Pathways help ‘first in family’ student to success

Joel Klein VET Pathways Griffith University
Joel Klein.

Joel Klein’s career plans didn’t include university when he first entered the world of work; he finished school and went straight to a full-time job. “I didn’t think I had what it took to be successful,” he says.

But all that changed when he ran into an old friend who had just been accepted into Griffith University. “He told me it wasn’t quite as intimidating as I’d initially thought so next time applications opened up, I applied, not thinking I would actually get accepted.”

Soon enough, Joel found himself enrolled in a Griffith Business School degree thanks to the VET Pathways program. “As a student who didn’t come straight from school, it was a very valuable program to me. Not only did it take my school results into account, but it took into consideration my work and certificates I had collected along the way, including a Certificate III in business,” he explains. “Without the opportunity to get recognition for what I had been doing out in the world, I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to attend university at all.

One of the things that Joel found most helpful was the level of support offered by the University for his return to study. “Griffith supported me from day one; as soon as I got accepted I was assigned a success advisor, who I then met for a Q and A session.

“I was so excited and left that meeting with the feeling of acceptance into the community here at Griffith,” the Bachelor of Commerce student says.

After finding his feet within the degree, Joel set about finding a way to give back to other students and the institution to give others the help he was so eager to receive. He is now a Mature Age Mentor, a UniReach mentor and a Student Partner for student services.

“I do a lot of work here at Griffith now with mature age students and students looking to bridge over from TAFE. A lot of them are very hesitant on making the leap into university. Griffith is very good at helping you find your pathway, even if it’s in an entirely different degree.”

“There is more support here at Griffith than most students will ever need; it doesn’t matter what your background is, how old you are or what you want to get out of university, everyone is here to help.

“Being the first in my family to attend university, I didn’t have the support at home of someone who has been in the process or understands what university is all about, and Griffith was able to cater and answer all the questions I had without skipping a beat.”

Joel says that not only does he feel well supported in his studies, but he is also confident the skills he’s gained have set him up for success in his future career, too. “Griffith has also allowed me to build my skills and offered me countless opportunities to get my name out in the real world. I have already had contacts with industry leaders and spoken to a lot of recruiters in my industry.

“Griffith does a perfect job at bridging study with the industry, creating a seamless divide between the two. The careers programs at Griffith has also given me a lot of contacts within industry to follow up on if I see fit… there is no pressure to apply but the information is always available,” Joel explains.

“Choosing Griffith was the best decision I have ever made.”