Work Experience & Career Opportunities Page (ELEC4702)
Welcome to ELEC4702. As you may have already found out, this unit is not like any other unit you have taken before and you are not required to sit in a classroom. Instead, you need to go outside and find a company where you can practise the knowledge you learned in the last three years. It is expected that through this experience, you can improve on some generic skills, e.g. problem solving skills, professional communication skills, team working and project management skills, which are hard to learn and practise in a classroom. These skills will equip you so that you are ready for a job at the moment when you graduate.
In the past, most students found that the most frustrating part of this unit is how to find a job. I understand this frustration but on the other hand, if you cannot find a job in this unit, how can you find a job 6 - 12 months later when you graduate. In this sense, the job hunting, resume writing and interview experience you gain through the experience of finding a job in this unit will be greatly beneficial for you 6 - 12 months later. Therefore I urge you to think positively and treat this experience as a great exercise that prepares you for finding your prefect job when you graduate. I am here to help you to go through this experience by providing company information, help you to better present yourself and prepare for the interview.
Here I would like to give some suggestions for you:
- Good planning
Even if you intend to start your job during the winter or summer vacations, it is still a good idea for you to start planning now!!! Remember, even an experienced engineer may need several months to find a job. Start action now by paying attention to the job advertisements that appear on this webpage, on online search engine like www.seek.com.au and www.careerone.com.au . Let your friends and your family know that you will need a job. Note that a significant percentage of Australians find their job through personal contacts, not job advertisements.
- Better presentations. Simply because you get good academic results do not necessarily mean you will get a good job. You need to better present yourself and convince your future employer that you are indeed good.
Preparing a CV
The role of a carefully written and well organised CV in job hunting can never be over-emphasized. I highly recommend to do a goole search on "how to write a resume" and spend a good amount of time there before you start writing a CV. From my personal experience, something you should note when writing a CV are: a) know who you are writing a CV for. Somethings in the CV that make you feel good and proud do not necessarily make your future employer feel good. Also a CV intended for Optus and a CV intended for Energy Australia are necessarily different because the former may pay more attention to your telecom subjects while the later may want to see the results on electrical engineering subjects. b) the CV needs to be succinct. As a rule of thumb, all major information (those your future employer most want to see) should appear on the first page. All sentences should finish in one line; and do not write paragraphs, use bullet points. c) do not just list your past experience, tell others what you have ACHIEVED in previous job experience in short language. d) Do not forget to put your contact on some notable places in the CV. Personally I like to put them in the header. MS Office provides some good templates for resumes and use them as a starting point. e) When you have finished your resume, show it to an experienced person to get some feedback.
You may also seek help on preparing CV from USYD Careers Center.
Do a good search of the company and know its history and what kind of job the company may likely ask you to do. No matter what others tell you how casual the employees in that company are usually dressed, dress formally. In this way, you are passing the body language that you are serious about the job. It is also a good practice that you arrive 15-30 minutes earlier to have enough time to calm down and have a review of your prepared answers to the interview questions. Do I need to mention that never be late for the interview?
In the interview
Speak confidently, slowly and clearly. If you do not hear a question clearly, it does not hurt to ask for a repeat. If you do not understand the question, rephrase the question in your own language like "If I understand you correctly, you are asking xxxx". Look at the person when she/he is asking the question. It is also a good practice to pause a little to organise your thoughts before you answer a question. Some common interview questions are (you may find more on google search):
1) Why you are interested in/applying for the job? (or Why are interested in our company?)
2) Why you think you are the best candidate for the job?
3) Can you give an example that you helped others working in a team?
4) Can you give an example that you complete a project/job independently? (or describe a job/project that you have completed in the past). For fresh graduate, your work in the thesis project can often be a good example.
5) Can you give an example that how you manage multiple tasks when they have close deadlines and you are under stress?
Normally at the end of the interview, you will be given a chance to ask some questions.
Compliance statement (a signed copy must be attached to each report submission)
University insurance for student work experience can be downloaded from Audit and Risk Management.
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