Kristie can stand the heat in the kitchen and the office
HOPING to mix her business degree with her love of cooking, Kristie Thiedecke wanted to make sure she'd tried all of her options before picking her career.
Graduating from Glenmore State High School last year, the 17-year-old was awarded the 2013 Australian Vocational Student Prize for undertaking vocational education and training during school.
She also received a personally signed Prime Minister's Award for skills excellence in school from PM Tony Abbott.
Kristie said she was thrilled with the award and to be recognised for her hard work.
"I didn't really know what I wanted to do after I finished school and it's hard to know when you're that age as well," she said.
"But the careers office at school really helped me out and showed me all the courses I could try, so I thought why not, and tried as many as I could."
Kristie said she tried business courses at Tafe as well as hospitality, and hoped to combine the two one day.
"I love cooking and doing arts and craft type things, but it would be wonderful to work in a fancy restaurant in Melbourne or something," she said.
Now studying a Bachelor of Business majoring in HR and Marketing, Kristie said the skills she learnt during school were invaluable.
"It definitely helped me with getting ready for university; it is a bit of challenge, but it's a good challenge that I'm enjoying," she said.
When asked how she finds being a teen and the pressures of fashion, Kristie said she was lucky to have a supportive group of friends.
"I did feel the pressure of dressing a certain way, but I dress how I want to, which is conservative and comfortable," she said.
"But it's a shame seeing younger girls wear revealing clothing while they're still young."
Kristie was also asked to give an inspirational speech to students at her former school in the coming weeks, to show students the skills they can gain if they're unsure of their options.