When the final bell rang for 2021, Year 12 student Audrey Nguyen decided to upskill in the hopes of securing her first casual job over the summer break.
Through our Student Enterprise Program, Grammarians are encouraged to complete outside of school courses during their Senior Years. They can upskill by gaining several accreditations, including barista training, AusSwim teacher certificates, First Aid, Hospitality certificates (RSA & RSF) and Coaching and Sports Umpiring Accreditation.
Audrey, who was in Year 11 at the time, picked Barista for Beginners. The course helped her secure her first casual job with Delaware as a barista and food attendant at the 2022 Australian Open.
“I found it very insightful and fun, learning how to make coffee in a small and relaxed environment,” she said.
“I feel like it really prepared me well for taking on the job at the Open as it helped me understand how the hospitality industry worked, specifically in cafes and coffee shops.
“It gave me a deeper understanding of what baristas do and the skill set they need.”
The course, which she completed at the start of her summer holidays in 2021, also ignited a new passion.
“The best part of the course was getting to learn about all aspects of coffee – from the different types of drinks to the way milk is frothed,” Audrey said.
“I loved that we had a hands-on experience in a small class of about ten. Everyone had a go at making coffees, and by the end of the 4-hour course, we were all experts.
“The best part was definitely drinking our own coffees at the end. Prior to the course, I had never really enjoyed coffee, but now I’m a coffee aficionado!”
Audrey said Student Enterprise Manager, Renée Jackson, encouraged her to upskill and then to apply for jobs.
“Ms Jackson helped me with my resume and advised me to take the barista course in order to add to my qualifications,” she said.
“Upon my completion of the course, she recommended that I apply for a job at the Australian Open, as they were looking for under 18s with no prior experience.
“The application process was really easy; all I had to do was send a cover letter and resume to the hiring manager. A week later, I was interviewed over the phone and hired for the job.
“Ms Jackson was a great help during the whole process – I couldn’t have done it without her!”
Part-time and casual work has many benefits for teenagers. It teaches them how to manage their own money, increases their independence and sense of responsibility, helps build their life skills as well as gain valuable work experience.
Audrey said the friendly and relaxed working environment at the Australian Open helped ease her into her first job.
The experience allowed her to strengthen her skills as a barista and gain new skills such as sandwich making and cashiering.
Audrey, who has now put casual work on hold as she focuses on Year 12, recommended Grammarians take the barista course or any of the courses offered to Senior Year students.
“To any Grammarian looking to do the same course, I would say go for it!” she said.
“It really helps with the application process for hospitality jobs as candidates with higher skill sets are more valuable, and thus you are more likely to be hired.
“It’s also a good skill to have and may be a requirement of the job you apply for. Even if you don’t enjoy drinking coffee, it’s still a really fun course and definitely worth your time!”
Find out more about the Student Enterprise Program and the opportunities available for Senior Years students here.