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​When 17-year-old Courtney Hardwick left school after completing Year 10 the path ahead was uncertain. One year on and three TAFE courses later, Courtney will embark on the next step in her career journey at university.


The Valentine local has been hard at work since finishing Year 10 and leaving school at the end of 2015. By the end of this year Courtney will have completed a Certificate IV in Business, a Certificate IV in Marketing and a Diploma of Marketing at Newcastle TAFE Campus, by combining day and evening studies.


As a result of her hard work, Courtney has been accepted into a Bachelor of Communication at the University of Newcastle commencing in 2017.

Courtney said she discovered a whole new world of opportunities at TAFE and was able to clarify exactly what her career goals and dreams looked like.
“I learned that I didn't have to necessarily stay in school in order to have a career in the future, and that TAFE is a very viable pathway. Through TAFE I have been given valuable opportunities I wouldn't have had or taken if I'd stayed in school,” said Ms Hardwick.
“One of my most valuable experiences was the opportunity to undertake work experience. Through these work experience opportunities, I then realised what I wanted to continue studying - marketing, and I gained invaluable experience and knowledge through these initiatives.”
Business and marketing programs at Hunter TAFE focus on developing practical job-ready skills and incorporate work experience opportunities to enable students to apply the skills in the workplace.
Over the past 12-months at TAFE, Courtney has gained invaluable experience while participating in the Business Services Work Experience Program at both Event Cinemas and Ronald McDonald House alongside her studies. She also participated as a volunteer at the Newcastle Show and Careers Expo through Hunter TAFE’s events team.
Outside of TAFE, Courtney secured an additional two-month internship with environmental organisation 1 Million Women and completed work experience in marketing and social media with Hunter Life Education.
At school Courtney says she was “unmotivated”, but after her experience learning from industry expert teachers at TAFE she says she is now clear on what her career ambitions are and credits TAFE in assisting her on that journey.