Rachel Fikkers Success Story
Rachel Fikkers, Foundation Education Graduate
"My advice to anyone considering to study online is ‘If it suits you to work at your own pace and are self-directed, it is the perfect option. There is a sense of empowerment in leading the way, as opposed to being led’".
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Cornwall, England, and moved to Australia 22 years ago. I was a flight attendant/cabin manager in Australia for 11 years.
My husband is an international pilot, and we have four children.
What course did you study? What was your favourite subject/part?
In 2019, I studied a Certificate III in Dental Assisting with Foundation Education. In 2020, I am currently studying a Certificate IV in Dental Assisting (Radiography).
I prefer subjects that involve dental topics. After being in a customer service role for over 11 years, I initially felt the customer service units, working with diverse communities, business models and WHS units would be tedious and repetitive.
However, once I commenced employment in the dental industry, it was evident how relevant and vitally important these topics are.
What made you decide to pursue a new career?
After having four children, I knew that flying was no longer an option as my husband is overseas for days at a time.
I had always wanted to venture into the dental industry and found it incredibly interesting.
With my children becoming more independent, I decided it was an ideal time to embark on a new career.
Why did you choose to study with Foundation Education?
I researched various options for studying. My local TAFE offered the same course, but it involved travelling 25 minutes once or twice a week to have face-to-face classes with a teacher. Being a mature student with a diploma and degree with honours in my earlier years, I was confident I could study online and complete the course at my own pace. I found Foundation Education to be the best value for money and had access to support teachers if required. I enrolled and was busy studying within a few days.
I completed all of the Certificate III units within 3 ½ months, leaving my practical component to finalise. An advantage with Foundation Education is that if you do not understand a section or think you are not on the right track with answers, a simple email to the dental support team enables them to schedule a coaching call at a time that suits you, or they’ll simply reply with an email to guide you. I returned to Foundation Education to enrol in a Certificate IV for these very reasons. As a returning student, you are also entitled to some great discounts with courses and I could not believe how inexpensive they were.
What are your plans for the future?
I was lucky enough to gain a position as a dental assistant and benefit from the practical knowledge of the industry. I decided to embark on a Certificate IV in Dental Assisting (Radiography) with plans to obtain a NSW Radiation User Licence. It’s a great industry, but all industries are competitive, so to tick as many boxes as possible within the role is my goal. Most dental practices require a Certificate III and/or a Certificate IV in Dental Assisting as well as experience.
My long term plan was to start in private practice and move to the public system. I was in private practice for a year when a full-time position in the public system was advertised. I got the job! I knew my determination and goal setting would get me there, but all of this would not have been possible without Foundation Education.
What would you say to people who are considering studying online?
My advice to anyone considering to study is ‘Do what you can to make yourself marketable’.
My advice to anyone considering to study online is ‘If it suits you to work at your own pace and are self-directed, it is the perfect option. There is a sense of empowerment in leading the way, as opposed to being led’.
How long did it take to acquire employment in the industry area in which you studied?
I completed all of the Certificate III in Dental Assisting theoretical units within 3 ½ months, so decided to look for employment at this point because I felt confident with my knowledge of dental assisting.
I was offered a position as a dental assistant straight away and would not have been possible without my online study with Foundation Education.