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A Love of Horses Brings Accountant to Horse Management Course at Marcus Oldham College

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From a desk job as an accountant to a diploma course in horse management at Marcus Oldham College , Octavia Bartley has switched tracks mid-way through her career to start fresh with the equine industry.  

A four-year course in accounting followed by three years at a desk job described Octavia Bartley’s professional life till a year back.  

Today her life revolves around horses, handling foals, grooming eventers, riding competitively or learning the keys to equine business management.  

The 26-year-old is studying a Diploma of Horse Business Management at Marcus Oldham College in Geelong, after deciding there was something missing in her career as an accountant.  

Octavia won an industry scholarship to study a Bachelor of Accounting at the University of Technology, Sydney. During her course, she worked at Ernst & Young and Johnson & Johnson Pacific as part of a 12-month practical experience stint.  

After graduation she worked at Coca-Cola Amatil for three years as a commercial analyst before deciding something was missing in her life sitting behind a desk.  

Her childhood passion for horses had taken her through the ranks at pony club all the way to eventing. Once she started working, she got back into competing, making her realise she wanted to work in the horse industry rather than in an office.  

Having heard about the Marcus Oldham Diploma of Horse Business Management, Octavia decided to broaden her skills and get a tertiary qualification.  

Octavia enrolled in the one-year course and received the Australian Equestrian Scholarship, which helped offset the course fees.  

She loves the fact that the course has a lot of practical classes with small class sizes where everyone supports each other.  

She adds that Marcus Oldham gives every student an edge in the industry because of the network of industry contacts linked to the college, which helps in getting a job after graduation.  

The course includes a mix of business management, equine science and practical skills, tours in Australia and New Zealand as well as two practical placement sessions organised by the College.  

Octavia’s first placement was with Australian Olympian Megan Jones in Adelaide.  

Her second industry placement was at Tony Santic’s Makybe Thoroughbred Stud near Geelong during foaling.  

Octavia plans to set up her own equestrian property in Australia where she could be involved in coaching riders and training horses to competition level.

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