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VCE – Heidi's story

Heidi's story

Year 11

Biology Units 1 and 2

Chemistry Units 1 and 2

English Units 1 and 2

General Mathematics Units 1 and 2

VET Certificate III in Companion Animal Services Units 1 to 4

Year 12

Biology Units 3 and 4

Business Management Units 3 and 4

Chemistry Units 3 and 4

English Units 3 and 4

Further Mathematics Units 3 and 4

Why did you choose to complete a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship as a part of your VCE?

I chose to complete my school-based traineeship as part of my VCE studies because I was beginning to grow very bored with traditional classroom learning. The idea of being able to obtain practical skills that could easily be transferred to my future career was very exciting, and work placement at a veterinary clinic was something I knew I would only be able to complete through the school-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SBAT) program.

What did you enjoy most about the SBAT program?

The most enjoyable part of the program was the fact that everything I was learning during theory lessons throughout the week could be directly applied to my work placement on the weekend. It felt as though I was finally studying something that was going to push me towards my desired career. The opportunity for a placement was an excellent way for me to grow even more confident in my goal of becoming a veterinarian. The practical placement exposed me to various elements of the industry, and even resulted in employment at the clinic where I did my placement.

What are your top three tips for future VCE students who are trying to choose their studies?

  • Try to focus on where you want to be rather than where you are. It is so easy to see your VCE studies as the biggest thing that will ever happen to you, but it is really just two years. Being able to look towards my future career through practical placement at a veterinary clinic helped me immensely as I was able to see what all of that hard work was going towards. I would strongly recommend attempting to gain placement in the industry you are striving towards. Be open to practical learning.Talk to your career counsellor to explore your options. It can be quite challenging navigating everything by yourself. By simply booking an appointment with your career counsellor at school, you are going to reduce your stress and feel much more confident about your subject selection and where they will take you.
  • Do not choose a subject that you think you ‘have to do’. Not only will it end up taking up most of your study time, a lack of interest will make it harder to learn. You are probably more likely to get a better score if you do something that you can really engage with.

What are your top study tips?

Take breaks, schedule your time, including socialising, studying, personal time, and work, so that you can ensure a healthy balance. Forgive yourself when you get a bad grade or skip a study session. It is more important that you just try to start again the next day.

How has your SBAT program prepared you for the future?

It has prepared me for the future because I now have practical skills that are relevant to the industry I intend to work in. Not only this, but the work placement enabled me to gain employment as a veterinary nurse while I completed Year 12, which was a welcome reprieve from my VCE studies.

Do you have any other advice for future students?

It is a very serious time in your life, but remember to have fun. Having a balance between study and your personal life is going to ensure you have the best VCE possible.