Class of 2015 Alumna Courtney Siesmaa knew her passion from a very young age. Her love of fashion and the visual arts lead her to pursue these subjects at school, to be accepted into an Associate Degree in Fashion Design at RMIT and more recently to secure her first job, where she is being trained as a Visual Merchandiser for JD Sports.
It’s hard to summarise my journey from Mater Christi student to malaria research scientist in a few paragraphs.
There were so many alternative paths I could have taken. My academic and professional career path has not been a straight line, but it led me to where I am today - living overseas and working in an area of science that I find meaningful and engaging.
I graduated from Mater Christi in December 2005 with a clear and focused plan.
I left Australia in January 2006 to explore, travel and live in Germany. I couldn’t speak a sentence in German at the time. But with a strong will and determined attitude I became fluent after several months and found a job.
I was sitting at my laptop in class when the email arrived. “…I am writing to invite you to share your story as a member of the Class of 1996…” and the first thought that crossed my mind was, “What could I possibly share? I haven’t achieved anything great!”
I then looked up from my laptop and gazed at the young women before me, who were part of my Year 12 Psychology class.
I graduated Mater Christi in 2005 with fierce focus and a serious plan. I was accepted in the Victorian College of the Arts to study Sculpture and Spatial practice.
I’ve done a lot since then. I completed art school, studied abroad, exhibited my work, travelled all over the world, bought a house and got married.
Ten years ago I completed my VCE at Mater Christi and today (3 November 2015) I finished my last day of medical school. I have achieved my dream.
It took time.
It took hard work, resilience and a growth mindset.
When I left Mater Christi in 2005 I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I liked science so I decided to do a science degree. As it turned out, I hated it. I stopped going to uni because I didn’t enjoy any of my classes. To cut a long story short, I failed horribly and decided to take a semester off.
I graduated from Mater Christi in 1990 with no clear idea what to do next. I studied economics at La Trobe, however it wasn’t for me. Yet study interested me enough to try something else; marketing. I really thrived in this field which resulted in a diverse career with a global hotel chain, Nike and Jim Beam Brands Australia.
I have always thought I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. The beauty of getting older is that you become wiser and have far more opportunities than ever before.
After graduating from Mater Christi in 1995, I decided to work for 12 months before moving to the Gold Coast where I completed 18 months of a Bachelor of Health Science course.
During my VCE years at Mater Christi, I had my heart set on becoming a Police Officer. My sense of adventure and wanting to go into a career which genuinely helped people was what made me want to go into Law Enforcement.
Whilst I got a placement to study Accounting at Swinburne University, I had still applied for and unfortunately failed my first attempt at getting in with Victoria Police.