From bellboy to CEO: How Adam Wadi found one of Australia’s fastest growing startups [VIDEO]

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As a child, Adam Wadi dreamed of a career in hospitality, and as a young adult, he made it happen. Becoming a bellboy in Dubai gave him an entrée into the world of five-star hotels. Hard work saw him rise through the ranks to management positions in a variety of first-class locations.

Like many, he saw a career in hospitality as a chance to indulge in a life of freedom and travel. But the truth was being chained to the hotel lobby with long, unsociable hours for low pay. All the best jobs went to those with qualifications.

Adam knew a Masters Degree in hospitality would pave the way to the freedom and lifestyle he craved. Like most people about to start a family, however, he didn’t have the luxury of being able to study full time for the qualification that he would need to make the move into training and education.

Even more frustrating was that half of the units he would have to study (and pay for) dealt in subject matter he knew better than the lecturers; knowledge gained from years working in the trade. It seemed so pointless. ‘Hospitality is my industry,’ Adam says. ‘I knew it backwards’.

Discovering Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Luckily for Adam, he found a mentor who introduced him to the concept of Recognition of Prior Learning, or RPL. Together they navigated the university’s requirements to prove his expertise and gain exemptions for some units of study. Adam was credited for two introductory units. The saving of $5000 and shortening his course by six months gave him the incentive to enrol and eventually achieve his Masters.

‘If it wasn’t for that person showing me how to RPL myself through a qualification that I needed to move to the vocational education industry, I would never have moved,’ says Adam.

A qualification led to a better life

That qualification opened up a new world for Adam. He got his first training job while still working at a hotel. But after a while he found that his new part-time job paid more than his old full time job, and it was an easy decision to replace his hotel hours with more teaching. He became a full time trainer and assessor.

Adam soon realised that, like him, many people were unaware of RPL and were spending time and money taking classes they believed were necessary to graduate. Even worse were those who never enrolled in a life-changing qualification because they couldn’t afford the investment of time or money.

‘These are smart people, but sometimes they need a little guidance to see their own true potential and the world of options available to them if they hold that piece of paper,’ says Adam. ‘They have no idea that they can turn their skills, knowledge and experience into nationally recognised qualifications.’

That’s when Adam realised there was a gap in the market that he had the knowledge, skills – and the qualification – to fill.

A new start as an entrepreneur

‘I started Get Qualified Australia in my daughter’s room with just a phone and answering machine,’ says Adam. ‘Today I have a hundred employees and we have helped around 10,000 people receive the qualifications they are eligible for’.

He likens what he does to being a coach, guiding clients to unlock their full potential, which gives him immense satisfaction. ‘If it wasn’t for RPL, I would still be working in a hotel,’ Adam says. ‘I just want to give others that same opportunity.’

Learn more about his unique story by watching the video below.


Get Qualified Australia is the nation’s leading Skills Recognition & RPL Specialist, helping skilled and experienced individuals achieve nationally recognised qualifications in a time and cost effective way.  

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