As a 19-year-old high school graduate, Connor Noonan had no idea what career path to explore.
“Apart from not wanting a desk job, I had no real idea about what I wanted to do. I was just applying for any job that would take me, and figured something would come up,” Connor says.
At an interview, Connor was told about the Citi New Recruits Program. Having never been employed before, he saw the program as a valuable experience that would look good on his resume and open up job opportunities, so he signed up.
“I found the program incredibly helpful,” Connor says, “it taught me a range of important skills and gave me more confidence when going in for a job – it was really worth my time.”
One year on, the 20 year-old Berwick resident is thriving as a parks and gardens apprentice at Haileybury College in Keysborough.
And just last week he was announced as one of four scholarship winners on 11 July who will travel to Sydney for a cultural and career development experience for a week.
“I was very surprised but also excited because it’ll give me a good opportunity to expand my knowledge on what I’m currently learning at TAFE and work,” says Connor.
“It’ll be a good opportunity for me to branch out from what I normally do day-to-day. I think it’ll be really beneficial to help out with my apprenticeship.”
The Citi Foundation scholarships are awarded to young people who have completed a three-week Citi New Recruits job-readiness program and have since excelled in their traineeship.
Connor plans to finish his Certificate III in Parks and Gardens at Holmesglen TAFE in Glen Waverley, then upskill further so he can become a qualified gardener and landscaper.
While Connor says “gardening was the furthest thing from my mind when I graduated”, over the past year he says he has grown to love it.
“I find it therapeutic in a way. I like to work with my hands and love working outside in the sun, rather than stressing out behind a desk.”