Swim instructor changes lanes for teaching career

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Swim instructor changes lanes for teaching career


USC Fraser Coast Bachelor of Primary Education Student Mathew Wenzel

4 May 2018

Not everyone takes the same path to university – just ask 44-year-old USC Education student and aquatic centre instructor and lifeguard Mathew Wenzel.

The Toogoom resident’s work history includes several years running aquatic centres in Queensland and Victoria, landscape gardening and a peace-keeping mission deployment to the Solomon Islands for the Army Reserve.

“I enrolled in USC’s Bachelor of Primary Education after a plan to work in Vietnam fell through, creating an opportunity for me to focus on building a career instead of just getting a job,” Mathew said.

“My family sold our house in Victoria a few years ago anticipating that we would be overseas for a number of years, so when it didn’t eventuate the money from the sale allowed me to invest in a career path as teacher.

“I have always enjoyed working with children through my involvement in the aquatic centre industry, so teaching is something that I knew I would love,” said Mr Wenzel, who works at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre and Wetside Water Park.

This Thursday (May 10), Mathew will share his university experience with visitors at a Meet USC event at the Fraser Coast campus from 4-6pm.

Visitors can explore their study options and find out how they can apply now to start university in July. There are opportunities to receive one-on-one advice from staff, take a campus tour with student ambassadors and receive support with QTAC applications.

USC Manager of Student Recruitment Courtney Geritz said more than half of the students enrolled at USC did not go to university straight from high school.

“Like Mr Wenzel, they enrol for many different reasons. They might be professionals looking for a career change, parents balancing study with raising their families and those who have taken some time off after leaving school,” she said.

“The good news is people don’t have to wait to enrol, with mid-year entry available to more than 90 undergraduate and postgraduate programs at USC, starting Semester 2.”

Mr Wenzel said the decision to enrol in Education at USC had provided him with a wide range of opportunities he had not experienced before.

“I have been able to develop my academic skills, establish lifelong friendships with my peers, work alongside practicing teachers and assist with some fantastic projects at the University including USC’s Makerspace robotic and computer lab,” he said.

More information on Meet USC. Prospective students can also attend USC’s annual Open Day at its Fraser Coast campus on Saturday 23 June and Sunshine Coast campus on Sunday 22 July.

- Clare McKay

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