Hard work has paid off for Forster teen Alana Williams, who has been awarded a scholarship to study a Bachelor of Business Management at the International College of Management in Sydney.
The 18-year-old applied for the scholarship after completing her HSC in November, and following an involved application process that saw her progress through two rounds of interviews, she received the good news two days before Christmas.
"I was so happy," Alana said.
"It was a very good Christmas present."
An ongoing scholarship worth $28,800 in her first year of study, Alana is excited about the opportunities for industry placement the college can offer her over the course of her three-year degree.
She's also keen on the smaller class sizes and networking opportunities that exist there.
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A well-regarded tertiary education institute that has campuses in both Manly and the Sydney CBD, Alana says she's had her heart set on going to the college since she first heard about it at a careers expo in Wingham when she was 15.
With that goal in mind, she applied herself to her studies at the Great Lakes College Tuncurry campus and was satisfied with the results she achieved through her final years of high school, despite the challenges the pandemic presented in 2020.
"I was happy with how it went," Alana said.
"I feel I adapted to the year the best way I could."
Prior to the onset of COVID-19, Alana was keen on pursuing a management career in the aviation sector, but since the industry all but collapsed as a result of the pandemic, she's been reassessing her options.
She has a number of ideas in mind but is also keen to see what she discovers when her studies begin.
"I've got a passion for the high-end fashion industry," she admitted.
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Alana will begin her degree in early February and spend her first year undertaking a mix of online and on-campus study, before moving down to Sydney permanently in late 2021.
In the meantime, she's spending the summer working as a professional lifeguard on the Mid Coast's beaches, which has given her the opportunity to exercise some of the leadership and team-working skills that she'll no doubt develop further through the course of her degree.
It's also been a great way to spend some quality time on the beach before she dives back into full-time study.
"It's been really good," Alana said.
"I'm happy to be back on the beach."
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