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Lucia puts her knowledge and skills to work in a luxury hotel

Enthusiastic, passionate, and talented tourism graduate Lucia Ramirez has entered the workforce to begin the career of her dreams, thanks to TAFE at School.

“My career advisor at Cannon Hill Anglican College recommended TAFE at School because she thought it would be a great opportunity for me to further my education,” explained Lucia.

“I was interested in studying with TAFE Queensland after friends of mine had told me about their good learning experiences, and I also wasn’t interested in going to university.”

“I also knew that tourism opens up many opportunities and pathways to work in hotels, resorts, and the travel industry. The industry is exciting, and it appealed to me because I’m a people person, and I wanted an engaging job working with many people in customer service.”

TAFE at School allows high school students to gain nationally-recognised qualifications across various industries, including sport, hospitality, health, community services, engineering and agriculture, with TAFE Queensland before they finish school.

The program fits in with students existing high school studies, replacing one of their senior schooling subjects, which also contributes to their Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE).

Studying a Certificate II in Tourism (SIT20122) through TAFE at School, Lucia graduated at 17 and began working in the industry almost immediately at the boutique hotel, The Inchcolm.

“Working at The Inchcolm gave me vital experience across the various areas, undertaking tasks required to operate a hotel successfully,” she said.

“From that experience, I made industry connections, including senior members of The Calile Hotel, where I recently moved to, working in hotel management.”

Looking back at her studies, Lucia credits the combination of her course and her teachers for helping prepare her with the skills and confidence to work in hotel management.

“Every assignment, exam, and assessment I completed gave me job skills I use professionally, and they’re helping me excel in my career.”

“TAFE’s practical training was my favourite part, and when we gave speeches, or role plays in different scenarios, it felt like real life, and it’s exactly what I’m doing now, which is incredible.”

“My teacher, Stacey Garbutt, was helpful and supportive and always ensured I was on track with my studies. She answered my questions and gave me any extra help I needed.”

“Student life was also amazing – I made great friends in the adult learning environment, and my classmates and I had a great time studying together - I always looked forward to coming to class each Friday.”

Now working full-time in her dream job, Lucia loves greeting guests, helping them check in and out, supporting events and managing guest complaints across the various areas of the hotel.

“I love the personal connections you make in this industry, giving guests a personalised experience and learning about different people – I have some excellent, engaging conversations.”

Lucia encourages anyone interested in tourism to learn as much about the industry as possible while also looking into studying with TAFE Queensland.

“The hands-on practical training I received at TAFE set me up for working in hotels. I graduated with the skills and knowledge to work with people, manage complaints and operate in high-stress situations – all essential for the tourism industry.”

“Many people think they must go to university, but TAFE was engaging, interesting, and perfect for me. I knew what career I wanted, and TAFE helped me focus on starting my journey,” concluded Lucia.