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Rebecca Lord (Australia) Print E-mail

Information Technology
– Software Applications

38th WorldSkills Competition
Helsinki, Finland, 2005

If you were studying business administration, would you have said ‘no’ to a chance at representing your country at an international competition, especially since the event offered was information technology? This was the question that plagued Rebecca a few years ago. Today, she recounts those life-changing moments that brought her to a new focus for a career in IT, and a fresh determination to help youths heading for future WorldSkills Competitions.

From business to IT – it must have been quite a leap of faith for you going for the competition!

I always thought that I would follow a career in business, as that was my first interest and what I studied at Technical and Further Education (TAFE) New South Wales, Australia. I mean, what’s the likelihood of a Maitland TAFE business administration student surviving against the best of the world in a software application competition?

Back then, I decided to just take a risk and give the Australian regional competition a shot. You can imagine my amazement when I qualified for the National Skills Competition and then won a Gold to represent Australia on the world stage in Helsinki. I was also invited to take part in New Zealand's SkillEx National Competition 2004. Those must have been some of the most exciting moments of my life. The chance to be an ambassador of Australia was an honour I would not forget.

With that performance, did you have any regrets about taking on the WorldSkills challenge in Helsinki?

Never! Of course, it was a tough challenge, but I see it as taking on the world’s best and putting myself to the test. More importantly, I've represented my country and walked away 7th in the world - not many 21 year olds can say they've done that!

I still think back to when I was asked to compete and just can't imagine how my life would have been if I had said no. The WorldSkills Competition has totally opened a whole new world to me. In fact, it has totally changed my career path. I finally have some direction as to where I want my career to be going.

Since the Competition, I've enrolled in a digital media course at Hornsby TAFE and I'm now experiencing a whole new side of IT. I'm hoping to get into web design later this year and then, who knows, maybe start my own business!

Share with us some of the more memorable values that you have taken home from the WorldSkills Competition.

Being part of the WorldSkills Competition has really changed my life, as it has given me a lot more confidence in myself and increased my belief in the ability to achieve the things I want to. The Competition had taught me much more about myself.

To all the youths out there, who are thinking of joining WorldSkills but are still hesitant, my advice is to go for it, You would definitely benefit from it, as I have.

In fact, I’m back at it myself! I was a judge for the Software Applications event at the 2005 WorldSkills Regional Competitions in Hunter and Sydney, Australia. I am also involved in project designing for the 2006 WorldSkills Australia National Competition. On the world platform, I will be representing Australia again come May 2006, this time at the WorldSkills Youth Forum. Hopefully, we would be able to get more former WorldSkills participants to join the Forum, share their experiences and contribute towards making the competition more memorable for future participants.