From FIFO worker to Psychology graduate - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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From FIFO worker to Psychology graduate

A few years ago, Brad Lines was working as a FIFO driller in the mines when he decided to finally give uni a go. TPP was his pathway to a degree in psychology, a new career, and new friends and experiences he’ll always treasure.

“I always wanted to go to uni, but I didn’t have an OP and I wasn’t sure I could,” Brad says.

“I didn’t want to be a FIFO worker anymore – I wanted a career at home. But it took a redundancy and some strong encouragement from a friend who was studying at USC to gain the courage to enrol in TPP, which has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

After five years in the mining industry, USC's Tertiary Preparation Pathway helped Brad develop his study skills and confidence. It also gave him a pathway into a psychology degree, where he quickly got involved in student life.

During his time at uni, he worked as a USC Student Ambassador, served as a member of the Student Representative Council, and was the President of USC’s Psychology Club, where he started a mental health first aid course for first-year students.

“Initially, I wanted to enhance my soft skills and improve employability, but once I started getting involved, more opportunities started to present themselves and I found it so rewarding to see other students engage with the whole experience of what it is to be a university student,” he says.

“I also found that connecting with other students from a range of degrees really broadened my own university experience and worldview.”

At the start of each semester, he returned to the TPP classroom to meet USC’s newest students and share his stories and advice about the journey ahead.

“I credit TPP with giving me the confidence I needed going into my degree, and I always felt like I wanted to share the great experience I had with other students and anyone who was thinking about studying – particularly those who hadn’t studied in a number of years,” he said.

Brad recently completed his degree and now works as an Ability Adviser in USC’s AccessAbility Services, where he helps to support students whose studies are impacted by a disability, learning disorder, mental health issue, injury or illness, or who have primary carer responsibilities.

Earlier this month, he received the Chancellor’s Medal, which is USC’s highest award for a graduating student. He shared the award with his close friend and fellow psychology student Madison Sungdren, who was also in the bridal party at his wedding last year.

“I think the biggest highlight from my time at USC will be the friends I’ve made,” he says.

“Being in my late 20s by the time I came to uni, making new friends was not high on my priority list when I started. But I don’t think I could have gotten through the degree without having the support and encouragement of other students.”

Ready to start – or continue – your uni journey?

Apply to study TPP in Semester 2, 2020 online through QTAC.

Already studying TPP?

Apply for your undergraduate degree.