Three graduates share their stories as they embark on their new careers

2023 is off to an exciting start for Tamara, Dani and Emily.  All three finished their degrees in 2022 and this year embark on new careers working in Mildura.  Each has taken a moment to reflect on their feelings now they’ve finished their degree and taking the next steps in their new roles.

Tamara Field has commenced her Social Work career at Mallee Family Care and says she is extremely proud to have finished her degree.

“I am really excited and honoured to be a qualified practitioner and starting my career journey. These next steps are the first of many possibilities which is something I am looking forward to.

“My time working at Mallee Family Care has been nothing short of positive and insightful. My role is within Child and Family Services, helping families who are experiencing disadvantage and supporting them with goals to reach their full potential.

“I am eager to start defining and building my professional identity, to start putting my experience and knowledge of my degree into practice,” Tamara says.

For five and a half years, Dani Plumridge juggled studying, being a mum to two young boys and working.

“It feels amazing to have completed my degree. It is hard to believe that I have actually finished! People have always said to me, 'I don't know how you study with kids; it is hard enough as it is'. That may be true, however I have not known any different. Yes, it was tough at times and difficult to keep motivated - but it was all worth it in the end.”

Dani has now commenced her life as a teacher at Mildura Senior College.

“I am really excited to begin my teaching career at Mildura Senior College. I have been working at the school in various roles over the past two to three years and so it feels amazing to finally be able to teach my own classes. And a little bit daunting if I am being honest! It is a great school, with very supportive staff and leadership.  I will be teaching two subjects, VCE Health & Human Development and VCE Vocational Major Literacy.”

Emily Marinucci has begun her life as a nurse, obtaining a role in the Mildura Collaborative Graduate Nurse Program, which is facilitated between Mildura Base Public Hospital, Mildura Health Private Hospital and Sunraysia Community Health Services.

“I have a six month rotation through Ward 2 at the Mildura Base Public Hospital and then six months in Oncology at the Mildura Health Private Hospital. I am a little nervous about starting as a graduate Registered Nurse, however, really excited to see where this career will take me and see how much I will grow and learn in the next 12 months!”

Emily says her time at La Trobe has been rewarding and she was pleasantly surprised to be recognised with a Student Nurse Award from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation.

“I have met some wonderful people whilst studying and had so much support from everyone.  I’m so honoured to have been chosen for Student Nurse Award.  I am really passionate about caring for people and am so happy to graduate. But it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my family, in particular my husband and my mum, who babysat – lots!”

When all three were asked, what advice they’d give others who are considering university study …. do it!

Dani says, “Absolutely, do it! The good thing is, you can complete your course by studying either full time or part time, so you do have the option of working while you study - if that's what you need to do. It is very rewarding to know that you have worked really hard at something and achieved your goal.”

Tamara says if you have a passion or love for human beings, Social Work is for you.

“Social work is a practice that is informed by principles of social justice, human rights and dignity of humanity. I believe that it offers not only a wealth of valuable knowledge and skills, but also a state of mind, which has allowed me to learn about myself, as well as the society that surrounds me.”

Lastly, Emily’s advice, “I have no regrets at all. If further study, in any degree, is something you have always wanted to do, or even if you just need a career change - you don’t know until you try it. It can be tricky to organise timetables and placement with a family, but when it is something that you are aspiring to achieve, you make it work. And it is extremely rewarding at the end!”