Jill Cumming – Career Development Officer

Comments (0) Day in the Life

Choosing your first career can be one of the most difficult decisions facing 16 – 18 year olds. It helps to have good support.

“From a student’s point of view, one of their biggest concerns is not knowing what they want to do when they leave school, and that’s where I come in,” said Jill Cummings, Career Development Officer at Newman Senior Technical College.

Jill’s day revolves around helping young people make the right choices to kick start their futures. Newman College offers a unique Workplace Learning Program, guiding students through this complex time. Jill and the team are the heartbeat of the College, matching students with suitable workplacements.

“In their time at the College, students have the opportunity to participate in 700 hours of workplacement within the local community. This wouldn’t be achievable without the support that the College and students receive from local employers, who are prepared to offer their time and expertise to give students that opportunity.”
Jill’s own career has seen her working across numerous industries, including retail, administration, hospitality and even in a mine in Western Australia. Her varied experience is a great benefit when supporting students to determine their career aspirations.

At Newman College, the holistic development and care for each individual is of the highest importance. Jill offers warmth and professionalism to the students – a nurturing quality which perfectly complements the values of her workplace.

“Teachers and staff genuinely care for the students and their wellbeing, going out of our way to make sure a good outcome is offered to everyone. Students get to try out a few different types of industries, which allows them to find out what they want to do and more importantly, what they don’t want to do,” said Jill.
There’s no such thing as an ordinary day for the careers team, but it’s always rewarding when students go on to achieve their goals. A highlight for Jill was travelling to Vanuatu with students to visit and donate to local schools and villages. “It was wonderful to see the students realise what fantastic opportunities we have here in Australia.”

Helping students overcome their fears is part of the job. “Many students feel anxious about making contact with their workplace employer for the first time. There have been several students who I’ve had to “push” that bit extra, who have gone on to secure apprenticeships or full-time work after school.”
For Jill and the Career Development Team, this is a perfect outcome. They focus on where students want to be when they finish their HSC. And the team works hard to ensure it happens.

As a mum of three, Jill often feels like a proud mum to the Newman College students at the Year 12 Graduations. But the biggest perk of the job is the delicious food and coffee whipped up by the hospitality students – Port Macquarie’s chefs and baristas of the future, who may be serving your next latte or linguine at your favourite restaurant in town.
Newman Senior Technical College Year 11 Enrolment Open Night is 21 July at 6pm. www.newman.nsw.edu.au

6:30am – The alarm goes off!
8:30am – Arrive at work after getting myself and three kids ready for the day ahead.
9:30am – A student comes to see me with good news; her work placement employer has offered her a job.
10:30am – I liaise with TAFE regarding a student’s future School-based Apprenticeship.
11:30am – Another student is offered a School-based Traineeship by her employer.
12:30pm – The Year 12 hospitality class are cooking Moroccan pies. It smells sensational.
1:30pm -Through the lunchbreak I assist students with advice on their study options after Year 12.
2:30pm -A Career Development Team Meeting is held. Regular meetings help us plan ahead and make sure everyone is on track.
3:30pm -The students have all left for the day, and suddenly it is so much quieter.
4:30pm -Time for me to go home.

Interview by Michelle Newman from www.newmancommunications.com.au

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