Former College Captain shares his career story

December 4, 2019

Former College Captain Mitch Tuddenham (SPC 2012-17) planned on becoming an architect.

Mitch Tuddenham holidaying in Jordan in late 2019.

Since stepping into his senior studies in Year 10, Mitch was adamant that architecture was to be his intended career choice.

He applied to study architecture and design at university while studying Year 12, even though he admits he was starting to have big doubts that it was the right choice.

The opportunity to take a gap year provided pivotal for Mitch, giving him the “time and opportunity to really think about what I wanted to do post-school without all the distractions of exams and the like”.

Mitch is now studying a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Deakin University in Waurn Ponds and “couldn’t be happier”.

Mitch urges students to “pursue what is meaningful to you, which often turns out to be what you enjoy… (and) not what you think other people want you to do”.

Mitch shares his story to encourage other students to take time to think and follow their true passions.


What uni course were you planning when you were at school?

Since around the time I was starting Year 10, I was adamant I was going to study architecture or graphic design, with architecture being the frontrunner. I loved the Visual Communications subject at school and wanted to explore that interest further.

Mitch Tuddenham speaking at the College’s Leaving Ceremony in 2017.

What made you change your mind and when did this happen?

Going into Year 12, I kind of knew that architecture wasn’t for me, and it wasn’t going to be what I studied at university, however I applied to study architecture and design at Deakin (University) anyway, just to keep my options open as it was the avenue I had given most thought to.
I ended up taking a gap year and became the SPC Sports Trainee for a year, working full-time.

This gave me the time and opportunity to really think about what I wanted to do post-school without all the distractions of exams and the like. I found that I missed the structured learning of school and took up and rediscovered a love for reading to try and fill that gap. The genres of books I was reading were predominantly psychology, philosophy, and religion, so I decided to just go for it and applied at Deakin to study Psychology.


Are you happy that you made this decision?

I couldn’t be happier about it. I am absolutely loving it at university and I’m loving studying psychology. I never studied psychology at SPC because it was never offered as a subject when I was in school, however I think that is a good thing because it keeps me accountable and makes sure that I don’t miss anything that is being taught. I’m learning lots, and that’s good, and it’s probably why I am loving it so much.


What would you say your ambitions are now?

Honestly, I just want to learn more and more. My goals are to finish my undergraduate degree and then my honours year, and hopefully do some travel throughout those years. Beyond that, I don’t really know – at the moment, I’m hoping it involves something in the areas of psychology/anthropology/religion because that’s what I’m enjoying the most.


What would you say to students in Year 12 who are thinking intently about their future career paths and may be considering drastically changing their aspirations?

Pursue what is meaningful to you, which often turns out to be what you enjoy. There’s that old cliché – if you love your work, you will never work a day in your life, and I think that has some merit to it. But most of all, stay focused on the present time, because once it’s gone, its gone, and there’s plenty of time to figure out what you want to do later on.


Any advice on what worked well for you to make this decision?

All I would say is to just chase what is meaningful to you, not what you think other people want you to do.

College Captain Mitch Tuddenham walking with child abuse survivors Peter Blenkiron and Andrew Collins at the College’s Apology in 2017.

You are still a familiar face at SPC, in what ways are you still involved?

I can’t seem to escape the place! I do a bit of casual work at many of the social functions and dinners, which is good fun and awesome to see all the familiar faces every now and then.