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How to land your dream job before you graduate

13 August 2018
Build your career skills before your graduation ceremony
There are so many things you can do from day one to year five of your degree to improve your chances in the job market. Three recent graduates share some tips that could help you land a sweet grad job.

Meet Renee Noble (BEHons/BSc 2015), Imogen Gardam (BA Media & Comm 2017) and Amanda Duell-Ferguson (BAHons/BSc 2018) – three of our awesome graduates who followed their passions and fell into incredibly rewarding careers. They're sharing their lessons about life after uni and revealing how employability isn’t just about the mark on your transcript, but about taking advantage of the plentiful resources at your disposal, through the Careers Centre, student organisations, your faculty and more.

Join a club or society

Remember that society you whimsically signed up for at Orientation? Well it might actually help with your career prospects. Clubs and societies are a great way to learn new skills and put them into action – just ask Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communications) graduate, Imogen.

Imogen: “By becoming involved in the Sydney University Dramatic Society and the Arts Revues I was able to gain valuable skills and experience in producing, as well as being presented with the opportunity to take on roles like Treasurer and President. Now I work with Bell Shakespeare as an Artistic Administrator and a big part of that is because of the extra things I was doing outside of the classroom.”

Don’t know what your dream job is? Don’t worry

You’re not always going to know exactly what you want to study straight out of high school. Your career prospects may change, and you might even discover a completely new passion along the way.

Renee: “I had no idea what programming was when I started uni and now, thanks to changing my major and learning coding for fun at uni, I currently work in a start-up software engineering company. Your degree and the subjects you study won’t always define the career that you end up in. If you follow your interests and take the enticing opportunities that present themselves, you’ll most likely end up doing something you really enjoy.”

Do an internship

Step out of your comfort zone and into the workplace, you’ll learn heaps and maybe even get a job at the end of it. One of your best life decisions could be to get a headstart with an internship.

Renee: “The opportunity to work with industry leaders allowed me to gain confidence – especially as a woman in STEMM – and the ability to apply what I learnt from the internship to my studies."

Imogen: “You might not know it, but a good reference from your internship supervisor could be just as important as your CV or transcript when you go for a job."

Do cool stuff outside of uni

Whether it’s volunteering, team sports or a hobby, it really pays off to get involved in activities outside your studies. You can get to know new people, or even find a new passion!

Amanda: “I volunteered as a mentor for students with an intellectual disability, and by all accounts it was a really rewarding experience. As I became increasingly involved, I developed as an advocate for inclusion and was able to network with like-minded people who shared the same passion. Now I work in the disability and inclusion sector, far from where I started with my studies, and I am so grateful for my time volunteering.”

Back yourself – you’ve got this

The thing is, people usually don’t know as much as they’re pretending to.

Renee: “Step up, take the lead and don’t second guess yourself. If I had known that when I was a first or second year student, I might have jumped into the advanced courses and been more confident in my ability. Some people talk a big game and it can get your confidence down, but you’ve got to back yourself – at the very least you’ll learn something along the way and become an even better version of yourself."
 

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