Sachiho Ikemoto has recently obtained a 52889WA Diploma of Civil and Structural Engineering at North Metropolitan TAFE’s East Perth Campus. With plans to continue her studies and obtain 52873WA Advanced Diploma of Civil and Structural Engineering, Sachiho shares with us her experience at TAFE so far and why she chose to study here in Perth.
Why did you choose to study at TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA)?
Back in Japan, I completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English. Along with these studies, I had worked in hospitality, which helped me to practise my English skills in Japan. After completing my Bachelor of Arts, I realised I wanted to change my career to try something new.
TIWA offers so many course options such as childcare, cookery, nursing and more. When I considered which course would be best suited to my personality, my aunt in Japan who also did some drafting told me that she believed that my capabilities to concentrate, focus on details and work diligently would make me an excellent drafter.
The deciding factor on why I chose to study at North Metropolitan TAFE was because when I visited, I was able to talk to one of the lecturers (Dr. Sandeep) there. I shared with him that I was worried that my maths and English skills might not be enough for the course. However, he told me that if I am willing to put in a lot of effort, it is not impossible, and I will be fine. He gave me the supportive push in my decision to study at TAFE.
What were the best things about your course?
TAFE course units have provided me a chance to acquire the practical skills I will need in the engineering field. The content I have been learning has been challenging, but my lecturers are all very supportive, caring, and willing to share their knowledge as much as they can. My classmates are also helpful, and everyone is constantly supporting each other, which I really appreciate.
As an international student, it can be difficult to be away from my friends and family in Japan, but being surrounded by a group of likeminded people from different countries and cultures makes me feel I am not alone.
How do you plan to use this qualification for your future?
To become a drafter you need to complete relevant engineering units, and also learn the skills of using drafting software such as AutoCAD and 12D. I have been practising how to use such software in the course which will help me in the future.
How do you feel completing your course will help your career?
Dr. Sandeep organises career networking events, which are held by Dr. Greg, Head of Programs Engineering. These events give students the chance to talk to people who are currently working in the engineering field in Perth, Western Australia (WA) and worldwide. I’ve also been working at a construction company for over one year now as my lecturer recommended it would be valuable to have some work experience in the industry.
I found out that many companies in the engineering field want students who have a certificate from TAFE, so this will help me to find a job after I graduate.
What are your plans after you graduate?
I will try to find a trainee drafting job as a full-time worker after I graduate from TAFE. I would like to learn as much as I can, then become a junior drafter. My goal is to be a senior drafter to expand my knowledge to younger drafters and help the team and projects. It would be amazing if I can get a job with lots of flexibility to work remotely, so that I can work whenever I visit Japan and spend some time there.
How does life in Australia compare to home?
I have lived in Perth since August 2021 and I’m enjoying it so much. I arrived in Australia on the day the border was closed due to the COVID pandemic as I really wanted to start my new life in Australia. I lived in NSW first then did road trip to QLD, then NT, and finally came to WA to study.
I used to live in Osaka in Japan where it is always busy, however Perth is not too busy when compared to big cities such as Sydney or Melbourne, so the atmosphere is very “chill”, it’s surrounded by a lot of nature and the people here are very relaxed and kind.
What are some fun activities you’ve been enjoying in your free time?
One of my hobbies is hiking and there are so many places to go on a hike around Perth, so I often go in my free time. I also like swimming in summer, so I often go to the swimming pool which is close to my house. I have made some friends through TAFE, my job, living in a share house and through them, I’ve been able to make even more friends.
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