It was supposed to be Samantha Comer’s year. After three children and two previous unfulfilling careers, she had envisioned that 2020 was going to be HER year. Having been fascinated by electricity from a young age, Samantha was to take her first steps towards becoming an electrician with a Certificate II in Electrotechnology (UEE22011). And then came COVID-19.
Fortunately, Samantha’s story will have a happy ending. COVID-19 sparked (sorry – we couldn’t help ourselves) minimal interruption to Samantha’s plans, with TAFE Queensland swiftly moving her qualification to online delivery. And despite being a self-professed extroverted livewire (sorry again), the one-time corrections officer and retail worker found the transition to online study completely manageable.
“I was studying Certificate II in Electrotechnology when COVID-19 hit – we immediately moved to Zoom for a period of a few weeks. I’m not going to lie – it was tricky at first – as I needed quiet time away from the kids (one being three years old) but the fact it was scheduled regularly, and was compulsory, meant it very quickly felt like a classroom; just one where I had access to a lot more chocolate,” Samantha joked.
“It ended up being brilliant – it meant I could stay connected with my teacher and my classmates. I am very grateful we had that tool to fall on when COVID-19 made classroom study impossible.”
Samantha completed her Certificate II in Electrotechnology and is now enrolled in Certificate II in Engineering Pathways (MEM20413), increasing her prospects for an electrical apprenticeship. Back on campus, Samantha is expanding her knowledge and dedicating hours upon hours of time to her course.
“Each afternoon after TAFE I'll devote a couple of hours to review the daily work covered in the classroom, and work on any assignments due. If an exam is approaching, I will study for another couple of hours after dinner, once the kids are in bed," said Samantha.
"On non-TAFE days I will study over lunch and in the evenings, playing with my 3-year-old for a large part of the day, as he demands of me. Weekends are split between kids and study; beach trips every second weekend are standard but accompanying me are my textbooks. I try to talk to the kids about the flow of electricity while we play; they aren't too impressed however.”
TAFE Queensland is dedicated to providing the skills and training Queensland needs to get through this pandemic and drive the economy as we recover.