A Bunnings worker has revealed how she defied society’s expectations and quit her university degree after realising she had already landed her dream job.
Maddison Kramer, 22, had almost finished a degree in secondary education at The University of Notre Dame in Perth when she lost interest in a pursuing teaching.
Despite being heaped with a $20,000 HECS debt, Ms Kramer decided to withdraw from her course and further her career with the hardware giant where she had worked since her teen years instead, realising it was her true passion.
The retail worker shared her inspiring career journey in a viral post on LinkedIn, alongside a photo of her dressed in the company’s iconic red and green uniform.
‘In this photo, it took me $20,000 of HECS debts and two universities for me to learn that my degree wasn’t worth what I thought it was,’ the post begins.
Maddison Kramer (pictured) spent years studying at university before realising her part-time job at Bunnings was her true passion. This photo, shared on her LinkedIn, shows her smiling after making the decision to further her career with the hardware giant
‘[It took] five years to try to find out what career was right for me. For me to finally understand that I don’t have to go to university to be successful.. Now having a transcript of “withdrawn” in my 2nd last year of study to go.
‘This photo shows the smile on my face that I made the right choice.’
Ms Kramer said while $20,000 may ‘seem like a lot of money’, she has no regrets because she accrued valuable life experiences during the time she spent studying.
‘It was the best $20,000 that I [have] spent,’ she said.
‘I came across a wide diversity of friends throughout my time. I found my strengths and weaknesses. I stood in front of many classrooms filled with school children.
‘I helped build young individual strengths, helped them developed and most importantly I was shaping the future generation.
‘It was a small price to pay for me to learn that when you start taking care of yourself first, everything else becomes a whole lot easier.’
Ms Kramer, who was completing a Bachelor in Health and Physical Education, said she lost interest in teaching after attending her second last practical at a public school.
At that point, she realised she loved her job at Bunnings ‘more than being in a classroom’.
Ms Kramer (pictured) said she does not regret accruing $20,000 in university fees because she had valuable experiences while studying
Bunnings Warehouse visits have boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic as locked-down Aussies used the extra time at home to complete DIY projects.
‘From that moment I dropped out of university and moved towards a full-time position where I fell in love with pursuing my career pathway in retail,’ she said.
‘Being with the business for now seven years I have taken every opportunity to learn something new on every shift, to explore what I am capable of, develop and explore my abilities for the next step.’
Ms Kramer said she is grateful for the path she took – even though she came full circle.
‘I’m thankful for my failures because if I’m not failing, I’m probably not learning,’ she said.
‘And if I’m not learning, I’m not growing.’
The post quickly attracted more than 4,500 likes, with many praising the young Western Australian woman for her inspiring message.
‘A refreshingly positive post Maddie. Thank you,’ one person said.
‘Well said and well done,’ another wrote.
A customer grabs some goods out of her trolley after a brief shop at a Bunnings warehouse in Sydney in August
A couple rolling half-dozen of BBQ coals and a carpet from the warehouse superstore
‘My son was given the opportunity to work at Bunnings since he was 16. The skills he has learnt during this journey have been invaluable and will help his journey through life.’
One woman said her 20-year-old son had made a similar decision to throw in the towel on his degree after garnering a $10,000 debt.
‘He’s been with Bunnings for 5 years and after calling it quits on Uni in 2021 has stepped up into a part time role,’ she said.
‘He blew me away the other week when he said in 6 months time he wants to step up and lead (a team). So I’m super excited to see where his Bunnings journey takes him.’
Another former Bunnings worker added he learnt vital skills during his time with the company.
‘My first job was at Bunnings, equally share the energy and joy for what it taught me too, the fundamentals in niche areas of the construction industry,’ he said.
Former Bunnings workers commented on Ms Kramer’s post to reflect positively on their time employed for the hardware chain. Pictured: A Sydney shopper clicks and collects a new veggie planter in August
In a statement, Bunnings managing director Mike Schneider said the company tries really hard to give their team opportunities to put down roots and grow in their careers.
‘We want our team members and future team members to see retail as a career path, not just a part-time job through while they’re studying and we really strive to provide an environment with a wide range of meaningful career development options for all team members,’ Mr Schneider said.
‘We’re really proud to have Maddison as part of the team.’