Michelle is carving out an exciting career in hospitality

An image of a smiling female hospitality student in a chef uniform in a large scale kitchen.

Michelle Linfield is from a small farming town in Zimbabwe. After finishing her last year of secondary school, she had the opportunity to visit Australia to catch up with family and friends. Originally only planning to stay for three months, Michelle decided to take the opportunity to further her learning. She enrolled to study a SIT50416 Diploma of Hospitality Management with TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA).   

Student life

Basing herself at the Bunbury campus of South Regional TAFE has been incredible for Michelle.

"My partner and I have been living two streets away from the beach for the past seven months and coming from a landlocked country, I still cannot get over how blessed we are with the beauty around us."

Through the summer months she's been able to ride her bike to work and enjoy the incredible scenery that Western Australia (WA) has to offer.

"I have really fallen in love with Bunbury and it truly feels like home to me," she says, "I look forward to applying for a graduate visa to enjoy this beautiful place for as long as possible." 

Michelle has found her study to be an exciting adventure. One of the highlights has been her diploma-level classes: "[The classes] came with a lot of stress and hard work but it is where we found our closest bond as a group, we learnt to work hard, and we had so much fun doing it." 

Support while studying

Without the support of her classmates and teachers, Michelle says it would have been a very different experience — especially when studying a practical course throughout the pandemic and lockdowns. 

"There was always great banter in classes and our lecturers became our mentors, sharing jokes and laughs and encouraging us through the hardest times. It was not something I could have achieved without the support I had around me." 

While learning about commercial cookery, Michelle found the management side of hospitality to be eye opening.

"There's a lot more to managing a business than I had initially imagined," she says.

She would like to continue working towards a career in hospitality management. She also has dreams of opening her own bakery or café.

Her current plan is to apply for a temporary graduate visa, which will allow her to live and work in Australia for the next 18 months. Michelle is also considering enrolling in further future study with TIWA. Until then, she's excited to take some time to travel around Australia.

Studying with TIWA has been a unique experience that Michelle won't forget.

"My course has certainly prepared me in so many ways for my future career. It has taught me confidence, people skills and business management skills. I can already see in my day to day life how much more prepared I am to tackle and overcome obstacles that confront me at work." Michelle shares. "I am so very grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from this course."

Advice for future students

When offering advice to future students, Michelle says "The main bit of advice that I would give to international students would be to make sure you get your assignments done as soon as possible. It is so easy to get caught up in the semester and life and it will put you under so much unnecessary pressure at the end of the year if you leave your assignments too late."

By creating and sticking to a study schedule, you can ensure that you keep on track with your studies and have plenty of time for socialising with your peers.

Michelle also advises that you take the time to really listen to your lecturers.

"The information and skills that are available for you to learn are so invaluable, it is so worth giving your studies every bit of effort and time that you can because you will gain so much from what your lecturers have to offer you."

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