When Ellen was at school she didn't really know what she wanted to do with her life. In her senior years she compiled a list of three potential different jobs. One thing she knew was that she wanted to study earlier in her life rather than later.
"I studied nursing through the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in Toowoomba for three years. Basically, after my second year I decided it wasn't the environment for me. I thought rather than waste the two years it's only one more year, I'll just get it done. It is always something to fall back on in the future," she said.
Ellen always had a passion for organisation and planning.
"I don't know why but it's always just made me giddy, even just cleaning at home, organising a shelf or doing the rosters at work. Finding the little details and making things right," she said.
Originally looking to study at the TAFE Queensland Toowoomba campus, Ellen knew she wanted to study at the Ipswich campus after speaking with teacher Victoria Dimitrov.
"Vik my teacher has been great, very understanding and supportive of my situation with driving from Toowoomba to Ipswich and my work."
"She has a really good teaching approach, explaining things in detail. Her way of teaching really matches my learning style," said Ellen.
Ellen is studying the Diploma of Event Management (SIT50316) and she has recently obtained a job at a restaurant in Toowoomba called 'The Rock' as a functions and office assistant.
"I'm finding working in the industry has helped because a lot of things that I am doing at work relate to what I am learning at TAFE, so it all kind of dove tails," she said.
For experience the students work on real-life events, often working alongside the the hospitality students. For example in the Miners Right Restaurant they set up and manage the event.
"Vik gives us a theme and we theme the room, put it all together, do all the documents for it and we watch the lunch service come to life," said Ellen
There are so many things behind the scenes to think of in order to pull together a successful event.
"I would like to say that I have always had organisational skills but I think they have just gotten better. All the different things that you have to think of as an event planner before and after an event happens, things that you wouldn't think of," she said.
The thought of study can be a little overwhelming at times. Visiting a campus, speaking with teachers or even past students can give you an insight into what is involved.
"You kind of know what you want to do so just give it a go. It can feel daunting when you are thinking about what to study but I feel like you just need to do it!" said Ellen.