Sarah Fredericks loved planning birthday parties and plays when she was in school, but it never occurred to her that it could be her career - until she went to the Holmesglen Institute of TAFE.
Today she's the Deputy Venue Logistics Manager with this year's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
It's also her third year as Operations Manager for the Victorian State Schools Spectacular.
Sarah wasn't sure what to do after school, except that she wanted to do something creative.
Two years into a design course at Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, Sarah realised that she could study and make a career of her love of events planning.
So she switched to study Event Management and a Certificate III in Live Production – which Sarah says was 'the best choice.'
'I wanted a career that excites and challenges me, something that will always push me to be better,' Sarah explains.
Sarah says the highlight of her course was the practical learning aspect.
'I find there's no better way of learning than jumping in head first and getting your hands dirty,' Sarah says.
A Spectacular start to a career
Holmesglen offers students the opportunity to participate in key Spectacular roles behind the scenes to gain valuable industry experience.
Spectacular Creative Producer, and another TAFE success story, Simon K Patterson interviewed students and welcomed Sarah to the team as Operations Coordinator. See:
TAFE took Simon to the Spectacular
'Being a part of the Spectacular as a student behind the scenes was incredible,' Sarah says.
'To see the amount of work involved to make a production of this size happen gives you a higher appreciation for events of all kinds.'
'This experience not only taught me a lot about Event Operations but also about myself, and I love it so much I haven't left five years on.'
Sarah kept in contact with Simon, who mentored her as her events career blossomed after TAFE.
Paving the way for new students
Now as an event professional, it's Sarah's turn to mentor the next round of Holmesglen students, just like Simon did.
'I never saw myself mentoring students, but when you share a common passion for events it just comes naturally,' Sarah says. 'There's nothing better than meeting students who know exactly what they want and work hard to achieve it.'
'To be able to share my knowledge and be a part of their journey is truly special.'
Sarah says that if you love a fast-paced, forever-changing work environment, then event management might be the career for you.
'This industry is exciting, challenging and rewarding,' Sarah says.
'Give every opportunity your all, because doors don't open on their own.'
The Victorian State Schools Spectacular
The Victorian State Schools Spectacular brings together over 3,000 school students to perform as a 64 piece orchestra, 1300 voice choir, 1200 mass dancers, 30 lead vocalists, 16 principal dancers, 20 ensemble dancers, 9 backing vocalists, acrobats and puppeteers and much more.
The inclusive Spectacular program supports the Victorian Government's Education and Creative State objectives by demonstrating students' excellence in the Arts.
Over months of training, the program fosters student engagement and educational outcomes by developing creative and expressive capacities, building confidence, resilience, discipline and a sense of belonging.
The culmination of the event performance to a wide audience builds pride and confidence in our schools.
The three-hour, live show is watched by an audience of at least 5,000 people per show and is also recorded for broadcast on Channel Seven.
Victorian State Schools Spectacular
TAFE Victoria have a range of courses and pathways to help you achieve your goals. See:
Find a course or training provider.