Semi-Pro Basketball Player finds his Plan B at TIV

Mubanga (“Muba”) Laing is a talented basketball player and a couple of years ago it seemed that basketball would be all he would be doing. Having been to the United States and landed a scholarship to play there, he had plans to study while furthering his career. However, a trip home to Australia changed everything. When an abscess was found on his body that had led to sepsis causing inflammation to his brain and spine. He had to be put into an induced coma, ending his immediate plans.

 “If you’re eager to learn, I felt like they were very eager to teach you.”

Muba started working for his dad, helping with maintenance and renovation work amongst other jobs. This kept him active and busy. Then when his dad was in the process of getting his builder’s licence, Muba and a friend found the Trade Institute of Victoria (TIV) and thought it would be a good place to get some formal qualifications. Muba recalls, “I told Dad about the course and he offered to pay us to work two days a week and do the course three days a week. I really couldn’t find another employer that would do that. I was pretty lucky.”

With his dad’s encouragement Muba enrolled and eventually completed the CPC30220 – Certificate III in Carpentry through face-to-face learning, before progressing to do the CPC40120 – Certificate IV in Building and Construction via TIV’s famous Virtual Classroom.

TIV’s Trainers Stand Out

Muba loved his courses and says he “took a lot out of it” adding, “If you’re eager to learn, I felt like they were very eager to teach you.” The trainers proved to be very knowledgeable, but they were more than just teachers. They became mentors to the students. Muba says, “I can still talk to them now. Like if I’ve got any questions about anything, I can still hit them up now and they’ll give a tip, or whatever I need.”

Referring specifically to a trainer named Bill, Muba says, “He was awesome. He helped me and my mate so much. He was really knowledgeable. Any question we asked, he was straight on to it.”

Both course streams cover the same core units, giving students a strong base for whichever career path they choose to pursue.


Muba also credits his friend for helping him stay focused and motivated. “Me and my mate, we had each other, and we were working together and so we just kept going together. We got a lot from it; it’s definitely a good course. If you can stick it out, you’ll have your qualification at the end.”

But even for those enrolling in TIV courses on their own, Muba feels the TIV classroom is a tight knit one. Those who aren’t serious drop out within days and those who are committed soon become friends. Muba says, “The whole class was like a crew. Everybody knew everybody’s name. Everybody was close with each other by the end of it. Yeah, I still keep in contact with them now. So, even if you don’t have anybody with you, I reckon it’s pretty easy to make friends.”

Muba’s future

Muba has since moved on from working with his dad, landing a new job with his qualifications. He’s now employed as a skylight installer, saying his employer was looking for someone with a building background and qualifications. He credits his TIV courses with landing him the job ahead of other applicants.

For now he’s content to see where this new career path takes him. He’s happy that the job is interesting with new challenges being presented all the time. “We install whole features and glass panels over shopping centres. So there’s a lot more to it than I thought which is good, because I think I might have been bored otherwise.”

And basketball isn’t off the cards either. A couple of months ago Muba had made a full recovery and the inflammation on his brain and spine are no longer present. His doctors gave him clearance to play again. While he’s not playing this season, the flexibility of his job means he’s been able to train again. “I’ve been able to schedule my training before work, after work and all around it. So yeah, right now, it’s perfect.”

At just 21 years of age, the future certainly looks bright for Muba.

If you’re looking for a flexible course that will lead to work in the building and construction industry, please get in touch.  


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