“It has undoubtedly changed my life in a positive way by giving me the skills and confidence to go into a bachelor course.”
— Liam Davies, Melbourne Polytechnic'sTertiary Studies
After leaving school at 16 and working in lower-paid hospitality and labouring jobs for ten years, Liam Davies started looking for a way to build a better life. Through Melbourne Polytechnic’s Diploma of Tertiary studies he gained the skills and confidence he needed not only to take his education to a higher level but to open even more career paths than he had originally anticipated.
Liam Davies knew that the best way to step into a more fulfilling career path was education, but he felt that he wasn’t quite ready for something as disciplined and rigorous as a bachelor degree. Melbourne Polytechnic’s Diploma of Tertiary Studies proved the perfect stepping-stone.
After looking into the higher education Diploma of Tertiary Studies course, Liam decided that the Diploma would provide him with the academic skills and confidence he needed.
“I was looking for a pathway into a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning at RMIT, which I have now received an early round offer for. I wanted the academic skills and confidence to go into more study and I decided to do the course that I thought would prepare me the best for those ambitions.”
Liam found the supportive environment at Melbourne Polytechnic was also perfect for nurturing his academic ability and getting him back into the mindset he needed to go on to further study.
“All of the lecturers, tutors and higher ed staff have been incredibly supportive. They’ve given ample feedback and they always want you to do better — so there’s always that drive to do better too. There’s also a nurturing, comforting feeling; if you ask a question you will always get honest, fair feedback.”
One of the other highlights of the course for Liam was the positive and productive working relationships between the students in his class.
“The class was really tight-knit so it felt like a very supportive environment, and everyone would help each other. It was very cooperative in that regard.”
Getting back into study wasn’t without its challenges, but with a clear understanding of why those challenges were put in place, and by keeping his eye on the final goal, nothing was unachievable without a little hard work and sacrifice.
“It was challenging at times because the course is geared up to have pressure points, as there are a few things due at once to force students to manage their time well and to manage their workflow quite well. That was probably the hardest thing, that sometimes you’ve got two or three things due at the same time. There’s also sacrifice moving from full-time or even part-time employment into student life, sacrificing income obviously, but yet again it’s given more fulfilment, and that fulfilment I think more than adequately makes up for that – sometimes if you really want to achieve something down the line, you have to make a little bit of a sacrifice now.
The option to park his fees with Fee-HELP was also something that Liam found really helpful, especially considering he was keeping his mind on the long-term benefits of the course for his job prospects.
“My rationale was that, yes, the course does cost, and not an insignificant amount of money. However, Australia’s repayment system is geared so you don’t pay it back until you’re earning a comfortable amount of money. In the long term, I don’t think I would be able to earn the amount of money required to pay it back without doing the course; you don’t pay for it unless you get something out of it.”
The Diploma has done so much more than just provide Liam with the academic skills and confidence to get a place at uni, it has also led him to think about potential career paths that he had never considered before.
"Now I see myself a bit more open ended than when I started, which is part of what a liberal arts program like this is meant to deliver. When I went into the course, I just wanted to get a stable job, preferably in the government sector, but after discussing matters at length with faculty I have contemplated the idea that the higher education sector is actually something that I would be interested in too. I feel I have more options now."
Considering his success, it’s not surprising that Liam would recommend Melbourne Polytechnic's Diploma of Tertiary Studies to others.
“I would recommend the course to anyone who isn’t sure what they want to do. It’s got a few different things that can give you an idea of what you want to get in to, it can also give you the skills you need to survive and achieve good grades in higher education.”
Diploma of Tertiary Studies