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Four ways to start your career while at uni


Whether graduation is around the corner or you have a few more years to go, there are so many ways you can kickstart your career while you’re still studying. Here are four ideas on how to begin finding your career pathway now.

Campus connections

You might not need to look any further than your own campus to find work that ties in with your future career goals. For example, are you studying education? Keep an eye out for opportunities working as a Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) leader, where you’ll be helping other students achieve academic success through facilitating group study sessions.

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ACU also offers roles for IT support service officers, student centre service assistants, gym instructors, research assistants, administration assistants, and many more – check out student jobs on campus to see what could work for you. Any number of these positions could be a natural extension of your studies and a valuable addition to your resume.

Network now

Developing a strong network of contacts and connections within your industry doesn’t have to begin after graduation, and you never know who’s sitting next to you in class right now. Luke Di Stefano is one student who saw the value in expanding his campus network, even though he was already running his own business.

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Luke said that for his business to succeed, uni is right where he needs to be. “Gathering resources is definitely what my degree has given me,” he said. “If I had left school and skipped uni to start my business straight away, I’d never have met my mentor, who’s a lecturer at ACU, and I wouldn’t have been able to utilise the networking opportunities and workshops at Collaborate Plus [ACU’s business start-up incubator].”

 

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Check out the events schedule at Collaborate Plus for more information about how you can grow your network and meet other like-minded students.

Taking advantage

Many ACU students are required to take part in internships, placements and work experience as part of their studies. But some take it a step further and secure a paid role within their industry before they’ve even completed their degree. Bachelor of Youth Work graduate Nicola Parkes, got her lucky break when she responded to an email from her course coordinator about a free youth facilitation course being run by a local council.   

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As the only student in her cohort who took the initiative to seize the opportunity, Nicola used the course to begin networking and soon after, she secured a casual youth worker position.

“That first job helped me apply the theory I was learning in class and I began meeting other professionals in the field, which widened my networks even further. I also did really well in my exams for my youth policy unit, thanks to this experience,” Nicola said.

“Then, once it was time for graduation, I already had a year-and-a-half of professional experience on my resume, which helped me secure a full-time role.” Speak to your course coordinator or the ACU Career Development Service to discover similar opportunities.

Earn and learn

These are a little harder to come by, but there are positions out there where employers will contribute to your university costs as well as providing you with a paid salary and time off to complete your degree.

Earning while you learn is the ultimate opportunity for networking and developing your skills before graduation.

For example, the Department of Defence runs a Defence STEM Cadetship Program – if you’re studying biomedical science or information technology, this one is for you. The cadetship offers students a salary, a textbook allowance, as well as 60 days of work placements each year. Studying law, commerce or accounting? PWC runs a three-year trainee program in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney where you’re guaranteed to get a head start on discovering your passions. If you’re interested in working for a particular organisation, start enquiring now about their student opportunities.

 

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To get your career started while you’re studying, learn more about how the Career Development Service can help.

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Impact brings you compelling stories, inspiring research, and big ideas from ACU. It's about the impact we’re having on our communities, and our Mission in action. It’s a practical resource for career, life and study.

At ACU it’s education, but not as you know it. We stand up for people in need, and causes that matter.

If you have a story idea or just want to say hello, do contact us.

Copyright@ Australian Catholic University 1998-2019 | ABN 15 050 192 660 CRICOS Reg: 00004G