The transition from high school to university can be daunting, but taking a gap year to study can help make the move easier, as Jasmine Gullace found.

When Jasmine graduated from Newhaven College in 2019, she decided to take a gap year and apply for Chisholm’s traineeship with Bass Coast Shire Council.

At the time, she’d been working in hospitality for three years and felt like she was ready for a new challenge.

Jasmine loved the idea that she could combine paid practical work with a nationally recognised qualification – a Certificate III in Business through Chisholm.

“I came out of the group interview not confident in the slightest, but it turns out I got a follow-up interview,” says Jasmine. “I went into the interview and I met my supervisor, whom I really liked, and I ended up getting the traineeship.”

Jasmine worked five days a week as a junior council officer at Bass Coast Shire Council, combined with six hours of study a week.

“The traineeship really helped me,” says Jasmine. “I was answering the phone and constantly talking to people. I had done this during my time in hospitality, but it was a lot different in a more professional setting. It was really great experience.”

In March 2020, the traineeship was put on hold for two months due to COVID-19, then in June Jasmine resumed the traineeship remotely from home.

While she worked, she completed the 12 units for her Certificate III in Business, holding fortnightly Microsoft Teams catch-ups with her teacher.

Jasmine finished up 2020 with some handy new skills under her belt, a qualification, and a lot more confidence about starting university. She went on to enrol in a Bachelor of Psychological Science at La Trobe University in Bundoora. Jasmine was also nominated as Trainee of the Year at the Chisholm Education Awards in 2021.

Jasmine says the Certificate III in Business gave her practical skills (like time management and how to create electronic presentations) which she’s found invaluable at university.

“It was a personal and professional stepping stone,” she says. “It gave me a lot of experience talking to people, which I’m going to be doing when I’m a practicing psychologist in the future. I really enjoyed it, especially meeting new people who had a different mindset from what I’d been previously exposed to.”

Jasmine encouraged other young people who wanted to take a gap year to consider doing TAFE study, particularly with international travel off the cards.

“I think it was a really good use of my gap year,” she says. “Initially I was just planning on working in hospitality and saving up to go to university, but if you do want to go to uni, a traineeship is so useful.”