Graduate Testimonials

At Patrick’s College, we are very proud of our thousands of graduates. We hope you enjoy reading their inspiring stories below and we are currently working on acquiring more stories from graduates of 1923 to Present.

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Tenielle Symington, 1999 Graduate

“I chose Patrick’s College as I had a number of friends who had previously attended and confirmed how great the college was.” 

“Our teachers were extremely approachable, encouraging and really pushed us to achieve our best.  You never felt like you were stuck in high school as you were treated like a mature adult. It really was a fabulous year and set us all up for a very bright future.”

“My Patrick’s education was the foundation of my career.  I was fortunate enough to secure the first job out of college with Baker McKenzie Law Firm who were offering four positions to Patrick’s College students.  I started as a Litigation Secretary, I then moved into HR in an administrative role which eventually led to me working for the Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer.  From that first role, I have moved into a more senior role with every career move and I am currently supporting the CEO of Revesby Worker’s Club.”

“I have not moved around in my career too much since leaving College, I do like to show loyalty and dedication to my employer and generally only change roles when I feel like I need a new challenge and looking for career growth and the next step in my career.”

  I have held four positions since leaving College which include:

  • Baker McKenzie (8+ years employed)
    • Litigation Secretary
    • HR Administration
    • PA to Managing Partner;
  • TAL (6 + year employed)
    • Executive Assistant to Head of Corporate Governance
    • Corporate Communications Program Administrator
  • Department of Education and Training (4+ years employed)
    • School Admin Officer (returning from maternity leave)
    • Personal Assistant to School Principal
    • Executive Assistant to Director
  • Revesby Workers’ Club Ltd (6 months employed)
    • Executive Assistant to CEO

“In this time, I have had 3 beautiful children (aged 8, 6 and 3) and I am now a full-time working mum who is proudly juggling my work commitments in supporting a CEO and the ongoing demands of being a mother to three children.”

“When asked if I went to university my response has always been “I didn’t want to study for a further 4-5 years after school and I knew that College would give me the skills I needed to join the workforce”.  By the time I finished my 12 month Course at the College, I was earning more than friends who were leaving university after 4 years of study!”

“If you are highly driven, push yourself to succeed and always look for ways to climb the corporate ladder, College is the best platform to develop the foundations that you need to start your career.  21 years on from College, I am still grateful that I chose to attend Patrick’s because I am proud of what I do, I am proud of what I have achieved and this all started at Patrick’s College.”

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Louise White, 1995 Graduate

“I consider my studies at Patrick’s to be highly valuable. I chose Patrick’s as it provided solid and necessary skills along with preparing us for the workforce (especially at such a young age!). I enjoyed the routine and pace of the learning, and the friendships I made.”

“After Patrick’s, my career started out as Receptionist and Personal Assistant to a Head Underwriter for a boutique underwriting company. This company had reached out to the College looking for staff.  After 3 years I got itchy feet to try something different, so I quit my job and took up full time contracting work to experience many different environments and widen my skill set.  Having to interview with recruiters, be available on short notice and open to all opportunities, I thoroughly enjoyed this experience, and was fortunate to work every day on both short-term and long-term contracts."

“I was then approached by one of my consultants to work in- house alongside her as she believed my willingness, customer service and can-do attitude would be a massive benefit to her team, and there began my next 15+ years in recruitment.” 

“I travelled to London on my working holiday visa and continued working in recruitment before returning to Australia in 2005 to build on my career and become Manager of a team of recruiters for a large international recruitment company. After 10 years, I moved to Singapore as a trailing spouse and now full-time mother.”

“I would highly recommend Patrick’s. Many friends have daughters wondering what to do after school, not ready for university or gap year so this is a good starting point to what can be the best decision in 10 years’ time!’’

Monique Hales
Monique Hales, 1991 Graduate

“I chose to go to Patrick’s because it had a fantastic reputation and guaranteed you a good job once you had obtained the skills. I went with my school friends and made new friends while I was there.  The girls in my class came from all over Sydney and from the Country as well.

“I was offered a job at White City Stadium with NSW Tennis as the Receptionist in Paddington.  I look back now and it was the most amazing job!”

“I have travelled the world and worked in London UK as a Secretary.”

“I went onto other amazing jobs over the years including roles in administration, stockbroking, computer companies, property and I am currently in Real Estate studying for my licence.”

“I now live in the Sutherland Shire and I am a mother to three teenagers.”

“I would highly recommend Patrick’s to a family member or friend to gain the skills I obtained as they have helped me achieve so many amazing things not only in the workforce but in life.

Jenny Russell, 1990 Graduate

“Initially out of college I worked in the Fashion Industry and then after a few years moved across to the Soft Furnishings Industry.  I took an opportunity to change from a Secretarial Role to a Product Coordinator, which involved shipping designer brand fabrics from the UK to our Interior Designer customer base throughout Australia.” 

“After 5 years my position moved to Melbourne, so I was offered another position of Sales Representative for NSW.  This involved travelling around NSW selling our product range to our customer base.”

“Also, at this time my husband and I started a Plumbing Business and to this day I continue to do the bookwork for this business. We employ 6 people most of the time – the business is currently in a growth period. We have been established for 20 years.”

“I am also currently working on a casual basis for a decorative lighting & furniture wholesaler in Client Service and Design.”

“In the 30 years since I graduated from Patrick’s College, I have continued to use the skills and career guidance I obtained on a daily basis, both as an Employee of business’ and in establishing and running our family business with by husband.”

"Whether going straight into the workforce or onto other study – or both – I believe the practical skills that Patrick’s College offer will enable their graduating students to be valued in whichever career they choose."

“My husband and I have 3 Children, Georgia our eldest Daughter is now attending Patrick’s College.” 

Belinda Selby, 1990 Graduate

“I chose to study at Patrick’s as I was still undecided at the end of year 12 with what I wanted to do so decided to complete the course, gain some new skills and see what opportunities arose from that. At Patrick’s I enjoyed everything – all I learnt was so useful and put into place once I was out in the workforce.  I made many lifelong friends.”

“Patricks definitely helped me find a job.  I secured 3 jobs on completion of the course, one at a large law firm, one with the government and the other with a large building and construction company.  I chose the legal job, which 30 years later, I am still enjoying!”

“Since I left Patricks I have progressed greatly within my career, I have travelled the world and even had opportunities to work overseas within my international law firm with which I am employed.”  

“I would highly recommend Patricks – it has a great name with employers and companies.”

…….. Belinda’s own daughter is now a Patrick’s student in the Class of 2021 !

Belinda receiving her Testamur from Cardinal Edward Bede Clancy, then Archbishop of Sydney

Nicole Craig-1
Nicole Craig, 1990 Graduate

“I knew I did not want to go to University and that I would end up doing office work and the College had a very good reputation.”

“I really liked the lessons. From memory, back then the focus was primarily shorthand and typing majority of the day with a small component of bookkeeping and personal development. I thought the College was a great stepping-stone from high school into the workforce and it set me up for the opportunities that followed.”

“Deborah Stonley from Minter Ellison came to speak to the students about the Junior Secretarial Program she was recruiting for which was being offered at Minter Ellison. I remember thinking to myself at the time I want one of the positions! After that day I really tried hard to get my speeds up for shorthand and typing and lucky for me when the time came to interview for Minters, I was successful and got one of the positions (alongside Belinda Selby!). I think about 10 of us girls from Patrick’s secured roles in the Junior Secretarial Program at Minter Ellison that year.”

“My understanding is that at the time Minters just recruited for the Program through the College. If it were not for the College, that opportunity would not have arisen for me.”

“My first job out of College (which I got through the College) was at Minter Ellison in their Junior Secretarial Program. I stayed at Minters for approximately 61/2 years. From there I went to London and spent 11/2 years living, travelling, and working abroad. In London I did temp and contract work for law firms including Norton Rose and Clifford Chance in between my travels.

“When I came back to Australia, I knew Deborah Stonley had moved law firms and was then the Head of HR at Henry Davis York, so I reached out to her and ended up working there for 191/2 years and eventually worked for their Managing Partner. I stayed with HDY through to their merger with Norton Rose Fulbright before I decided it was time for a change. In 2018 I moved to NAB to work for the EGM of Client Coverage in Corporate & Institutional Banking.

“Patrick’s brought me a great opportunity when I was a fresh faced 19yr old and it set me up for success and paved the way for where I am today.”

Lori Hession-1
Lori Hession, 1990 Graduate

“To be honest – I could not bear to stay at school for Years 11 & 12. My parents, of course, would not let me leave unless I was enrolled in an apprenticeship or something similar.    It was my mother’s concern when speaking to a friend that Patrick’s College came up – the rest is history!”

“I was genuinely interested in going! That in itself is huge when I was never interested in high school.   I also made two of the most beautiful lifelong friends that year.”

“Patrick’s certainly did help me find a job!! 30 years on and I am still in the same job – which I love!.”

“I have been Married for 25 years and have two beautiful children. I have also enjoyed many travels with the family and through work.”  

“I was so pleased to be able to send my daughter Emma Hession (2017) to Patrick’s.  As my parents still say to this day – Enrolling me in Patrick’s was the best decision they feel they ever made.  Now my husband and I say it is one of the best decisions we ever made for Emma!.”

Tracey Harmston, 1989 Graduate

Wanting to enter the workforce in a secretarial role after completing the HSC, I looked into secretarial courses and Patrick’s was offering further education that would be beneficial for me before entering the workforce.”

“I liked the structure of the course, shorthand in the morning and typing (on an electric typewriter) in the afternoon.  The guidance by teachers in both areas to help motivate you to secure employment.  Not to mention the experience of navigating public transport to the City every day.  The College was located at St Patrick’s on the Hill between Wynyard and Circular Quay.”

“Graduating in November 1989 I immediately entered full time employment with a legal firm as a Junior Secretary in the City, quickly and happily moving up to work for the Senior Partner who was head of the Property division.   I was employed for 11 years ending my time there to start our family.”

“I have two grown daughters the eldest is in her final year studying at UTS a Bachelor of Business and my youngest is attending Patrick’s.”

“We have been fortunate to have travelled to some wonderful destinations as a family both in Australia and overseas due to my husband’s work.  I have continued to work in administration part time while the girls were at school and for the last 10 years have more than loved my administration position at a primary school,  St Patrick’s.”

“As I attended and now my daughter is attending Patrick’s I would have no hesitation in recommending Patrick’s to anyone seeking employment in administration.  The skills received will see you employed in this chosen field for as long as you wish to be employed.  That has always been my belief.”

Carolyn Cercone, 1982 Graduate

“I chose St Patrick’s Business College, now known as Patrick’s College, because of its reputation of excellence and the excitement of venturing into the city.” 

“My time at Patrick’s was an immense period of personal growth.  I commenced the year as a shy 16-year-old girl and ended the year with a belief in my abilities and a confidence which did not exist before I started. I have made lifelong friendships with students from the College.”

“I was valued, nurtured, and encouraged by my teachers which allowed me to reach my full potential, not only academically but personally as well.  I obtained an award for the highest shorthand speed at the College and received the award for the personal development assignment, being selected from over 200 students.”

“I was lucky enough to be the only candidate chosen that year to present to Boyd House & Partners, a law firm in the city.  The partners of the firm had a longstanding relationship with the College and trusted their judgment in selecting students for the firm. I commenced with Boyd House & Partners in 1982 as a Junior Secretary and am still employed with the firm to this day.  I have progressed to Personal Assistant/Paralegal to the Principal of the firm.  I have been very lucky to be able to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge in my nearly 40 years with the firm.  I have been given the freedom to take on responsibilities of legal work outside the scope of my role with the encouragement of my employer.”

I really can’t stress enough the value of being a Patrick’s College graduate.  The respect I was shown, and am still shown to this day, because I attended the College is something I did not expect.  It still comes up in conversation that I was a “St Pat’s girl” when I am introduced to other members of the legal profession.”

“I can still pick a “St Pat’s girl” to this day!  The attention to detail, work ethic and presentation are second to none.”

“I had two short breaks during my employment to start a family and returned to employment with Boyd House & Partners.  I have been lucky enough to enjoy leisure travel to many parts of the world, including the USA, the Pacific Islands, and the Bahamas.”

“My further education since leaving College has very much been my “on the job” training.  This experience has been invaluable and has allowed me to advance in the firm, particularly running the firm’s conveyancing practice.”

“I have recommended the College to many people over the years.  Whenever we needed new junior staff, we always looked to the College and were never disappointed.”