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The future adds up for Jasmine

After returning to Australia from the USA, Jasmine Angel changed her career from a chef to a bookkeeper with TAFE Queensland.

"Being a chef meant working long hours and all holidays, which was great, but when I became a mum I needed a nine to five job," explained Jasmine.

"When I returned to Australia in early 2020 I worked in my dad's business, but it wasn't a good fit for me, so I decided to pursue my accounting interests. I have a natural affinity for numbers, so when I pivoted career, I enrolled to study an accounting diploma in July of 2021."

Having always been interested in numbers, and with math being her strongest subject in high school, Jasmine looked into a career in accounting, bringing her to TAFE Queensland.

"I hadn't studied since high school and saw TAFE as a stepping stone to university. But as soon as I got here, I realised that this is a tertiary subject taught in a tertiary school. It's an as intense qualification, but the teachers were so personable, which helped me learn," she said.

During her Diploma of Accounting (FNS50217) studies, Jasmine's affinity for numbers grew stronger as she learned how to examine accounts and find the missing numbers from her practical and personable teachers.

"My teachers combined the hands on and practical training with the theory, helping develop my analytical skills and knowledge around financial reporting, budget management and forecasting, income tax returns, and providing accurate accounting advice," Jasmine continued.

"The teachers were so accessible, and if my classmates and I ever needed more details, we always felt comfortable asking them. Because they were from the industry, they were up to date with accounting technologies, procedures and techniques."

As a testament to her teachers' industry connections, Jasmine was encouraged to apply for a part-time role with a Brisbane-based accounting firm that approached TAFE looking to recruit bookkeepers.

"I was hesitant about applying for the job when my teacher recommended I should, but I did, and I was successful, so I worked part-time until I finished my course, and I'm now working full time as a bookkeeper," she explained.

Each day, Jasmine uses the skills she learned at TAFE to review her client's accounts, find any anomalies, and make any amendments required to ensure they balance – and she couldn't be happier.

"Learning at TAFE made the transition to work easy. We learnt the theory side in our assignments and the practical side with real-life scenarios by inputting information into accounting books to balance them, and if they didn't, we'd go back to find what was wrong."

"I enjoy the backtracking and investigating when numbers don't line up like they're supposed to. Figuring out why and making any necessary adjustments gives me immense satisfaction."

"And thanks to my training, I was confident enough to point out things my boss had missed when reviewing her work, which I wouldn't have known to look for if I had not come through TAFE."

Also helping Jasmine thrive at TAFE while she changer careers from chef to student to successful accounting executive were her classmates and the facilities she had access to on campus.

"There was a great team environment amongst my TAFE classmates, and we supported each other to succeed. And I liked the facilities that helped me thrive too - there were multiple times I would stay late in the library, and having it as an option was great."

Having studied her passion, changed careers, started a new job and settled back into Australian life, Jasmine is content and hasn't yet decided what her next move will be.

"I'm not sure if I'll go on to university because TAFE was so good, and I've gotten to where I wanted to be professional. It was a great choice long after high school, thanks to the one-on-one interaction with my teachers and how they have helped me learn new skills for a career that interests me and fits my lifestyle as a mother."

Her advice for anyone thinking of retraining?

"If you consider it for half a second, jump in and do it because you never know where it will lead you. It will take commitment and dedication, but when you have the right attitude and study in a place like TAFE, you can do anything. I never thought I'd work for a corporate company, and here I am," concluded Jasmine.