MANY former students from Longerenong College end up working across the country, but not too many end up back where their journey began.
But this is the case for Longerenong College general manager John Goldsmith, whose relationship with the college started when he was a student.
Like many prospective students, Mr Goldsmith went to an open day at college when he was in year 12.
The Donald High School student lived only an hour away from the school.
"I had spent a lot of time as a kid on my grandparents' farm so I always had an interest in agriculture," he said.
"My father said to me right before I went to college that it would be the best years of my life, and I think he was right."
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Mr Goldsmith started studying at the college in 1985.
During his time as a student, he said a new degree program was introduced about half way through his education.
This meant that he was able to go to Melbourne University's Dookie campus for six months.
"I then came back to Longerenong to finish my degree, so in the end I was at ag college for about four years."
He graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Applied Science, Agriculture.
Mr Goldsmith didn't go into teaching straight away, instead taking a job in the poultry industry.
"I worked in the poultry and chicken meat industry for awhile before I found my way back to Longy," he said.
"I got a job at the college as the poultry farm manager."
Before long, college principal Max Coster approached Mr Goldsmith and asked if he would be interested in teaching.
From there, Mr Goldsmith got a Diploma of Education and in 1996 he become a lecturer in animal production.
"I did that for many years and gradually worked my way up to vice-principal and eventually head of campus."
Mr Goldsmith said the best thing about working at Longerenong College was seeing the students grow.
"It's the involvement with the students that I love and being part of their career path," he said.
"Longy is the stepping stone for many young people and it is so enjoyable to see where they end up."
Mr Goldsmith has also witnessed lots of changes to the college.
"Back when I was a student there was a lot of different farming enterprises at Longy, which reflected the industry at the time," he said.
"Lots of farms at the time were really diversified.
"At Longy we had an orchard, a dairy, a butchery, piggery, and a poultry shed, but that's all gone now and we focus purely on crop production, sheep and cattle.
"There has also been infrastructure changes and there will be a lot more to come in the future."
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