Felicity Oriander proves dreams can become reality after securing a role as a tour guide

Felicity Oriander spends her days helping others discover the magic of Melbourne.

Felicity Oriander spends her days helping others discover the magic of Melbourne.

Why spend years stuck in classrooms and libraries reading notes when all you want to do is be out in the big wide world living your dream? For Felicity Oriander, the choice was simple – enrol in a short tourism course, learn as much as possible and then get out there to start making things happen. These days she's working as a professional tour guide and putting her study to good use each and every day.

The young graduate was attracted to William Angliss Institute's range of short courses due to her self-described "restlessness" and desire to continue travelling as soon as possible. After ruling out the Institute's collection of longer courses she settled on the Certificate IV in Tourism, which is just one of learning institution's wide range of short courses. Felicity's interests lay firmly in interacting with people and working in varied environments as opposed to focusing on the corporate side of the business, so the certificate's focus on developing core competencies and building supervisory skills were a perfect fit. With regular site visits included in the academic program, along with industry networking to help graduates become job-ready as soon as possible, Felicity found the course to be right up her alley.

During the course of her study, Felicity fell in love with her tour guiding class, saying teacher Penny Irons was "fantastic". This class was a highlight as it was directly focused on Felicity's ideal field, with plenty of field trips to give students a real insight into what it would be like leading these types of excursions. This real world experience was balanced perfectly with classroom theory lessons, giving a well-rounded overview of the industry.

Felicity is now a member of the Professional Tour Guide Association of Australia and works for different companies, including 'I'm Free Tours Melbourne' and Chocoholic Tours. As the cruise ship season gets back underway she's looking forward to working with Shorex companies to show passengers the sights of Melbourne and its surrounds. She points to her tour guiding class as instrumental for her current role, saying it not only gave her an idea of what to expect in the industry, but also prepared her with the theoretical and practical knowledge to tackle the job head-on. With strong people skills at the forefront of the job requirements, Felicity says she is constantly learning things about people and society and it's essential to be able to handle unexpected situations on your feet. 

In the future, Felicity wants to take her guiding skills to the next level and explore the historic buildings of Edinburgh. Determined to stretch her skills and grow in her tour guiding experience, Felicity has some choice words of advice for others dreaming of following in her footsteps: "Immerse yourself in the industry – really be with it and learn as much as you can." Passion, education and a solid skill set are all valued in this industry, along with a burning curiosity for what's around the next corner.