Before Natalie Reid, entrepreneur and founder of Sweet Dreams Cake Artistry, came to Torrens University Australia to work as a Success Coach, she had already walked the university’s halls as a student.
Natalie’s journey with Torrens University began back in 2015 as a scholarship student studying an Advanced Diploma Hospitality Management. Just out of high school, Natalie had been exploring her culinary career as trainee chef and enrolled at Torrens University, while she was working hard to transform her cake decorating hobby into a profitable business venture.
After completing her hospitality management course, she decided to further her business skills to help her get her business started and enrolled into the Bachelor of Business (Marketing).
Through her hard work she was awarded scholarships for both her courses, and she was a dedicated member of the school community through the SRC and as an ambassador.
Natalie Reid's experience studying at Torrens University
“Completing my culinary course, followed by a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), has greatly contributed to my business’ success today.
My time spent at Torrens University equipped me with the foundational knowledge to transform a cake decorating hobby into a full-fledged business, which continues to thrive today and services birthdays, weddings, corporate events and numerous other recreational celebrations.
Joining the Torrens community and studying at William Blue College of Hospitality Management enabled me to surround myself with like-minded individuals and learn in an environment that prioritised creativity within the culinary space,” Natalie explained.
After doing an incredible job turning Sweet Dreams Cake Artistry from an idea into a successful small business, Natalie decided it was time to go back to study.
In 2019, for the third time Natalie was back at Torrens University as a student: this time, to complete a Diploma of Health Science.
“The Diploma of Health Science course enabled me to develop an understanding of the relationship between nutrition and food and has contributed to my business’ expansion in facilitating specialty dietary requirements.
I am extremely proud of Sweet Dreams Cake Artistry, and when I look back and reflect on the formative years that have led to the business’ growth, it is without a doubt that Torrens University sits firmly at the forefront, and to this day I am eternally grateful for the community and the experience,” Natalie said.
After all the three courses she studied and all the hard work she put into setting up her own business, you would think that when she completed her diploma Natalie Reid might sit back for a moment and enjoy her success.
Natalie, however, had other plans. Having benefited so much from her education Natalie decided she wanted to give something back.
Opportunity to become a Success Coach at Torrens University
When the opportunity came up to become a Success Coach at Torrens University Natalie took it.
“Returning to Torrens University as a Success Coach has been fantastic,” Natalie said, “and being an alumni definitely drew me to the role. I knew that I could bring a greater level of understanding, having been where the students are.
As an alumna, I both understand and appreciate the value in having a go-to person, and it fuels my passion to empower my students to recognise their own passions and work towards achieving their career goals.”
As a success coach, every day is a little different for Natalie Reid and that’s something she loves about her role.
The three major parts to being a Torrens University Success Coach
Firstly, there is the support they provide to students who may be struggling and want to chat about strategies to succeed.
“As a Success Coach, I get to support students through their Torrens journey,” Natalie explained, “In my one-on-one time with the students, we can cover everything from time management to resume writing. Or sometimes we can just have a chat.
University can be a daunting time, especially for our students who have moved away from home. I am really passionate about making sure that the students know that they are supported, and that at Torrens University they are not just a number, and that there is a vested interest in their journey and success.”
Secondly, there is the practical advice, coaching and assistance that Success Coaches offer to students for their professional development.
“In my role as a Business course faculty Success Coach, employability and professional development is at the forefront in terms of the support offerings for students. With respect to the individual needs of my cohort, I work closely with my students within the areas of resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, career planning, personal development – motivation, goal setting, and time management, and course progression.
Note that these are but a few examples, and often it is a team effort. For this, I am forever grateful for how collaborative Torrens University is. The Success Coach team works closely with industry consultants, the Student Wellbeing team, International Student Coordinators, counsellors, Student Services, and Learning Facilitators,” explained Natalie.
Thirdly, the Success Coaches play an important role in organising and facilitating the #CareerExplorer and #CareerBuilder professional development workshops.
“Another key part of our role is the workshops,” Natalie explained, “Each trimester, the Business Success Coach team runs two four-week Career Development Programs.
The #CareerExplorer workshops are focused on exploring different career pathway options and support students in developing a personal career plan. The #CareerBuilder workshops are tailored to students seeking to gain industry experience, and provide guidance and support with developing a professional cover letter, resume and LinkedIn profile, and interview skills.
The Business faculty Success Coach team facilitates these workshops, and they provide a fantastic opportunity for us to connect with students and support their professional development.”
For Natalie Reid, her career has taken many twists and turns through culinary business entrepreneurship and now business success coaching.
She strongly believes that a career in hospitality can lead anywhere, because of the transferable skills you learn along the way.
Her advice for aspiring hospitality professionals? Be open to the unexpected.
“Reflecting on my journey, the best advice I can offer to up-and-coming hospitality professionals is to continually challenge yourself and don’t be afraid to do something a bit different, even if that means changing course.
My journey saw me start out as a culinary student, and back then, I could never have dreamt of being where I am today.
Hospitality is unique in that the skills are so incredibly transferrable, and so I think it is extremely important to be open to new opportunities,” Natalie said.
Natalie's advice for new students
As a Success Coach, is there any special tip that Natalie would offer to incoming students, to help them along with their journey?
“Drawing on my student experience, the advice I would give to incoming students, as cliché as it sounds, is to be as involved as you possibly can,” Natalie explained.
“The Success Coaches at Torrens University are qualified, industry professionals who are there to support you, so make yourself known. Book an appointment with your Success Coach.
Be engaged in class; ask questions and where possible, attend classes on-campus. I am also a huge advocate when it comes to the SRC and student engagement, and so I always encourage my students to get involved.
My top tip for aspiring hospitality and business students is to stay up to date on Careers Connect and take on as many internship and work experience opportunities that you can.
At Torrens University, we are incredibly lucky to have a vast variety of industry partners, all of whom value the work ethic and passion that our students bring.
Now is a great time to explore different areas: be it culinary, marketing, hotel management, food and beverage, events, sports, or human resources: if there is a chance to work in a fresh environment, take it.”
See here for more information on the Success Coaches at Torrens University Australia.