University Tools That Helped My Career

As young adults, we are always told that university degrees will “open doors”, “prepare you for the real world”, “set us up for a great career”. However, most of university graduates come out not knowing what their career path would look like or how to achieve that dream job everyone has been telling them can certainly be achieved once they complete their degree. So besides drinking at uni bar in between the lectures and completing courses which you forget about immediately as soon as the semester ends, here’s a list of 5 helpful tools your university is offering in order to assist you with your future career:

 

1.Career advisors

Career advisors are paid to care about your future and are a completely free of charge to university students. They provide a range of services and can help you:
– understand your career options
– market yourself to employers
– transition to graduate employment
– find suitable employment while you’re studying.

There’s also a good chance that your university has an online platform offering students actual paid jobs, like Unitemps at Griffith. So next time one of these career advisors turn up at your lecture with a career talk – pay attention – they know what they are talking about and they are there to help you.

 

2. Careers and employability section on your University website

Are you too busy juggling your new found freedom, two casual jobs and your social life alongside passing all your courses, and you don’t have time for a face-to-face meeting with a career advisor? Fear not my friends, chances are – your university has all the helpful tools on their website. Just search “careers and employability” and all of the useful links, such as writing a resume or a cover letter, tips for an interview or how to improve your employability, will be readily available for you to explore.

 

3. Mentoring programs

If you feel like you have a general idea about your career direction, but you would like to know more specifics about potential roles and employability criteria in your industry and want to be ahead of your competition, then you should sign up for a mentoring program. These programs aim at matching industry professionals (mentors) with students in order to share their experience and wisdom, while the students (mentees) benefit from a tailored approach to develop their skills, knowledge and expand their scope of success. And who knows, your mentor can become your potential employer if they like you enough and have an opening in their organization.

 

4. Elective courses!!

As strange as it may sound, some of the elective non-compulsory courses within your major can be the most useful for your future career. For example, at Griffith I did a Self-Marketing course as an elective. I had to create a marketing strategy for myself, film a video resume and come up with a 10 year career plan, all of which I would not have even thought of doing if it wasn’t for this course. So next time you have some spare credit points and decide to do Japanese studies as an elective, which let’s be honest, you’re unlikely to pass or use in the future, think again and choose a course that could bring value to your studies and your employability.

 

5. Internship programs

Adding to the above point about valuable courses, look into Internship Programs offered by your university. These might be community internships, domestic or global internships, all of which provide you with amazing possibilities to develop your leadership skills, knowledge, as well as networking with like-minded people, all while gaining you credit points towards your degree. It is definitely the most useful tool that gets a foot in the door and lets you gain experience in your chosen industry. I personally did an internship and now i have a full-time position in the same organisation – and I love my job.

Bottom line – despite what some might think, higher education does prepare you for the future, opens doors and set you up for a great career. You just need to take responsibility for your future career, use the tools provided and make the most of your time at university.

 

 

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