31 May 2017

7 ways to get involved at Uni

How you can get involved at University and enhance your job prospects?

Semester 2 is approaching fast and you may be wondering how exactly can you get more involved in university. The opportunities offered here at the Business School are endless. If you are only coming to university for your classes, let me tell you, you are missing out on so much. But don’t fret, check out my top 7 ways you can get involved in all that University offers. Make the few (or many) years you spend here as much of a fulfilling learning experience as possible, which surprise, surprise comes from outside the classroom.

1. Career events and recruitment opportunities 
The Career and Employability Office (CEO) has many career skills workshops and events taking place across the semesters to help make you become career ready. The CEO’s EmployableYOU workshops and events for Business School students really does cover all aspects of career exploration and is most certainly worth exploring. Go ahead, have a look at the careers calendar and register for an upcoming workshop.

2. Mentoring 
The Business School offers a range of mentoring programs, which allows students to build connections with senior students as well as industry leaders. For penultimate and final students, the Lucy and Alumni Mentoring Programs are the ones for you. It’s a great way to make contacts and learn from prospective employers. For first-year students, being a mentor for the Peer Mentoring Program is a great way to help others who are eager to hear about and learn from your university experience. Let’s not forget, you were in their position not long ago, so you should know guidance in those first few weeks of the semester goes a long way. You never know, the peers you network with, may become future colleagues and even business leaders.

Also, some clubs and societies even run their own mentoring programs, like the Business Information Systems Association (BISA), Network of Women (NOW) and the Sydney Marketing Society (SMS), so keep an eye out for those too.

3. Clubs and societies 
The list of clubs and societies you can join up to is endless so you are bound to find one, or should I say many, that resonates with your interests. It is a great way to meet people and you will be able to access exclusive events featuring career networking, guest speakers, academic development activities, and the list goes on.

Don’t worry if you didn’t get the chance to sign up during O-Week. You can obtain membership by simply attending any social events held by a society throughout semester. What better way is there to catch up with old friends and make new ones?

4. Volunteer (you won’t regret it)
Volunteering is a great way to get some valuable experience and career skills, and anyone can do it. Not only will you develop your employability skills, but volunteering for a role you are passionate about is very rewarding. For those who are unsure of which volunteering roles to do, do some research and just give it a go. Any experience is better than no experience as it will help refine your personal and professional interests and goals.

For those who still undecided on whether volunteering is worth the time and effort, have a read of this. It tells you about all the great things that come from making the decision to volunteer.

5. Industry Placement Program (IPP) 
Are you thinking that your summer will be just be wasted by binging Netflix TV shows and wondering how you can spend your time more wisely? Then consider applying for IPP over the summer vacation period. What do you have to lose? Doing IPP without having to stress over assignments and exams sounds great, right?

Whether it be local or international, IPP is a great opportunity to gain valuable work experience in your chosen major. It is positively received by employers and graduate recruiters since it shows you are competent in working a professional workplace and have engaged in business acumen, critical thinking, teamwork and business communication.

For more information on important application dates, click here.

6. Exchange
Student exchange is great way to combine study and international travel whilst improving your interpersonal, communication and practical skills, and building your confidence and cross-cultural understanding. The Global Mobility Guide provides key information on overseas study.

If you’re unsure about committing to a semester long or year exchange, then the short term programs in the summer or winter break are right for you. With 270 programs available for University of Sydney students to study overseas, you are bound to find a destination that suits you. Have a search.

7. Case competitions 
Get a few of your mates together and sign up for a case competition. Case competitions involves brainstorming and pioneering ideas to address real business challenges, which you’ll pitch to a panel of judges. Not only do case competitions foster creativity, but it is an opportunity to engage in teamwork, gain real industry experience and apply the knowledge you have learnt from the classroom to an actual business problem. The benefits of case competitions are endless and you won’t know what you will get out of it until you get involved.

If this isn’t enough to convince you, read about the amazing experience Hillary gained from entering the EY Case Competition.

All the above mentioned activities will help build your hard and soft skills, providing you work relevant experiences to talk about in future interviews and assessment centres. Getting involved at university not only fills your resume with great extracurricular activities but it also broadens your mindset and your professional network.

About the blogger

What are your favourite CEO programs?
The First Year Careers Conference was really beneficial in making me realise that you can get on board career planning as soon as possible, even though it may be your first year at university. More importantly, it taught me how to formulate my goals and turn those goals into action, which can be hard since university is so different from high school.

The conference helped me learn about the opportunities offered by the Business School. Knowing about these opportunities early on in my degree pointed me in the right direction in terms of researching degree majors and career opportunities. The CEO is here to help you become employable-ready once you graduate. It reinforced the importance of getting involved in work experience and extracurricular opportunities to develop and strengthen my key employability skills. The conference made me realised that there are so many resources offered by the CEO, which should not be overlooked by students!

Those who utilise programs offered by the CEO show strong initiative to develop themselves personally and professionally. Being a Career Leader has also been and continues to be a very rewarding and stimulating role. This position has made me realise the importance of strong verbal communication, interpersonal and critical thinking skills. I have been able to help students with all sorts of career enquiries, which not only feels great but is a learning experience for myself too.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?
I haven't exactly decided what career pathway I wish to pursue but I know I want it to work in Marketing. However, the resources provided by the CEO is refining my strengths and passions, and bringing me closer to a career that’s for me.

What CEO service do you highly recommend students?
I highly recommend for students to go on Blackboard and check out the CEO eCommunity. Many students overlook the amount of valuable and relevant career resources on there. Set some time aside to look at job postings, information on different majors, interview and resumes tips, and plenty more. Don’t forget to also regularly check the announcements for cool career events taking place!

By Anna Wang, current Bachelor of Commerce student (majoring in Marketing and Economics) at the University of Sydney Business School

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