No ATAR, no problem: how Daniel found his way back to his passion

08 April 2021

After leaving high school halfway through his final year, Daniel Hall was apprehensive about going back to study. He had worked as a chef and in retail but was looking to change career. He says VU’s approach to learning made him believe he could succeed. He is now studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at VU.

"I dropped out of school halfway through Year 12, as I was never a very successful or dedicated student. At that time, I was undertaking the VCAL program and doing a school-based apprenticeship to become a chef. I worked as a chef and in retail for a few years before I realised I wanted to return to study.

I chose VU and VU Polytechnic as I felt the pathways offered were incredibly promising, especially as a student returning to study without an ATAR. I enrolled into a Diploma of Beauty Therapy SHB50115 and a Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation 22313VIC.

I chose to study beauty therapy as I had always had a passion for caring for others and I was fascinated by the underlying anatomy and physiology of the skin, bone and musculature of the human body.

I was apprehensive about transitioning to higher education as I had no experience with referencing, research, learning, academic writing or succeeding as a student in general. The Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation 22313VIC gave me all of the tools, resources and knowledge for me to succeed as a student.

It felt as though VU wasn’t just a university, but a place that genuinely wanted to see me succeed. Without VU’s approach to learning, I can genuinely say I may not have completed my initial diploma, and I could still be stuck in a career that I was unhappy in.

I am now studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at VU with aspirations of becoming a medical researcher.

As someone who was certainly an underachiever in previous educational settings, I have discovered a new passion – and sometimes an obsession – for learning!"

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