accounting via open learning. As I was a mum-to-be again and trying to finish a full scale, make-or-break renovation project, I found I was time-poor and only finished one module. I stopped studying.

Later on, when the renovation projects on our investment properties were nearing completion, I was ready to commit to study again. I decided baby steps would work best for me, first completing a Certificate III in Accounts Administration, then a Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping, and finally my Diploma of Accounting over an 18-month period.

My education journey is far from over. I’m now completing a bachelor degree at university, with my Diploma of Accounting from TAFE Queensland giving me one year of credit towards my degree.

Throughout my journey I have experienced highs and endured lows. I have juggled family, small business, full-time studies, and full-time employment. I’ve had moments where the study and assessment load was overwhelming, had to sacrifice spending time with family and friends, and have longed for my head to hit the pillow. But with an inspiring belief, support from TAFE Queensland, and a strong work ethic, I knew anything could be achieved.

I believe greatly in the opportunity a TAFE Queensland education provides. It has been my ideal pathway for a career change, a great preparation for university, and has helped provide a better future for my family.

Michelle and her family at graduation
Michelle celebrated her 2015 graduation and award win with her family

The teachers at TAFE Queensland are invaluable in your study journey. They provide you with a wealth of knowledge, support the learning process with meticulous planning, and have a level of professionalism that is a credit to them. They are understanding, provide so much guidance and support, and give so many days and nights of their time to share their knowledge and life experience.

I really enjoy giving back to my community. I’ve become a member of The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and undertaken the H&R Block Tax Training Course, which has led to further employment. More recently, I’ve become an accredited ATO Taxhelp volunteer processing income tax returns for free for people earning less than $50,000 and was a voluntary treasurer with a not-for-profit entity.

This year, in 2017, I will be in my final year of study at university. I will be completing this part-time to allow me to take on internship experience and full-time employment. That’s my story to date, but I know it won’t end there.

Being a graduate of a Diploma of Accounting opens up doors for employment and further education, and I am evidence that with hard work and determination your goals, aspirations and dreams can be achieved.

For more information about how you can follow your dream and make change happen at TAFE Queensland check out our range of courses today.

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