IT WASN'T too long ago that Leeton's Courtney Langenbacher was toiling away in the hospitality industry, now she's an award-winning trainee in a completely different industry.
Last year Miss Langenbacher undertook a career change and left her role in the hospitality sector to complete a Certificate IV in Business Administration traineeship and was hosted by Tocal College, NSW Department of Primary Industries.
She is based at the Yanco DPI where she is now the skills training officer.
It has been through her hard work and dedication that Miss Langenbacher was recently named the trainee of the year at the 2022 TAFE Excellence Awards, which were held in Wollongong.
"My teacher let me know she was going to nominate me ... I was so surprised to win," she said.
"I had been working in hospitality for the past seven years. I'm originally from Echuca. My partner got a job in Leeton, so we moved up here. When we moved here I decided I didn't want to be in the hospitality industry anymore.
"I thought I would try something else, so when the traineeship came up, it was the perfect opportunity.
"I think people sometimes thing traineeships are for those who have just finished school, but you really can complete them at any time. The course through TAFE was fantastic and all of my teachers were so helpful."
As part of her role as the skills training officer at Yanco, Miss Langenbacher helps organise courses the institute runs, tracks enrolments, sends out the monthly newsletter and attends to inquiries.
The award itself was an honour for Miss Langenbacher, particularly as it was her first experience completing a course through TAFE.
"I wasn't told I had won when I arrived at the ceremony, but when I got there everyone was talking to me like I had, so I knew something was going on," she said.
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"I was a bit confused, but it was really exciting to win.
"By winning, it showed me that I can achieve something else in life.
"I kind of got stuck in hospitality and I was comfortable there, so I never really branched out into anything else.
"It really proved to me that if I do put my mind to something, that I can achieve great things I suppose.
"It's never too late to make a change in your career if that's what you're wanting to do."
Her fellow colleagues have described her as hard-working, diligent and her position shows her natural communication and interpersonal skills.
Miss Langenbacher is keen to stay on in the role as she continues to grow and develop along the way.
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