Business Administration student gains employment with local council

Posted by Ashley Calabria on 9 March 2017

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A former Navitas English student has been successful in gaining a job with the local council following her work placement. Read her full story below.

Prior to moving to Australia, Anastasia ran a successful events business in Russia; despite this success, she wanted to increase her opportunities and challenge herself. She applied for her Australian visa and when she was granted approval, made the move to Sydney where her husband was already living.

When she first moved to Australia, Anastasia had a low level of English. She wanted to improve her English quickly to help her settle into her new country. She found out about Navitas English through a friend and after discovering there was a college in her local area of Burwood she visited them to see how she could enrol. She was granted 510 hours of free* English lessons as part of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).

Anastasia started studying at Navitas English full-time after her arrival in Australia, and worked in the hospitality industry in the evenings. Working in Newtown, Anastasia struggled with coming home at night and not sleeping properly due to the late hours. After crying to her husband one evening, it was decided she would stop the hospitality work. The next day, she spoke to her boss who offered her a role in administration at a construction company a few days a week. Anastasia accepted the role, and soon after, they asked whether she would be interested in a permanent position. The decision was not easy, however Anastasia’s heart wasn’t in it and she decided to turn the role down, “I didn’t see my future there, I wanted to move forward.”

Anastasia decided to focus on her English studies and took up volunteering at the Burwood Welfare Community Centre to develop her skills. Once she completed the AMEP, she enrolled into the Business Administration course (part of the Settlement Language Pathways to Employment and Training/SLPET program). One of the first assignments was to source a job advertisement at a company they would be interested in conducting work placement at. Anastasia found a role at a local council and was determined to conduct her placement there.

She gave the advertisement to her Advisor; however without any contacts she was told it would be unlikely she would gain work placement there. Soon forgetting about the advertisement, Anastasia focused on her studies and absorbing all the information she could. When the term ended, Anastasia’s Advisor told her she had received confirmation to conduct work placement at the council.  Anastasia was thrilled; she couldn’t believe her Advisor had managed to secure her the role. She knew she had to make the most of the opportunity and showcase her skills, “this is a short time, you only have one opportunity to go and impress and that’s it. If you go and waste your time you can forget it.”

During the second week, Anastasia fell sick with the flu; however she was determined to continue her placement as she only had two weeks to make an impression and she did not want to appear that she was disinterested in the role. “I was so sick; I had a fever, sore throat. But I said okay, until 1 I have to stay. Then I would go home to bed and take plenty of medicine so I would be a little bit okay for the next day.”

After two weeks, Anastasia’s Manager asked whether she would be interested in staying on with them as she had another project which she would need assistance with, however it was pending budget approval but if Anastasia agreed to assist, she would pursue it. Anastasia had enjoyed the placement and wanted to continue working there so without hesitation said yes to the offer.

Anastasia finished her placement and then continued volunteering at the Burwood Welfare Community Centre. Three weeks later she received a call to confirm the position and was asked to commence the following Monday, she was put on a three-month contract; however one year later she is still there.

“It is a great place to work, I’m learning, learning. I love it. I want to learn more, know more,” she said.

Anastasia believes without the support of Navitas English, and the teachers and staff, she would not be in the role.

“Without Navitas, I’d never get there. Before you interview you have to send a resume and application. It is really hard. Without Navitas I’d never have this job,” she said.

Anastasia’s advice to other Navitas English students: “keep faith, be strong and never stop believing in your dreams.”

Anastasia would like to thank teachers and staff from Burwood College and the Employment Pathways Unit for the support they provided to her throughout her time studying at Navitas English. 


*Eligibility criteria apply. The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. 

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