A passionate lifelong learner!
Trish Dolan has tried her hand at many things and held diverse roles in various industries. Through high school, her gap year and also university, Trish worked in fashion, hospitality, retail and community service to name a few.
Long before the research took place that revealed our current students will hold 17 different jobs across 5 industries, Trish was almost there!
“I was always interested in people. Though I didn’t realise it at the time, with each new role, I was acquiring skills which would prove invaluable in my specialist career,” says Trish.
It truly makes sense that this highly experienced role model is also the school’s Career’s Counsellor, a role that she was appointed to in 2013.
Trish holds a Bachelor of Behavioural Science, a Graduate Diploma in Education and a Post Graduate Diploma in Vocational Counselling, although she didn’t set out to work in a school.
“During the final year of my undergraduate study in Psychology, I completed a thesis. I had to undertake a large part of the research in schools and I fell in love with the energy and enthusiasm of the students and the dedication of the teachers. Although I had been considering doing further studies in organisational psychology, I revised my plans!” she says laughing.
Trish has worked as a Careers Counsellor both nationally and internationally. The primary aim of her role is to provide a range of learning experiences to help our girls make choices about their lives and to make transitions to these choices.
Career counsellors have a fundamental role to play in the shaping of students’ lives. At CGGS careers is not just about ‘what course will I get into?’ Careers education is embedded in every facet of the school program. The aim is to ensure that every student has the confidence, and competence, to develop their own career management skills. These are skills for life and a necessary prerequisite for building a career in the future.
Since joining CGGS Trish has overhauled the school’s Careers Program. Working predominantly with Years 9-12 students, she has developed a whole-school approach to career planning.
“Career development activities can no longer be piecemeal and disconnected at each year level. They need to form a process so students and parents can see the connections between what we do at Year 9 to what we do at Year 10 and so on, until at Year 12, students can be confident that they have the skills and knowledge for life long career self-management,” says Trish.
From the development of a CGGS careers website, a weekly careers newsletter, mentoring breakfast and lunches, an online careers library, careers information sessions, guest speakers, resume writing and LinkedIn workshops – the program that Trish has developed forms part of the rich, personalised and future-focused education on offer at CGGS.
A highlight is the annual event titled #myfuture, a modern twist on the traditional careers expo. “#myfuture was a deliberate choice to encourage our students to take ownership of their career path, after all the choices they make now are shaping their future,” says Trish.
A day in the life of Trish is never ever the same. She supports our girls however they need it, with the highlight being observing them mature and develop into confident young women.
“I have the privilege of seeing them return for one year and five year reunions. It is terrific to hear them talk about their university experiences, post graduate studies, work opportunities and where they are going in the world. I remember them as Year 9 students trying to put together a decent resume, as Year 10 students caught up in the throes of VCE subject selection and as Year 12 students agonising over VTAC course choices. The cycle is wonderful,” she says.
With the world at their feet and the confidence to chase their dreams, the most important thing Trish believes our girls need to take away from their time at CGGS is a love of learning.
“As the world is changing, students will need to keep abreast of whatever is current in their sphere of life and work. Lifelong learning is almost a compulsory requirement now. If they can absolutely love learning in whatever shape or form, I can’t think of anything more important,” says Trish.