Benefits of Doing a Traineeship in Your Gap Year
“The last two years were invaluable. I was paid to work in sports, kick the football with kids and do jobs that I love and come out at the end with two qualifications, a group of best mates and a start in the sporting industry.”
Former NSW trainee Henry Wheatley decided to take not one, but two gap years before being accepted into his dream course, Sports and Exercise Management at the University of Sydney. During that time, he completed a two-year Young Leadership Program traineeship with AFL NSW/ACT as a Game Development Officer and loved every minute of it.
We interviewed Henry, who revealed to AFL SportsReady his 5 reasons why taking on a traineeship during his gap year benefited him:
1. YOU CAN TAKE A BREAK FROM STUDY
For Henry, after thirteen years of schooling, going to University was the last thing he wanted to do. So, taking a break was a great option for him before heading down the path of further education.
Having the two-year gap can give you time to really think about what you want to do in your career and allow you to feel refreshed and re-energised before starting your course.
“I didn’t want to jump straight into further studying but I also wanted to be productive, so doing a traineeship was the perfect fit. After my two-years I felt completely rested and ready to start my course,” said Henry.
2. YOU GET AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME
Being a trainee means you get to become an important member of the team you work in. You take on exciting and fun responsibilities and projects and get the opportunity to immerse yourself in the industry.
In his traineeship, Henry had the opportunity to take on some pretty awesome projects.
Some of his highlights include being named as the coach of the NSW/ACT All Nations Team where he selected the team and took them on a weekend training camp.
“There were so many highlights, I couldn’t count them all. Every day I was doing something fun and new. It was an amazing experience.”
Henry also helped to run the National Diversity Championships and ran the 2018 GWS Giants Multicultural Festival.
3. YOU GET AN IDEA OF WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
You may not know what you want to do after you finish school, so completing a traineeship can guide you on the right path. Traineeships can give you a practical taste of the industry you might be thinking of working in.
Although Henry wanted to pursue a career in sports, he wasn’t 100% certain, as school had not provided advice on working in the industry. He also wasn’t sure if he wanted to go to university and continue to study.
Henry’s traineeship allowed him to gain first-hand experience in the sporting industry, which helped him to decide that a career in sports is exactly what he wanted to do. The traineeship inspired Henry to further his education and apply for a Uni course in Sports and Exercise Management so he can develop his skills and knowledge in the field.
4. YOU ARE SET UP FOR YOUR CAREER
A traineeship can lay the foundations for your career before you commence your degree. Through your Traineeship experience, you will make networks in the industry that will help you post University.
Henry believes that with a traineeship behind him and countless connections in the sporting industry, he is now set up for his future.
5. YOU ARE AHEAD IN YOUR UNI COURSE
You will have a better understanding of the coursework and experience in the industry which will you give you confidence and allow you to get a head start on your classmates.
One thing Henry was worried about before starting his traineeship was how far behind he would be in relation to his friends, as most of them will have finished their degrees before he even begins. However, Henry said it wasn’t like that at all.
“It turned out my traineeship was actually hands down the most important and beneficial years of my life and I feel as confident as ever to start my Uni course,” he said.
So there you have it, the 5 reasons why doing a traineeship in your gap year might be the smartest decision you make.
Henry will begin his University Course and has been offered part-time employment at AFL NSW/ACT where he will continue his role.
“It’s a dream come true. I get to study the course I want and still be employed with the AFL. This wouldn’t be possible without my traineeship.”
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To find out more about the diverse range of rewarding careers available through vocational education and training, and watch the real skills for real careers video, visit www.myskills.gov.au
Date: 1st of February 2019 | Marissa Pagliarello
Image: Herny Wheatley