THEY say life is a musical, and it was musical theatre that launched Gladstone's Hannah Waddell into her dream career of teaching.
Now her successful studies have put her back in the spotlight, as the graduate speaker at the CQUniversity Gladstone graduation next week.
Ms Waddell, 24, took on CQU's Bachelor of Learning Management (Secondary and Vocational Education and Training) in 2010, completing it with a mix of on-campus and distance education in July last year.
She is among 34 students who will graduate on May 8.
Ms Waddell graduated with distinction and had a job teaching at Gladstone State High School within a month of finalising her studies, but she hadn't always been so sure of her career path.
"At school I was a real theatre kid, and before that I was a muso kid," Ms Waddell said.
"But after school I was still deciding what I wanted to do so I took a couple of years off to work and make up my mind."
During that time she landed a co-director role with a community youth theatre.
"It was really exciting when you know you're finally figuring out what you're good at, and the opportunity to help teach the kids involved was a big part of that."
She said the option to study on-campus and by distance with CQU meant it was easier to juggle commitments.