After completing a civil engineering degree and working on major projects like the Westgate Freeway upgrade, Michael Szpakolski decided to trade his onsite office for a classroom.
I returned to VU to undertake an electrical apprenticeship after I made the rash decision to quit my job. During this time, I had an open conversation with my teachers about my career prospects, and they suggested I further my studies with an Advanced Diploma of Engineering.
In addition to this, and with the help of VU, I was then able to open a door I never thought possible: training and assessing the future generation of electricians. The University helped me attain my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, and allowed me to train and assess in various locations.
Aside from the doors it opened for my career, the best part about studying at VU was the flexibility. I completed my studies part-time, which allowed me to focus on, and acquire relevant field experience in one module at a time. I also attended the academic support lectures regarding how to study and use time effectively. To this day I use what was said in those lectures.
Currently I’m in London working for a training company that helps people in the construction industry move around the world. Specifically, I train and assess electricians who are planning to relocate to Australia and New Zealand. People ask me if I would quit my civil engineering job again, knowing what I know now. I always say 'YES. Look where this new path has taken me.'"