Higher education is an environment of growth and development, whether through accredited education pathways, or through the ecosystem of entrepreneurial, short course and skill development programs weaved across university.
Maria Ammazzalorso took on that personal growth challenge, after a 20-year career within La Trobe’s Library team, she was looking to rejuvenate her career and upskill into a new area of expertise. She took on that challenge and commenced a La Trobe Bachelor of Cyber Security as a mature age student.
As she was undertaking her studies, Maria secured an internship with Mindsets Learning through our industry partner: Skalata. Mindsets Learning is start-up software company based in the USA. They strive to inspire creativity and computational thinking in math, science and STEM through real-world challenges based on practical situations for students and teachers.
“The internship provided me with new skills and new experiences with people from the other side of the world. I was able to learn about customer interactions from the backend of a system and also learnt about a range of applications that are more efficient to support alternative ways of working.”
From this exposure in her new desired field of work, Maria continued to chase down opportunities, and signed up to a new pilot program with our partner War on Wasted Talent (WoWT) as part of the $2.35 million Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund.
WoWT is a start-up company, that helps to connect employers with experienced professionals 45 plus through an employment platform specifically designed for mature workers who can showcase their skills and experience via online profiles
WoWT also offers an online Career Transition Program for people in this demographic who are rethinking their careers, looking to make a transition into a new field or industry or gain a promotion. The pilot program helps them to think through and prepare for their next career stage. It is delivered over three months, with monthly releases of online resources, tools, and regular meetups.
Maria stated that she chose to participate in the pilot program as they help to “address the issue of discrimination for people over 45 in the workplace.” The program has helped her to navigate the job market and combat stereotypes about older workers being too slow or not experienced with technology.
“Completing the WoWT pilot program has validated my decision to move into cybersecurity and given me insights about my potential career journey. We can transfer our skills into different and interesting fields of work. When you approach a new industry, you don’t know everything and its ok to ask for help.”
La Trobe Industry seeks to bring together its valued partners across sectors, to pool resources and collaborate to address workforce needs through purposeful initiatives with positive impact for our communities.
La Trobe Industry contact: Hope Terdich - firstname.lastname@example.org