5 June 2017

6 tips on how to kick start your career

It’s true what they say - time flies when you’re having fun. It may seem like yesterday when you first set foot on campus into the unknown world of University. Then all of a sudden you’re on the home stretch and you start to think – now what? Is this where my career begins?

During my time working with the Careers and Employability Office (CEO) team as a Career Leader within the University of Sydney’s Business School, the Careers and Student Experience Lounge has been where I’ve spent my time, reviewing student resumes and providing advice. It is where I have learnt a thing or two that are worth sharing! Here are my personal tips, as a Career Leader, that can help you kick start your career path before you graduate:

Join societies related to your discipline
The majority of majors offered within the Business School are associated with a society. The benefits? You can interact with students who have similar career goals and might even be enrolled in the same units of study. Sometimes, you can communicate directly with professionals working within the industry! If you’re lucky, the people you meet will remember you come graduate application time.

Think about whether you have a dream organisation
So many students can name their dream position but go blank when asked about the organisation that they want to work for. This can be important because cover letters will require you to think about why you have chosen to apply for a position at that particular organisation. Being aware of your own value system is one way to start thinking about this. Researching organisations is also important and is so easy with social media!

Practice makes perfect
The internet. As students, we cannot live without it. It is filled with blogs and forums that provide a heap of useful tips for interviews, assessment centres and so much more. The best students use this to practice. For example, drafting answers to sample behavioural interview questions found online. The CEO also offer a range of useful practice opportunities, including Mock Assessment Centres.

Build your online self
So many people know about professional social media, but few know how to use it effectively as a self-promotion tool.  Putting as much effort into your LinkedIn profile as you do your Instagram account is one way to promote your achievements without being limited to 1-2 pages. Added benefits? LinkedIn often advertises job vacancies that align with your experience.

Challenge the assumption that you’re not ready
A great number of students think that because they do not have their degree yet, they are not ready to work in their desired field. There are so many available part-time and casual positions that are aimed at students who are working towards a degree. Working in these roles from the early stages of your degree can provide you with the experience needed to emerge as a desirable candidate at graduation.

Take advantage of the Careers and Employability Office 
Once you graduate, you may not be able to walk straight out of a lecture and into a Careers Office bursting with resources and friendly faces. Take the edge off your final year by engaging early, learn about the programs offered and stay up to date with all of the events. Book in for a 1:1 careers session with a consultant or visit the Careers and Student Experience Lounge, open 12-3pm Monday to Friday.

About the blogger
I am currently a Career Leader for the CEO. This has been enjoyable so far because I feel important. As a student myself, I can give other students advice based on my own experiences at university and in the workplace. Also, I have been an undergraduate mentor twice. I loved using my experience, resources and contacts to help students find answers to their questions and enjoyed developing friendships with other mentors.

Dream Career?
Judge for the Fair Work Commission

Where do you want to be in ten years?
Employment lawyer

What CEO service do you recommend to Business School students? 
My personal favourite CEO service is their Blackboard and the associated resources. It is something that is so easy to access, whether you have a break between classes or are bored on the train. There’s so much there to help students transition from student to an employee which can be a difficult process without help and guidance.

By Stephanie Georges, current Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Law student at the University of Sydney Business School

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