Michael Hogan - Embracing work and training
Michael Hogan could not have achieved much more from his TAFE course. While finishing his Certificate I and II in Automotive Technology in 2010, Michael won the Victorian Vocational Student of the Year award, before going on to also win the title of Australian Vocational Student of the Year.
In 2011 he will be judging the Australian Vocational Student awards, an opportunity that he said has been life-changing.
"Being lucky enough to win the Victorian and then the national award for vocational studies was something I never really thought would happen," he said. "It's been a great experience just even being involved in the awards. It's opened up a whole lot of new opportunities."
Demonstrating passion and commitment
Michael won more than $10,000 in prize money through the Victorian and Australian awards, which has helped him grow his automotive technology business.
The 24-year-old began his own business in 2010, kitting out cars with electronic equipment in his days off study.
He was rewarded at the 2010 awards for showing passion and commitment to his work, as well as a selfless attitude in helping out fellow students.
In addition to his own studies, Michael spent part of last year tutoring and mentoring his fellow Holmesglen TAFE classmates.
"I suppose the teaching aspect was the main attribute that helped me win," he said.
"Halfway through finishing my Certificate II I was asked by one of the teachers whether I'd consider doing a mentoring program at the TAFE and I just jumped at the opportunity."
From automotive tech to teaching
Michael began by mentoring around two or three students and was soon teaching entire classes of more than 16 students.
"I was able to teach some of the classes I'd already completed, areas that I was competent in," he said.
He attributes his inspiration for teaching to a quote one of his teachers told him.
"My teacher used to say, 'If the pupil does not exceed their master then they're not much of a master.' That's one of the specific sayings that's really stuck in my mind, and it's something I often think about," he said.
Winning the awards helped reinforce to Michael how much he loves teaching.
"Whether or not I stick with setting up my own business, I know I'm definitely going to stay in the teaching realm, whether through TAFE or in the private sector, it's something I love doing," he said.
"Teaching's something you can get a lot out of, coming home from work knowing you've taught someone something they can use for - potentially - the rest of their life."
Make the most of the experience
The best advice Michael can offer 2011's student nominees is to make the most of the experience.
"The nomination process can seem like a big step at first, but it's a great learning experience, developing a speech and writing a bio about yourself and going through interview techniques," he said.
"So long as you're embracing work and training you love, that's what the judges want to see and that's really what TAFE's about, I think."
Find out more about the awards at www.skills.vic.gov.au/victorian-training-awards (new window).
Articles Written by Josh F
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