THIS woman has proved you don’t have to go to university to get on the path to success – as her apprenticeship secured her a six figure salary.
Rachel Dudok managed to achieve her career goals despite snubbing higher education for a more hands-on approach.
While growing up in Hong Kong, her parents were determined to put their daughter through university to advance her knowledge.
They had big dreams for Rachel’s future and hoped she would become a respectable professional, such as a doctor or a lawyer.
But it turned out their beloved child had her own ideas up her sleeve, none of which included enrolling for a degree course.
Rachel was still determined to make them proud, yet wanted to forge her own path – even if they deemed it an unorthodox route.
She instead embarked on an incredible four-year apprenticeship with airline Qantas to become an aircraft maintenance engineer.
Although she strayed from her parents’ master plan, the trailblazer says they now celebrate the fact that she did it all alone.
Rachel told 9News: “They are proud that I’ve made something of myself and that I am successful in my own right.
“I’ve got a rewarding career, I’m making good money, and I’m happy in my job. I’m contributing, I’m making a difference.
“That’s what they wanted for me, it’s just not the pathway that they would have wanted me to take.”
The star apprentice also takes satisfaction from the fact that snobs can’t believe her success after she steered clear of university.
Rachel explained the active nature of her apprenticeship allowed her to pick up vital skills and knowledge along the way, rather than just reading about it.
She continued: “They just can’t comprehend the fact that it’s a four-year apprenticeship and it’s not actually a university degree in order to do a very technical, highly skilled job like aircraft maintenance.
“They don’t necessarily associate those highly skilled roles with a trade background.”
Even though she bagged her dream job, Rachel, who lives in Australia, was still keen to soak up as much knowledge as possible.
She later completed diplomas in International Business and Leadership Management to continue to climb the ladder to success.
Armed with both a wealth of wisdom and first-hand experience, she has now gone on to secure an even weightier role.
Rachel has become the national technical training manager at Japanese mining and construction manufacturer Komatsu.
She explained her trade background allows her to easily relate to everyone she works with, from technicians to corporate managers.
However, Rachel has one point of contention regarding her apprenticeship triumph – her old school has given her the cold shoulder.
The six-figure earner says her former private girls’ school have never acknowledged her work.
She explained they have never reached out to invite her back to chat with students and parents about the success of apprenticeships.
Rachel added: “Anyone who did go on to tertiary studies and even had a minor award or achievement, they do like to push that in their newsletters and get them back to speak to kids at career days.”
One expert said parents may believe university automatically boosts their child’s chances of prosperity, but “nothing could be further from the truth.”
National Skills Week chair and SkillsOne CEO Brian Wexham called for an attitude change towards apprenticeships.
He said: “It never ceases to amaze me that when you are actually able to talk to parents one-on-one and you explain to them the options and then you produce someone who, say, started his own business after doing VET education and he’s happy and he’s doing really well, and they look almost amazed.”