Article by Wei-Li Wong
12 MCIE students undertaking the Certificate I in Work Education program in Heidelberg recently went on a vocational taster to the National Tiles Mitcham store on Friday the 1st of August. National Tiles was established in 1979 by founder Frank Walker and has rapidly become a market leader in the tile, stone and laminate timber flooring industries.
On our way there, we had a rousing discussion on the catchy radio advertisement for National Tiles and we soon found out why Frank Walker used a nasally voice to introduce and promote his products … because it works and people remember the distinct advertisement!
We were welcomed warmly by the Assistant Store Manager Meagan McLaren and brought upstairs to a special viewing area where a welcome breakfast was laid out for us that was specially prepared by Julia, a National Tiles staff member. We were then welcomed by the State Retail Manager Steve Ansell. Steve led us on a tour of the premises including the warehouse and the beautifully laid out retail store area. We observed the functions of the warehouse and met with team members who explained their job role as well as how they managed to gain employment with National Tiles. The question and answer session was robust as the students asked numerous questions, hoping to gain further insight into the job functions, roles and responsibilities. One of the students, Vincenzo, was even given the opportunity to try his hand at using the tile cutter. This machine is used to cut tiles into smaller sizes that can then be given out to clients as samples.
When we completed the tour, we were once again brought upstairs where we had an interesting discussion on how to stand out in the job application process. We were also given practical tips on how to navigate the job market better. Store Manager Mim Hamidy also popped by to say hello and shared his own personal and work experiences. It was clear that the team at National Tiles was a closely knit one and they do an extraordinary job to ensure that all stakeholders (including us – who form part of their community) are genuinely taken care of.
The Career Day is part of the curriculum for the Certificate I in Work Education. Vocational Tasters/Career Days helps students understand the different types of organisations out there and what type of volunteer/ work opportunities are available in the job market. The whole experience became more than just an out-of-class-for-a-day excursion. It was a very rewarding time as we had frank and honest conversations with all of the staff members and we left feeling like we had been welcomed as part of the National Tiles family.