Proud Yorta Yorta woman and 2019 Victorian Indigenous Trainee of the Year, Georgia Males, believes taking on a school-based traineeship with the Commonwealth Bank not only gave her career direction but has helped shape her into a community leader.
“I never really considered myself to be a leader or someone people could look up to,” she said
“But, after graduating from my traineeship, winning an award and now completing a second traineeship, I am not only a leader in my community but a role model for my family as well.
I love sharing my story, I love telling others about the opportunities I got through doing a traineeship.
Thanks to my traineeship, I found success and it is important to show how strong and successful our people can be.” she added.
Georgia took on the traineeship at Commonwealth Bank at the Strath Village branch in Bendigo in 2018, while she was in year 11 studying VCAL. She saw the opportunity as a benefit that would give her some career guidance and also look impressive on her resume.
“I had no idea what I wanted to do after school so completing a school-based traineeship was one of the greatest things I could have done for my future.
Most kids are working through high school at places like MacDonald’s and while there is nothing wrong with that, to me, working one day a week in a bank and studying a Certificate II in Business was really appealing.”
Working at the bank gave Georgia a range of skills, with some of the main ones being communication and customer service. From starting off as a timid girl, Georgia transformed and is now more confident than she has ever been.
“Before my traineeship, I didn’t know how to interact with people let alone customers. I didn’t know how to have a normal conversation with my colleagues, and I felt intimidated and shy because they were older than me.
Now, I am talking to customers confidently about everything from banking products to answering questions and queries. I have also opened up to my colleagues and love talking to them and have formed a special connection with every one of them.
I have found that I am a completely different person to when I started my traineeship and I love the person I am right now.”
At first, Georgia thought juggling a traineeship with school would be challenging, but she found the journey far from difficult and felt supported the entire way.
“I was worried as time management isn’t my strongest skill, but I had no troubles at all. The traineeship was just one day a week and both my school and host employer were flexible and supportive. It works out perfectly, you have plenty of time to focus on school and it doesn’t interfere with your traineeship.
What also helped is the amazing support network around me. I had a dedicated Indigenous AFL SportsReady Mentor who I could turn to whenever I needed. If I felt stressed or anxious, they were there to help me in any way they could.
I also had my AFL SportsReady Field Officer and Educator plus all the amazing support from my supervisor and colleagues at the bank. I never felt alone when completing my traineeship, I was looked after every step of the way.”
At last year’s graduation ceremony, Georgia was recognised for her hard work and dedication and was awarded the prestigious 2019 Victorian Indigenous Trainee of the Year award.
“Winning this award was one of my biggest achievements, I really I felt like all my hard work had finally paid off and it made me want to work towards a better future for myself.
This journey has been a truly inspiring one from the moment I started, now through to my second traineeship with the bank. I love working in this industry and I have never felt more confident and motivated about my future, and it all started with my school-based traineeship.”
We are embarking on a nationwide recruitment drive to fill a number of school-based traineeship opportunities for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students currently in year 10 and looking to take on this opportunity as part of their Year 11 and 12 studies in 2021-22. These opportunities will allow young people to gain valuable industry experience to give them a head start in their careers post-high school.
The roles are located across Australia, for more information please visit: https://lnkd.in/dETQjyK
Date: 9th September 2020
Image: Georgia Males
Author: Marissa Pagliarello