It’s not easy knowing what direction you should take in life. Stack on top starting a family and keeping your hobbies alive, and it can start to feel a little overwhelming.
Leah Armand – former athlete, mum of two, FIFO wife and professional – spoke to PerthNow about her life juggling a young family and burgeoning career, and how she’s done it all at the age of 31.
“The past four years have been… busy, to say the least!” Leah said.
“If you have a dream and a goal in life, if you want to set an example for your children, if you want to change careers and do something that will make you excited to go to work every day, do it, and be committed.
“You can achieve it, and you will be proud.”
Leah graduates at the end of this year with a Bachelor of Counter Terrorism and Security Intelligence which she started at ECU after completing a University Preparation Course there.
It was important to Leah that she choose a pathway that was enjoyable, flexible and diverse, so she didn’t find herself hopping from one career to another whilst raising her two girls, aged five and 10-months.
Her advice: research the degrees from all the local universities and find one that resonates with, and excites, you. For Leah, the fact that ECU courses are developed in consultation with industry, to ensure graduates have relevant skills and knowledge, was a major drawcard.
Leah’s chosen course didn’t have a singular career outcome, she could head in many directions; from security, intelligence, risk and cyber, to government, legislation, and policy.
After the completion of her first year, Leah undertook an internship at Perth Airport within the Security function – a valuable experience in many ways.
“I learnt so much, I gained experience within the fields I wanted to work, and I made amazing connections whom I am still in contact with now,” she said.
Within her major, it is also a requirement to undertake an integrated learning work placement. She gained contracted employment with the Western Australia Police Force as a Security and Risk Support Officer, leaving to have her second baby.
“My greatest challenge during my degree was juggling being a full-time student, a full-time mother, a FIFO wife, running the household and working part-time,” she said.
“Time management is essential and prioritising the most important tasks is also critical. These skills, although soft skills, will prepare you for your career.”
Prior to hitting the books, Leah played gridiron for Western Australia and Australia as quarterback and co-captain of the Western Australia Angels, a tale-telling sign of her inherent determination.
Among her achievements have been maintaining a distinction average and obtaining permanent employment in her dream job prior to completing her degree. Her most precious achievement, however, is being her daughters’ hero.
“My determination to achieve high results definitely came from wanting to make my children proud of their mumma,” she said.
ECU has been rated the top public university in Australia for Undergraduate teaching quality. ECU offer a range of courses to get you ready for the world. Visit the website for more information.
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