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Why You Should Do An Internship

Why You Should Do An Internship

I completed two internships in my final year of university, and they were one of the most valuable things I did in conjunction with my degree. I would recommend doing an internship to anyone as they provide you with valuable experience you won’t get from just rocking up to class. There’s loads of benefits that you might not have thought of, so it’s time to spruce up your resume and start looking for internships.

Contacts

Doing an internship gives you access to a range of new contacts. These are people who have been in business for years, and know what they’re doing. Not to mention, they have access to even more contacts themselves! This can be super valuable for you with the potential to work with that business in future, if they hear any news on the grapevine they can let know you about any more potential opportunities, or you can simply ask them for advice or if they know of any positions suitable for you.

Practical experience

While uni teaches you a lot, it doesn’t really simulate the job you will get at the end. I found myself sitting in classrooms understanding the meaning behind things but not knowing how it actually works. Until you get your hands on practical experience through an internship it’s hard to get a grasp of how you do things. While it might sound simple from a textbook, putting things into action in a job with real businesses is very different.

Resume building

As you go through uni and get closer to looking for a grad job, resume building becomes more and more important. Being able to have practical experience and talk about it on your resume looks great! It shows that you’re proactive and are willing to take on challenges. Any experience you can get might just give you the edge over other candidates applying for the same grad job. So, anything you can do to stand out from the crowd is a good thing.

Potential to get a job

Internships can often lead to future opportunities. If a business happens to have an opening in your field and you’re interning it’s a great way to get your foot in the door without the job hunt hassle. Or once your degree is complete you can always go back to the businesses where you interned to see if any grad jobs are available. Already having experience with a business means they know how you work and you may just get lucky!

Dabble in your future field of work

Doing an internship in your field of interest will always have value, even if you don’t like it. The saying goes try before you buy. The same should go for your career. Doing an internship can help you find out what you want to do. You might absolutely love the field and want to continue growing in it. Or you might find that it’s not for you, and its better to find out sooner rather than later.

 

What do you think is most beneficial from doing an internship?

 

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Why You Should Study Abroad

Why You Should Study Abroad

Studying abroad was a highlight at uni for me. I was able to study in both Germany and Japan and it was Amazing. There are loads of options to study abroad, from a full year exchange, semester exchange, summer school, and short 2 week study tours. While it might sound scary venturing off to a new country, where you don’t know anyone, and might not even speak the language, fear not! Studying abroad is an awesome experience and something every student should consider while doing their degree. Here’s why you should study abroad during your degree.

 

People

No doubt, the people you meet while away will become a highlight of your time abroad. You’ll meet students from your own country, other countries, and host country. You’re all the same age, all doing the same thing, and chances are you’re going to bond pretty quickly over that. These are the people you’ll be living with, studying with, and going on epic weekend adventures with. Whatever you’re doing you’re going to be making awesome memories with awesome people that you’ll want to stay friends with for the rest of your life.

 

Resume builder

Study abroad experience looks great on a resume! It shows you’re ready to get out of your comfort zone, and that you’re open to new horizons. You have some life experience, living out of home and fending for yourself in a foreign land. It’s also a good talking point at a job interview, just don’t mention all the nights out!

 

Independence

Living out of home across the globe really makes you become who you are. Apart from having to do the boring things for yourself, like cleaning, washing, and tidying, there’s lots of fun stuff! You can go out when you want to where you want without anyone asking any questions. Your dorm room will be your zone for just you so you can make it exactly what you want it to be. It’s the time to develop your person and learn to just rely on you.

 

You’re young and free

While you’re young and have no commitments you have no excuse not to travel abroad! When else will you be debt free, with minimal rent, have loads of free time and holidays, and nothing to tie you down. Make the most of this time before uni finishes and commitments and adulting starts.

 

Learn the language

If you’re a language student, or keen on learning a new language, this is the best way to do it. There’s no better way to pick up a language than immersing yourself in it. You’re forced to learn it without really putting in the effort. You’ll soon pick up common phrases from train stations and shops from your every day life. You might even be able to strike up some small talk with the locals. The longer you stay, the better. And try to not revert back to English just because it’s easy. If you put in a little more effort to speak and understand the language whenever you can, it’ll do your skills wonders.

 

Become a local

You know you’ve become a local when you’ve been to the gym, cinema, and become a regular at the corner café. There are some things that you do while living in a city that you just don’t do as a tourist. Get to know the place you’re living and live how the locals live to really get to know a place. My best feeling-like-a-local moment came when a German lady asked me about how to get somewhere on the train, and I could tell her exactly where to go, in German!

 

Get a loan from the government

Every country will be different when it comes to this, so before you read on I’m speaking in reference to Australia. As an Australian student studying overseas you’re eligible to apply for an OS-HELP loan from the government. You can loan around $6,800 and over $7,000 if you’re studying in an approved Asian country. What’s not to love!? You can receive two of these loans during your degree, and it simple gets added to your HECS debt. We can deal with that later. Now you’ve really got no excuse to not go! You can find out more about the details of OS-HELP and how it can work for you from your uni’s international study centre.

 

Have you studied abroad? Let me know what your best experience was! If not, would you study abroad?

 

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How To Get An Internship

How To Get An Internship

Finding an internship can be hard, but they give you invaluable experience as a student. You have the opportunity to learn new skills, work in your field of study, make connections, and increase your employability. What’s not to love! I completed two internships in my final year of university and couldn’t recommend doing them enough! While university teaches you theory and concepts, it doesn’t give you practical experience. And that’s where internships come in. Here are some tips to help you land that internship you’ve been looking for.

 

Spruce up your resume

First things first, put some time and effort into making your resume look and read well. It’s always handy to have an up to date, relevant resume, not just for internships. Make sure you have all of the relevant information for what you’re applying for. Use a resume checklist to make sure you’re not missing anything:

  • Basic info (name, phone number, email address)
  • A short introduction
  • Education detailsWork history
  • Volunteer experience
  • Skills
  • Referees
  • Proof read, proof read, and proof read again!

If you’re in more of a creative field spend some time playing around with the formatting, use different fonts and dividers to separate your sections. This will show the extra time and effort you put into presenting yourself not just in person, but also on paper. I spent around 2 hours just formatting my resume and have had many comments saying how visually pleasing and easy to read it is, believe me, it’s worth your time.

 

Ask your uni

Universities have lots of contacts, and many companies search for interns through universities. Your uni or faculty might have a newsletter, webpage, or person to go to in order to find any internships that are available. Internships advertised through uni can be competitive, since lots of students apply, especially for the good ones. Apply quickly and make sure your documents are looking spic and spam to give you the best chance.

 

Search the interwebs

Many websites also advertise internships. These will be different country to country and even region to region. Find one that advertises for your area, I personally kept an eye on Grad Connection, which advertises internships and graduate programs. Also keep an eye out on large companies that hire in your field. A lot have internship programs that you are able to apply for directly through their own website.

 

Not for profits

Don’t discount not for profits! Since these organisations are always on the look out for volunteers, they might just be after someone in your field! I did two internships at not-for-profits and I can highly recommend it. Not only do you learn new skills, you also feel good for giving back to the community. While a lot of not for profit organisations don’t have structured intern programs, they are likelier to be easier to get an intern / work experience placement because they are always actively seeking volunteers. Don’t be afraid to shoot through an email with your resume asking if they have any positions available in your field, they’ll appreciate the interest and extra help!

 

Attend a career and internship day

Your university will probably hold regular career and internship days. These events are prime time to connect with employers about their internship programs and find out a little bit more about their company. What’s great is that you’re talking face to face with someone, so make a good impression, be interested, and fire away with the questions. It’s a good idea to get the business card of who you spoke to, so you can follow up. They will be talking to a lot of students that day, follow up in the next few days and make sure to send your resume through.

 

The interview

So you’ve been invited to an interview? Congrats! Just like any job interview, do your research. Find out about the company, who they are, what they do, and any other relevant information. Make sure you go to the interview on time, well presented and prepared, there’s no need to look too over the top, after all you’re a student, not a company executive, but don’t look like you just woke up either. Bring extra copies of your resume, cover letter, academic transcript, and any other paperwork. And from there all you have to do is be yourself, and win over the interviewers, easy, right?

 

And don’t forget to always follow up!

 

Let me know in the comments if you’ve done an internship. What was the most valuable thing you learnt?

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10 Tips For First Year Uni Students

10 Tips For First Year Uni Students

So it’s time to go back to uni (and I’m a bit late putting this post up, but anyway). I thought I might share some tips with you I learned throughout my degree that might be useful for those heading to uni for the first time. Uni is the next big step in your life, responsibilities, deadlines, and a whole lot of fun. Student life has been some of the best years of my life, and I had so much fun and made awesome friends along the way. It might be daunting at the beginning, but it won’t be long until you find your feet and uni will feel like your second home, so to get you started here are some tips to set out on the right foot.

Complete any forms any paperwork

Your uni might require you to complete some paperwork or online forms before you start. Make sure you do this before ahead of time before you go to enrol. There’s nothing worse than stressing about enrolling for the first time only to find out you have half an hour of forms to fill out before you can even start.

Plan your time table

A lot of unis allow you to plan you time table ahead of enrolment date. Look up your courses and plan a time table that suits your needs. Do you study better at uni? Maximise your time there so you have time to spend in the library. Or do you prefer to have uni all done in one day? Try to condense all your classes. Make sure you always have some back up options when planning, just in case the class you want fills up before you enrol!

Get a good backpack

It’s exciting to leave the days of ugly high school back packs behind. Let me tell you though, carrying around a laptop, water, books, lunch, and other miscellaneous items in a handbag all day takes it’s toll. You’ll end up with sore shoulders before you know it. Find a nice backpack, it doesn’t have to be ugly, but it does have to be practical. You’ll thank me later.

Go to O-Week

This is your first taste of uni life. While O-Week might be a bit of a party, it’s also time to meet up with you friends and start to get a feel of what uni life might be like.

Get comfortable with the campus

Get to know the locations of different, especially if your faculty has specific buildings that are used regularly. You don’t want to be that person that rocks up 15 minutes late because they couldn’t find where the class is. But if it makes you feel any better, I still didn’t know that some of the buildings at my uni existed until I had to find them in my final year.

Don’t buy textbooks before you start

Let’s not talk about the amount of money I wasted on textbooks that I opened once in first year. Many courses simply ‘recommend’ a textbook, but it’s not required for the course. Settle into the course for a few weeks, then evaluate if you really need the book. If you’re getting enough information from the notes from your lecturer and tutor it might not be worth the $150. On the other hand, if you have an open book exam, you’d definitely want to be getting one. Don’t forget you can always use the library’s copy, or find a cheap second hand copy from past students.

Make new friends

While starting a course with a whole lot of strangers might be daunting, everyone is doing the same thing. Don’t be afraid to say hi and start up a conversation with the person next to you. It could be the start of an awesome friendship.

Start a study group

While studying might not be super fun, it’s definitely more fun with friends. Make the most of the friends you’ve made in your course and learn from each other. Put aside some time every week to go over notes or smash out an assignment. I only started doing this in my final year and I regret not doing it sooner!

Keep up to date

Skipping class to go to the uni bar might be tempting (and we’ve all done it) but is not worth it when it comes to exam time. Make an effort to go to your classes, especially tutorials where you can participate in group discussions and ask your tutor for help. As for lectures, if you don’t go in person make sure to set aside watch any you missed online every week. Believe me and take my advice so you don’t have 7 weeks of lectures to catch up on the week before exams.

Start assignments early

When you get your assignment you should plan to start it. This way you can put more time and effort into making it good, and have bragging rights over your class mates who are stressing the night before when you finished it a week ago. Uni doesn’t have to be too stressful if you make sure you stay on top of your work load.

 

Hopefully these things help you get you on your way. Let me know in the comments, what are you looking forward to most about uni?

 

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