Student Profile – Bree

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Name: Bree Levine
College: International Career Institute (ICI)
Advanced Diploma Level in Jewellery Design (2011)

Hello, my name is Bree Levine. I am 33 and a work-from-home mum. I never thought I would be able to live my dream of designing and making jewelleries if not for ICI s online education programme.

I graduated with a business degree, did a 9 to 5 job in an office, got married when I was in my mid-twenties, and spent the following years happily taking care of my husband and our two kids. When my kids got older though, I wanted to go back to work but didn t want to rejoin the corporate rat race.

One web search led me to the ICI website. Their jewellery design course in particular, sparked my interest because I used to create beaded jewelleries and gave them to my friends and relatives as gifts. Remembering how they liked my creations , I thought about myself becoming a real jewellery designer.

Anyway, I didn t really give it a serious thought until I received ICI s reply about the course. ICI s David even called me to explain further. After some hesitation, I decided to give it a try and enrolled first in a certificate course.

I was amazed at how I was able to finish the course in just four months while still juggling with my roles as mother and wife. Perhaps, it was my innate passion for designing accessories or the course s exciting tutorials on actual jewellery making.

But it wasn t all smooth sailing. Online education by its very nature requires a lot of self-discipline, and many times I had to rework the pieces to get them done right. I got in touch with my instructor at times when I was struggling (or so I thought!). My kids distract me sometimes too, so I used a spare room at home solely for my craft. Our family had a rule that I couldn t be disturbed once I enter my studio.

I really appreciate that the course includes sections on safety as I have kids at home. It also helped greatly with the business aspect, and I was able to utilise my business management background. After finishing the certificate course, I enrolled in the advanced diploma level as I still wanted to learn more before I started my own line.

Currently, I still have my own home studio and sell my works mostly online. I join tradeshows and craft shows too when my schedule permits (yes, whenever mum can go out for a longer period!).

I am really happy that I found a way to steer my career in a new and exciting direction without sacrificing my time for my family. Perhaps after a couple of years more, I ll be able to find more time for my craft because I intend to make it big, just like you.

Frank Bolger

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