Make The Most Of Uni

shutterstock_92777854 It was February 2003, I had just spent the summer of my life with my mates mostly at the beach and Planetshakers Conference. The year before, I had finished school and was set to start Myotherapy (Physio equivalent for those with a less than 95 enter score) at an inner city university in Melbourne. At Planetshakers conference I received the Baptism in Holy Spirit and was feeling challenged to fast and prayer every Thursday during the year, so I did.

Here is a snap shop of some of the things that happened:

I had a vision in a prayer time of a girl I had never met who turned out to be in my tute group. When I met her I couldn’t believe it, I was like what is going on here! Turns out she was a back slidden Christian and I was able to help her out with questions she had which were holding her back.

I remember SMSing a friend with a word of knowledge who was studying at a country university. The word of knowledge was, “The guy you like now is not the guy, wait for the right guy.” I got an SMS back saying, “You’re probably right, the guy I like is a big pot smoker”. She ended up steering clear of that guy and is now getting married this month to a great guy.

Looking back I remember the amount of opportunities to share my faith with my tute group. In fact, I remember a break period of about 20 minutes where the whole tute group was openly discussing Christianity. I didn’t initiate the conversation but I sure spoke into it.

Would I choose to prayer and fast regularly if I had my time at uni again? Absolutely.

Raymond Mitchell, Victorian Universities DirectorRaymo

Decrease Your Budget, Not Your Lifestyle

shutterstock_18704263 As you take another painful bite into that tuna sandwich, it might be time to consider, are there other ways I can decrease my budget that won’t send my taste buds to an early grave?! Well the answer, my friends, lies in a well established organisation called the op shop. An op shop, you mean dead peoples clothes? Well yes, in part, but there are also some serious brand name bargains at op shops and here is how to get them:

  • Look for an op shop that has a manager that seems to have little knowledge on brands. If Target cheapies are priced the same as Rip Curl, you’re in the right place.
  • After a couple of weeks ask for a discount. Don’t be crazy on this, but if 3 items cost $12 ask to have it for $10. At the end of the day all items are donated to op shops, so no matter what they make on the item it’s all profit.
  • Come in when the new stock is being put on the shelves. Op shops work on getting things in and out fast so you need to be there at the right time. Generally most stock gets donated on Saturdays and is sorted and put on the shelves by Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.
  • Befriend the op shop staff. You will find if you befriend the op shop staff they will tell you the best times to come in and may even hold the items you want straight away before they get put on the shop floor.

Tuna sandwiches taste great for about a week and then the countdown begins to real food from part-time work in uni holidays. There is no need to become another tuna statistic, simply decrease your budget by finding the right local gold mine op shop. When there’s lamb in your sandwich and Industry on your shirt, you won’t regret it.

Raymond Mitchell, Victorian Universities DirectorRaymo

Starting New Initiatives

Once upon a time there was a, there was a, a……………..

shutterstock_85726840Sometimes starting things can be the biggest challenge. Let’s be honest, who hasn’t sat down to write an essay just to find themselves staring at the empty word document one hour later. Just like starting an essay, starting any new initiative can be a challenge, although there are some key insights which can make the process easier.

In real estate the catch cry is ‘Location, Location, Location’. In starting new initiatives the catch cry is ‘Credibility, Credibility, Credibility’. Throughout the last few years I have spoken to many leaders who can’t seem to understand why people aren’t getting involved in their new initiative. Often these leaders have heard from God and have a very good vision, but people don’t seem to be catching it. This is because of that magical word credibility.

Let’s put it this way, imagine a phone company starts up and offers $800 credit per month on a $15 cap. Would you immediately change to that phone company? No, you wouldn’t. Reason being, you want to know things like: Do they have good coverage? Can they provide the service they are offering? Can I trust them? But if that same phone company was around for 2 years offering that same rate with a good reputation then I bet you would choose them. It is the same with starting a new initiative, it takes time to build trust in people around you. But when you have it, watch how many people get behind the vision.

It doesn’t have to be a frustrating waiting game though; here are some things that you can focus on while your credibility builds:

1. Learn: Seek to find people who have done what you are planning on doing and learn from them. Let key people speak into your life and be accountable.

2. Have a small win: Maybe you can’t fulfil your whole plan as yet, that’s ok, find one part of your vision you can do and do it. It’s often said ‘can you eat an elephant?’ And the answer is yes. One bite at a time.

3. Develop your character: A tree is not held up by its branches, it is held up by the unseen roots under ground. In the same way, character is often the unseen attribute of a leader, but it’s the most important.

4. Develop your core people: Players win trophies, but teams win premierships. Spend time developing a team and watch your capacity increase drastically.

5. Make the vision clear: Spend time praying into the vision and attempting to write it down as clearly as possible. At the end of the day as people get on board, they will need to know where they are going and how they are going to get there.

Starting new initiatives can be a challenge, but it can be a rewarding time also. Spend less time worrying about why people aren’t getting on board and more time on developing yourself and others around you. As your credibility grows, wait and see the amount of people who get behind your vision.

Raymond Mitchell, Victorian Universities DirectorRaymo

God Through The Eyes Of A Law Student

shutterstock_81190930 One of the main reasons why I chose to study law was because I wanted to learn about the concept of justice since it is something that God cares strongly about. As I’ve progressed through law school over the last six years, I have become increasingly convicted that as followers of Jesus, we are called to stand up for the oppressed, weak and needy. As a law student it is exciting to be learning the skills to be able to advocate on behalf of and assist those who are in need of protection by the law.

Recently I had the privilege of volunteering for International Justice Mission, a human rights organization that seeks to rescue victims of sexual exploitation, bonded labour, illegal property seizure and other forms of violent oppression. My time there opened my eyes to the horrors of injustice but also the hope that awaits the victim when the legal system can be activated to bring about their freedom. Advocating on the side of the victim makes it very easy for us to feel strongly that the perpetrators really deserve the harshest punishment possible to pay for the hurt and suffering they have caused. In contrast however I have also spent time learning about organizations such as Reprieve which advocates on behalf of defendants who are facing the death penalty and campaigns for abolishing the death penalty because of its finality as a punishment which leaves no room for human error.

I am reminded of this verse from the Bible – “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) God clearly requires us to seek justice and to show mercy which means we are to not only stand up for the oppressed but also extend mercy to the oppressor. For most of society and certainly in the Western legal system, there is plenty of seeking justice for victims, at best a fair trial for perpetrators but extending mercy to perpetrators is rarely heard of. This makes me appreciate how God freely extended His mercy to me and all of us so much more. For Him to be our judge and require the penalty for our sin to be paid by death for justice to be done but then to send His Son Jesus to die on our behalf is certainly mercy displayed far beyond our comprehension. Jesus challenges us as His followers to “be merciful just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). As a law student it is certainly easy to focus on seeking justice without remembering to show mercy but we all need to continue to ask God to show us how to live as He would, being both a completely just and completely merciful God.

Mimi Chan
Law Graduate, University of Melbourne

Going Strong For God On Campus

Open-Bible-12 Over the last six years of being an undergraduate double degree Uni student, I have seen both instances of people’s relationship with God become distant and become more fired up. Being a Uni student marks a stage of life where we have a lot more freedom to choose our values, beliefs, ideas, friends, activities, etc. In the midst of such freedom, how can you keep going strong for God?

1. Get perspective

One of the most common challenges that students face at Uni is that they either get bogged down with studies so much that they feel that there is no time left for anything else or they’re too busy living it up with their social life. There is no doubt that both studying and socializing are important facets of Uni life but how does God want us to approach each of these areas? Our relationship with God will be strengthened when we allow Him to show us His way in all areas of life, including our life at Uni. Jesus gives us clear direction: “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:31-33). God knows that if we are enrolled as Uni students, we need to study well and He also knows that as humans we have an inherent desire for friendships and connection with others. He tells us to focus first on what is close to His heart – developing our relationship with Him, living in His purposes, asking Him how we can serve Him and being ready to be His salt and light wherever we are – and trust Him with providing us with what we need in terms of our studies and friends.

2. Don’t miss God-given opportunities

Have you ever asked God why He has put you in such a time as this, on the campus that you’re in, studying the course that you’re studying? When I started asking this question as a first year, I realised that God has put me where I am, studying law and music at Uni, because He wants me share His good news with the particular group of people I find around me. On average, people only spend about four or five years at Uni so don’t miss the opportunity God has given you to be His witness. Even if you are involved in your local church community, you have a very unique opportunity to be one of the few workers who bring in the plentiful harvest. After all, Uni is where you spend the bulk of your time each week, where you will have the most time to connect with people and where people are open to new ideas – when we’ve got God’s perspective, every lecture, tutorial and social event could become a divine opportunity to help someone open their heart to receiving Christ.

3. Opt for teamwork

One of the most helpful things that I’ve done to strengthen my walk with God while at Uni is getting involved with Universe, one of the Christian clubs on campus. There is nothing like having the encouragement from other Christians who share the same perspective and realise the mission opportunities to spur you on in living out God’s purposes on campus. Spending time worshiping, praying, learning from the Bible and sharing the gospel together with fellow Uni students helps us keep our focus on God and is an amazing support when we face challenges since everyone shares a similar experience of campus life at your particular Uni. If you haven’t become involved with a Christian group on campus yet, consider signing up now!

Mimi Chan
Law Graduate, University of Melbourne

10 Tips To Stress Less





1. Take time for things that feel good

2. Volunteer – it’s never too late

3. Go for a walk or a swim

4. Learn a new skill

5. Contact an old friend

6. Join a club or interest group

7. Enjoy the outdoors

8. Share with a trusted friend

9. Take one thing at a time

10. Have a cup of tea


Getting Your Dream Job #3: How To Hand In Your Resume


shutterstock_72258340 Below you’ll find various ways on how to go about handing in your resume.

  • Approaching Businesses

– Dress to impress!

– Have your resume, references and cover letter ready (and not crinkled or creased!)

– Walk into the business, ask for the manager.
If the manager is not there at that moment, ask when they’ll be back and return at that time. Do not just hand your resume over to a sales assistant!

– When meeting the manager, shake hands, introduce yourself (name, current occupation/field of study, give a 30 second spiel on what you appreciate about the company and ask if they have any positions available), and most importantly, make sure you smile!

– You’re also going to want to remember the manager’s name (even if that means writing it down once you’ve left) so in any future situation, you can create a personal connection

– The reply to your question about available positions can go a number of different ways:

“Sorry, we don’t have any positions available at the moment”
To which you could reply….
“Ok. What can I do to show you I should be the next person you hire?”
More often than not, saying that is the very thing!


“Yes. We will give you a call in a few days”
To which you could reply…
“Great, look forward to hearing from you. Nice meeting you *insert manager’s name here*” and shake their hand firmly.
If you don’t get the call, don’t fret. Just pop back after the time they said they would call, ask for the manager (hopefully you can ask for them by name this time), shake their hand again and say something along the lines of…
“Hi, I’m John Smith. I came in *insert time period here* and was just wondering if there was any progress on available positions?” Make sure you have your resume, cover letter and references with you.


“Yes. Why don’t you come out into the back now for a quick interview?”
If this happens, make sure you are prepared (Make sure you’ve read Getting Your Dream Job #4: How To Prepare For An Interview)

Do not refuse this offer! Make sure when you go in to meet the manager that you are not in a rush and have the time for this to happen.

  • Website Application

– Cover letters are often required

– References are often required

– Resume will definitely be needed
eg. ‘John Smith Resume’ rather than ‘johnres11’

– Apply for everything you want to!
All it takes is a click – just make sure your cover letter and resume are applicable to the position being offered


Getting Your Dream Job #4: How To Prepare For An Interview


shutterstock_88248997 There are 4 things YOU can do to make an outstanding first impression:

  • Be confident in YOU

Dress to impress! Show up confident in yourself and looking professional.
Be convinced within yourself that the company will be better off with you and make sure you can clearly and confidently express why.
Have questions prepared for the interview. Often the employer will ask you if you have any questions about the job, at some point in the interview – make sure you have something to ask!
Appropriate question: Is there any potential to advance to managerial positions within the company?
Inappropriate question: How long is my lunch break?

  • Know YOU

Make sure you can talk about anything on your resume in great detail! But know the right stuff – they don’t want to know WHAT you did in great detail, but rather HOW it shows your character/personality/work ethic.
Have your resume, cover letter and references with you also! (The employer would have most likely lost it by now…)

  • Calm YOU

Be punctual, or even better…EARLY! This will give you time to think through any last minute thoughts, calm all your nerves and shows them that you are serious about the job.
You have nothing to be nervous about. If you get the job, great! But if you don’t, your life is not over. There are a gazillion other jobs out there and probably one that is more suited to you.
Everything happens for a reason, trust God.
And without a doubt, the best way to calm yourself…PRAY! Hand it over to God, he lights your path.

  • Be YOU!

The best thing you can do in a job interview is be yourself. Trying to be something you’re not or acting like someone you’re not can not only misleading to the employer (potentially causing problems after they’ve hired you and you turn our to be a completely different person) but could stop you from getting the job! The worst thing you could do is be fake. Often when people are not themselves, they come across uncomfortable and nervous – this is not the impression you want to be giving!
Be yourself, answer questions honestly, keep with your personality, don’t change yourself for a job. That way, you’ll get the job that is perfect for you! Work doesn’t have to be something we hate!


Getting Your Dream Job #5: How To Dress To Impress


shutterstock_89476936 You’ve probably seen the term ‘dress to impress’ appear throughout the previous articles…. This is what it means:

  • Dress like the staff
  • If you’re unsure, wear business pants and a white top (Even for retail)
  • Enclosed black shoes
  • Hair back/off your face (this applies to males too)
  • No excessive make up or jewellery
  • Look professional


While you’re still searching for a job, remember these points:

  • Be passionate
  • Show initiative
  • Keep going
  • Keep believing – There is a job out there somewhere for you!

And finally, once you get the job….


You have worked your way to success!

– Be early for your first day/shift

– Ask questions if you have them (it shows your understanding), just make sure you aren’t asking something you’re already meant to know/they’ve already told you!

– Take initiative – if you see something that needs to be done, and you know how to do it… do it!



Getting Your Dream Job #2: How To Write Your Resume


shutterstock_34195231 For most job applications, you’ll need to have a few different things ready. A resume is a definite must! A cover letter is recommended, and it shows your professionalism to have references and referees ready. If you are unsure of what these are, or how to write them, then the points below are for you!

  • Resume

Resumes are like snowflakes, each one is unique!

There are many different ways to write a resume. Depending on the type of job, finding the right template is essential. Google is full of templates for different occupations. But if you’re struggling, use the following basic template:

– Personal Details (name/suburb/phone/emails)
– Career Summary
– Education & Qualifications
– Volunteer work
– Interests
– References & Referees

In any resume, make sure what you are writing is specific, or applicable to that particular job. You want to show all your skills that can apply to that job, but don’t ramble on.

  • Cover Letters

Write a new cover letter for each company you apply to

A cover letter consists of:
– A little about yourself (not so much your qualifications – that is what your resume is for – but rather how you relate to the company)
– What you appreciate about the company
– How you can build on the company (This is where you must research, research and research!!! Go to the company website, find their aim or values, know the history of the company and using this information, make note of how you can support this as an employee)

  • References

Make sure you have at least one reference with your resume. A reference is a document written (and by written, I mean typed) by either a past employer, or someone who knows you/how you work stating all the wonderful things about you and your work ethic! They show employers that you are a valuable employee. Upon leaving places of employment, ask your employer if they can write a reference for you.

  • Referees

Referees are similar to a reference in the sense that they are either a past employer or someone who knows you/how you work/what you excel at, who is happy for your potential employer to contact them seeking information about you. A referee could be your old employer, or someone like your youth leader or Pastor.

When listing a referee on a resume, give their name (first and last), occupation and their phone number.

Before handing anyone’s information over to your potential employer, make sure you have approached your referee asking their permission to be listed as such.


Getting Your Dream Job #1: How To Find Job Opportunities

shutterstock_63790765 Getting a job doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult and there are often more places than you think looking for staff. You just have to know what you want, and how to market yourself for such. By learning how to….

  1. Find job opportunities
  2. Write your resume
  3. Hand in your resume
  4. Prepare for an interview
  5. Dress to impress

….in this series of 5 articles, getting your dream job will be easy!

So we’ll start with #1: How To Find Job Opportunities


There are 5 different networks YOU have immediate access to, each offering their own connections to various workplaces.

  • Your Personal Network

Your personal network is the simplest way to get connected to an available position, as all it requires is a friendly question.

Firstly, ask your friends.
There may be positions opening up at their workplace, or they may have heard of other places hiring. (It’s a bonus if their workplace is hiring, as they can potentially recommend you to their boss.)

Then comes the family – Parents, siblings and your Uncle George.
Just like your friends, members of your family may have positions opening up at their workplaces and may have heard of other places hiring. Make sure you don’t forget to chat to Uncle George at Christmas. Often, Uncle George is the CEO of a large company who could do with an assistant or something of the sort. Work all your connections – the least you have to look around, the better!

After asking every friend and family member you possibly can, go to your friendly neighbours.
Similarly, their workplace may be hiring, or they may know of another. However, neighbours differ in the fact that they can give you a workplace that differs to most. They may be an elderly couple who would love to pay you to mow their lawn every couple of weeks, or a couple with kids, who wouldn’t mind paying you to pick the kids up from school, or babysit them on date night – so it never hurts to stick your head over the fence and discuss your lack of employment.

Get friendly with the locals.
This point is for those of you on a first name basis with your baker or newsagent. Local businesses love supporting community and there is a good chance they need someone else to bake the bread or sell the newspapers every now and then. Casually let them know you’re looking for a job.

  • Internet

The internet is FULL of potential jobs, you just have to find them.

Facebook ( – What’s on your mind? “Anyone know of any places hiring?” Hopefully the comments start rolling in….

Seek ( – They call themselves Australia’s #1 job site, try and prove them wrong.

Gumtree ( – Gumtree is filled with various job opportunities, ranging from banking and finance to nanny/babysitting. They even have call centre jobs. Even if there isn’t a suitable job for you on there, it may give you ideas of other places to apply to.

Company sites – such as The Cotton On Group ( – a website that lets you apply to 7 different companies from the one website, or sites for companies like MYER (, that allow you to apply for retail, or office jobs.

  • Print Sources

Your trusty local newspaper or Saturday paper will have a classifieds full of job opportunities staring you in the face – worth a squiz I say.

It may also be worth a stroll through your local shopping centre, taking note of any job ads in shop windows.

  • Agencies

If you apply to the requirements, Centrelink can list you as a job seeker, and hook you up with one of their employees who will go through your resume with you and help you apply for jobs.

Private Recruitment Agencies such as are another support service who can guide you through the job application process.

  • Cold Calling

Approaching places of interest with your resume in hand and dressed to impress! (See: Getting Your Dream Job #3: How To Hand In Your Resume)


Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) – Maximise Your International Student Contact

international-studentsAustralian students can help international students by joining an English Conversation Club on or off campus. Such groups provide newly arrived students with a safe and friendly environment and an opportunity to practice speaking and listening to English. For many this may be the only chance they get to meet Aussies outside of formal English classes. For volunteers, such service can lead to some very special friendships from enthusiastic and grateful young people from around the globe. The one hour Convo club time can lead into other social times – BBQs, game nights, and outings around town, to church, or further afield. This was my experience as a Students for Christ staffworker at the University of Queensland. Over the past 17 years it has brought me into close contact with people from over 40 nations many of whom I maintain contact and brotherly relations with long after I first taught them. Read on and find out more.

Entry Level Qualifications

The next level beyond volunteer conversation partner is to do a basic TESOL qualification. By TESOL we mean Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Among the many ways to do this is to do a Certificate IV in TESOL offered by organisations, businesses and schools all over Australia in class or online, full time or part time. They will usually involve input on theory or other practical instruction, and sessions involving lesson planning and observed teaching practice. A similar but more recognised course is the Cambridge CELTA offered by a limited number of institutions and carefully monitored for quality. It is available as a 4 week intensive course or as a part-time course but either way the expectations are high. As with the Cert IV, it involves regular practice teaching and this is where the intensity comes – planning and preparing lessons for which you will be critiqued. I chose the 4 week intensive CELTA, finishing on the Friday and leaving Australia for Hong Kong on the Saturday, with an urgent need to find work.

Overseas Opportunities

Employment in TESOL is easier overseas than in Australia when you have a qualification but not experience. Many countries have a dearth of native English speakers and are keen to employ good people to offer conversation practice to the students of their schools, universities and even their workers. Pay rates differ greatly between nations and according to qualifications and experience. There are plenty of opportunities offered online. Once in Hong Kong, I was able to get tutoring work with individuals, and then a break with the British Council teaching Business English, followed by a chaplaincy position in an international school. Later I found English teaching work in community colleges in the New Territories. The qualification opened the door to experience allowing me close contact with people needing both English teaching and the ministry of Christ. It also allowed me to accumulate teaching hours – a necessary precursor to getting an English teaching job in Australia, but that was easier said than done.

Finding Work in Australia

To be employed as a teacher of English in an Australian international college, teachers are usually required to have at least 800 hours of teaching experience – that’s about a year of full time experience before we can teach in an Australian classroom. An overseas teaching experience is a real asset to your job hunting. There are numerous schools in each city and you may have to contact many of them before you get an interview. It is even better if you know someone already employed in a school. This can be the result of connections from when you did your TESOL course, or from volunteering as a conversation partner.

Early TESOL Opportunities

What kind of work is offered to newcomers? What will you be doing? In my case, I started teaching 2-4 week study tours made up of university groups from Japan. These programs involve facilitating a lot of fun activities which provide learners basic vocabulary and grammar structures on topics relevant to their stay in Australia or to general day to day topics. You might progress on from this to some general English programs of maybe 5-10 weeks in duration. These are usually pitched at a definite level – Beginner, Elementary, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, or Upper-Intermediate. Class may focus on integrating various skills, or may be specifically directed to developing an individual skill such as Listening, Speaking, Reading, or Writing. It may be a Grammar class or have a Vocabulary focus. You will develop your skills for this by becoming familiar with the textbooks and inhouse materials, by testing out different ideas you get, through conferences and professional development sessions, and by asking students what they like doing. To advance in your career, though, you may have to do further study.

Advanced Qualifications

Many universities offer Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters programs in Education (TESOL) or in Applied Linguistics. This may be the prerequisite to getting a full time position and would certainly be an advantage if you were wanting to teach on English for Academic Preparation courses. Such a course allows you to get a deeper understanding of the background theories about Second Language Acquisition or Cultural Aspects of Language. Some courses will be highly practical such as Teaching Methodology or Course Design. There will likely also be a range of electives. You could go on to do a Research Masters or even a PhD although these are not needed for most Australian teaching situations. These may open doors to lecturing positions overseas for those wanting an academic career.

Advantages of Teaching English

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         What I most like about having a career in TESOL is that I am continually interacting with students from all over the world. As their teacher, I am able to help them reach their goals and to do so in a context which allows for very natural interaction. I am continually learning from them as well – about their countries, their families, their challenges, and even about their religions. Similarly, I have found that students are usually very keen to visit my church and, whilst there is never any pressure for conversion, some have found themselves feeling totally at home at church and have made a decision to follow Jesus.



Certificate IV in TESOL – Language Training Institute

Certificate IV in Teaching Conversational English – Intercultural Training Institute

Cambridge CELTA – Institute of Continuing and TESOL Education –

Master of Applied Linguistics – University of Queensland –

Long list of courses Australia wide:


Dave’s ESL Cafe:

ESL Employment:

Various Australian language schools

Study in Australia –

NEAS accredited English language schools:

Garry Austin

Cram, binge and nodoze: maintaining healthy life balance as a student


It’s 5am. You’ve stayed up all night doing your essay and you still don’t have all your footnotes organized. You have to finish in an hour because you have to cram for the two test papers you have in the afternoon. Being a uni student really has its moments.

Even as a Christian, it’s easy to get caught up in the lifestyle of constantly going hard. With study, parties and socializing it’s easy to see how late nights can become the norm in a uni students life. But failing to maintain a healthy life balance for a sustained length of time can quickly wear down your health and motivation.

Though having a Christian faith can really help you get through tough times at uni, many students find it challenging to keep a firm hold on faith and values in the university environment. If these are important to you, you will need to work on putting some habits and accountabilities in place. Putting some structure into your life can help you to get through the myriad of assessments, exams and life choices before you.

Constant all-nighters can have damaging effects on your mind and body. If you push yourself long enough there is even the risk of developing depression and other mental health issues. Socialising and having fun is an important part of life, but if you social life is keeping you out most nights of the week, it may be time to reassess and find some balance.

Make church attendance a priority. Even at the height of exams or assignment due dates. Many people cut back on their church attendance to have more time for uni work, but taking time to worship together with other believers will refresh and inspire to be more effective with the time you have. Joining a Christian group on campus will also help you to develop connections with people who can walk alongside you in your faith journey.

#2 Study and assessments can become extremely overwhelming. Typically full time students do around four subjects a semester, each with their own readings, major and minor assessments, presentations and exams. Keep track of all your assessment deadlines and schedule in start dates for all of them at the beginning of the semester. This will help you avoid leaving everything to the last minute and will give you enough time to think through your approach and research. The sooner you start working on your assessments, the less pressure you’ll feel when the deadline gets close. You may even find that you can finish your assessment a few days before it’s due, which gives you time to re-read and make final edits if needed. If you finish early enough, you could even ask your tutor or lecturer for some feedback on your assessment, which may help you to get a better mark.

Uni can be a lot of fun, but ultimately you are there to develop your skills and knowledge and to attain a qualification that will get you ahead in life. You can either survive or thrive in your time at uni, the choices you make will determine which.

Leaving Uni qualified, prepared and skilled for the marketplace.

#1 No two university courses are the same. Some offer highly practical training and compulsory work experience, while other provide strong theoretical frameworks from which to develop your experience. To succeed in the workplace after university you need a strong mix of both theory and experience.

Most university students have part time or casual jobs to support themselves while they study. Instead of just sticking your retail or menial labour job, why not start applying for part time roles in the industry that you are studying in. It may take a while to find an employee willing to take on an inexperienced undergraduate, but you can keep working your old job while you apply so there’s no harm in trying. Keep reworking your resume and approach businesses that you admire for work.

#3 Short term internships are also extremely beneficial to undergraduates. It make seem like a sacrifice, particularly with your finances dwindling due to having to cut back on work, but the experience you gain will help you immeasurably when you start looking for jobs. Look for internships over your mid year or end of year break.

If you can, join the industry body that governs the industry you want to work in. You can easily find these by searching the internet or asking your lecturers for information. These bodies will keep you updated about what’s happening in your industry and may even have regular networking events that you could attend. Don’t underestimate the power of making connections in the industry. If you can demonstrate such enthusiasm and focus as an undergraduate, it won’t be long until your snapped up by someone in your network of contacts.

Approach your studies seriously. If you have the ability to achieve high marks in your subject, you should work hard to get these. Some industry employers are very interested in you academic transcript and want to see that you are able to apply yourself. Good marks can make a great impression on a potential employer. Couple this with eagerness to enter the industry and you will have a winning combination.

Nailing that interview.

#1 After years of hard work, you are finally qualified for your career of choice! All you have to do now if get your first full time job. That’s easier said than done.

Many graduates find themselves writing dozens of resumes and going to interview after interview trying to get their foot in the door. There’s no quick way around this, particularly in competitive industries, but there are some things you can do to nail your interview, putting your best foot forward and giving you a better chance of being recruited.

First impressions

While not all professions require a crisp corporate look, recruiters will want to see that you are a serious potential employee. For guys, suit pants and an ironed white shirt with a tie and for girls, tailored pants or skirt with a elegant shirt or top are perfect for almost any industry interview. Even if you find that the recruiter is very casually dressed, it’s much better to be too formal that too casual. It goes without saying keep yourself neat and tidy. Iron your clothes, polish your shoes, keep your hair neat and avoid wearing too much make up. Focus on letting your personality and talent shine and don’t worry about trying to get the recruiter’s attention with flashy clothes.

Body Language

#3 You may feel pretty nervous walking into interviews, so be sure to keep some strong body language to help you sail through. Make sure your handshake is firm and confident and make eye contact as you introduce yourself. Sit toward the front of your seat and lean slightly forward. This will demonstrate that you are engaged and enthusiastic about the opportunity. Bring a notepad and pen to the interview to take notes. Even if you don’t write anything down, you are communicating your preparedness just by pulling these out.

Research the company
Most recruiters will start the interview with asking what you know about the company. You can really impress your prospective employer by demonstrating how much you know about their business. Visit their website and find out who their major clients are and all the services that they provide.

Have some questions prepared
Inevitably the recruiter will ask you if you have any questions. Many inexperienced people fail to prepare for this part of the interview. This is an opportunity for you to find out more about the company and the role, which will help you to decide if the com#2pany is one that you want to work for. Write down a few questions before the interview and refer to them you have the opportunity to ask them.

Be yourself

Most companies are not only looking for someone with the right qualifications and skill set, but they want someone who is going to fit in with the rest of their employees. By being yourself, you will help the recruiter to work out if you will be happy working in their work environment in the long term. Being yourself also guarantees that are recruited to a company that suits your personality and disposition.

8 study tips and techniques to get you through exam time

#1 For most people that very thought of exams is enough to get their heart racing. The thoughts that cause the most anxiety are either: “I haven’t studied enough yet!” or “I don’t remember anything I’ve studied!” Well we’ve come up with some great study tips and techniques to get you through your exams.

1. Develop helpful routines
Sporadic studying or last minute cramming is generally the result of a chaotic life where you leave everything to the last minute. This approach can be very stressful and can put you in an unhelpful state just before your exams. Instead we recommend planning your weeks leading up to an exam period. Block out the days or afternoons that you have to study each subject. Write down your study plan on a calendar to keep you on track.

2. Team up.

If you struggle with routine and structure, team up with someone whose academic ability you admire and make a time to study together at least once a week. Be careful of who you choose to team up with – it’s not time to catch up on the goss or whinge about how stressed you are. If you can find the right person, you will find that having someone sitting with you studying will keep you focused on your work for longer.

3. Be creative
Work out how you learn best and use creative techniques that work best for you. If you are a visual learner make big colourful infographs to stick on your walls. If you learn best aurally, read your notes our loud or make up some memorable songs with your notes. You could do all of these and more to keep your mind stimulated.

#2 4. Summarise text
Summarise large chunks of text from texts books or handouts rather than just copying information verbatim. Writing summaries requires you to properly understand the information in order to distill and communicate the most important information from the text.

5. Do some practice exam papers

Ask your teacher for sample papers from previous years to practice with. Sample exams will help you to see the format of the exams that you’ll be completing and they will give you the opportunity to see how quickly you need to work to complete the exam in time. Time yourself completing each exam.

6. Teach someone
One of the best ways to cement knowledge in your mind is to impart it to someone else. This could be a friend or someone in your class that may need help with their own study. If you can’t find someone appropriate in your classes, teach your parents, guardians or grandparents if you can teach them.

7. Study in 40min blocks
After about 40minutes most people find their attention starts to drift. It may be longer for you, or it may be shorter. The important thing is that when you feel like the information is not going in anymore, you should take a quick break. Make yourself a healthy snack, get a glass of water or just have a stretch. This will give you a mental break and you’ll find that you’re able to focus better when you sit back down to your notes.

8. Keeps healthy

Go for walks, swims and do lots of stretching. Eat well. Get lots of rest. We know all the shoulds and should nots, but when it’s crunch time you’ll be glad you made the effort to stay on top of things. Keeping fit and healthy will help you to avoid getting sick or fatigued during your exam time. Exercise can also help with relieving stress and anxiety, keeping you in the right mindset to power through your papers.

What employers REALLY look for (the value-add beyond your qualification)

#1 Many students jump into a university degree and expect that at the end of their three to five years of undergrad study they will emerge workplace ready and employable. While this may be true for some courses, most employers are looking for more than a qualification. As a student you need to realize that there may be a lot of competition in your industry and you may need to more than stack up Ps and Cs to break into your dream career.

Being trained in your field of interest ticks the first box for many employers, but many recruiters are looking for a set of key qualities that in people they want to hire. Here are some of the most common qualities employers look for and practical ways that you can develop and demonstrate these qualities.

Communication skills

This quality is listed on most jobs ads and is sometimes used interchangeably with the term interpersonal skills. This is because regardless of the role you take in a company you will inevitably have to work with people, be they co-workers, superiors, clients or suppliers. Having good communication skills means more than being able to talk to people. It is also the ability to connect, relate to and interactive with others in a productive and positive way. Any type of customer service work experience while you study is excellent for demonstration strong communication skills.

Work experience in the field

While on the job experience may not be a requirement for many entry-level positions, it can be an invaluable advantage in your job search. Showing that you have taken the initiative to find work experience during your studies demonstrates that you are serious about getting ahead in your industry of choice and also gives you a head start in the role that you will eventually take up. Make an effort to clock up some hours in paid or unpaid internships, casual, part time or holiday work in your field of choice. If you can’t get work experience in the role you want in your industry, consider applying for administration or assistant roles in your industry. Any exposure you get to the industry is better than no experience. If money is an concern, consider saving up for few months so that you can support yourself while you take an unpaid internship.

Ability to self manage

Employers don’t want to have to hold your hand as your navigate your way through your first few months of your new job. What employers will be looking for is someone who can organize their responsibilities without having another paid staff member having to supervise them. You can develop this quality in yourself through your existing part time job and your studies. You further develop this quality by demonstrating commitment to extra curricular activities or membership in societies or groups outside of your studies. Having some complexity or diversity in your life during your studies will show that you are able to focus on a variety of things.

#2 Ability to work in teams

This quality is another a common one as almost all companies have some kind of team dynamic in the work place. Many employers are looking for team players who have a positive attitude and are able to work with others to find solutions and achieve results. You can develop this quality through team sports or volunteer work.

Buying Your First Car

shutterstock_53446393Are your parents tightening up on how much you can use their car? Then it’s time my friend to bite the bullet and get your own. While this may seem a daunting task, here are a few practical things that will help you to win in the world of purchasing a pre loved automobile.

Consider the whole price:The owner may be asking $3,600 for the car, but it may not include a Road worthy certificate, this alone could cost you between $200-$1500. The roads authorities in your state will charge you a fee to transfer the car into your name which for a $4,000 car will cost you approximately $250. Not to mention insurance, this will cost you approximately $400 per year for third party. So at the very least you will need to pay $650 above the asking price to get your car on the road.

Be wise:Unless it’s a vintage car, cars do not increase in value. While you want to get something that meets your needs and suits your personality, be aware that at the end of the day cars take your money they do not make you money. If you’re considering financing a car or getting a personal loan, definitely err on the side of the least amount you have to pay back the better.

Where to find them: While you may search for cars in the local paper, most often both dealerships and private sellers use or You can search for cars on eBay but be aware that most cars on eBay do not come with a road worthy certificate.

Take a spotter:When checking out your newshutterstock_15122191 sweet ride to be, make sure to take someone along with you. A fresh set of eyes will be able to point out faults in the car that you may overlook in the euphoria of the moment.

Things to ask the seller:The more that you can find out about the history of the car the better. Ask things like, can I see the service history booklet? When were the brakes changed last? Has this car been in a major accident? How much tread is left in the tyres and does this car come with a Road worthy certificate.

Danger signs:If you notice traces of water on the inside of the engine cap, noises from the back end of the car when you change gears, that a magnet doesn’t stick to the car body or that the gears do not change smoothly. It’s probably best to keep looking because these signs point to problems which could cost you a lot of money.

Taking that step and buying your first car is incredibly exciting, and it doesn’t need to be such a daunting process. Simply be wise, look in the right place, take a friend and ask the right questions and you’ll be on your way to fun filled motoring in no time.

Article by Raymond Mitchell 20/09/11