Rhona is no stranger to changing vocations. The Scottish-born expat graduated with a degree in Business, had a successful career in global marketing, ran a bed and breakfast in far north Queensland and even owned a fruit farm.
But after several years spent raising her kids in Australia and working outside of the industry, she finally felt ready to pursue a long-held passion.
“I thought this is my time, because my kids are at a point where they don't need me as much,” explains Rhona.
“I was ready to go back to study and do what I really want to do, which is become an Interior Designer.”
Growing up, Rhona always had a passion for creative pursuits. She recalls fond memories of helping her mother sew ball gowns and dresses from scratch.
“She used to make all my clothes. She would knit, crochet and embroider – she was always making,” says Rhona.
Yet when it came time to pursue a career, Rhona had felt going into the corporate world was her only option. She spent years thinking about how her life might have changed had she gone into design.
As a student enrolled in the Certificate IV in Interior Design MSF40122 at Melbourne Polytechnic, Rhona no longer has to imagine that dream.
“It's really just a matter of reinventing myself,” explains Rhona. “I always thought I wasn't brave enough to do it for myself, but here I am doing it for myself now,” she says.
Over the course of her study, Rhona has found a welcoming community among her teachers and peers - a group that is accepting of everyone.
“It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, we all just throw ourselves in and do it,” she says.
Vocational education has even been a family affair for Rhona - her husband previously completed a Certificate IV in Building Management CPC40120 at Melbourne Polytechnic, and her son is still completing his metal fabrication apprenticeship at the same campus.
“I was really pleased my son chose to do an apprenticeship. I think there’s a lot to be said for just getting started,” says Rhona.
Describing her decision to study as a ‘leap of faith’, Rhona highlights the practical nature of her course as a key part of building her skills and confidence.
“You want to feel that you're in a space where they're going to teach you all the right things so you can actually really go and make it happen,” she says.
For Rhona, Melbourne Polytechnic has been that space. Here, she’s been able to build the skills that landed her a 4-week internship with an interior fabric wholesaler.
She hopes to build on that internship by completing her Diploma in Interior Design MSF50222 next year. Then, once she is finished with her studies, the big dream is to establish her own interior design business.
Her advice to future students echoes the courage she found within herself: "Jump in and give it a go.”
Our Interior Design courses will teach you how to implement decorative techniques and strategies to create memorable spaces. You will gain the skills and knowledge to design colour schemes and residential interiors and produce technical and computer-aided drawings.