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.

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.

How do I know which career is right for me?

#1 You did it! You survived high school and in a just few months your life in the real world is going to begin. Some of your friends have already started to make plans, university courses, internships or apprenticeships. But for you the future is not that clear, which makes any decisions in the present seem impossible.

You’re not alone. Many students find themselves at the end of their school years with no better idea of what career to pursue than when they started. So how do you figure out which career will be right for you?

Talk to people you trust

The best way to work out which career path to jump on is to learn about yourself. You may already have an idea of what you like: subjects at school, hobbies or extracurricular activities. Talk to your friends and family about what you enjoy about each activity. Ask them what they think and have them ask you questions about your passions and strengths. You may be surprised by what you learn from these conversations. Talk to your teachers, coaches and your guidance counselor at school, they may be able to give you some additional advice. Try to think about what you are naturally good at, this could also give you an indication of the direction you can go in.

Career tests

Your school guidance counselor may have a career test that you could complete to get some suggestions of careers that would suit your personality or skill set. The Internet also has lots of great resources that could help. Simply search for career tests on the web and you’ll find a #2few that may be suitable. You don’t have to take these tests as law, many of them are designed to make suggestions and give you ideas, not to guide your life. There are also options for paid career tests. Do some research to find the best option for you.

Research research research

Spend time on career websites like seek.com.au or mycareer.com.au looking at the different career options in industries. If you get an idea for a career that appeals to you, look at job ads for the position and find out what qualifications, skills or even personality types employers are looking for. This is will help to clarify if the career is a good fit for you. You may also be surprised at the number of career options in an industry or the entry-level requirements for positions.

Read

There are loads of websites that are specifically geared toward helping people explore different career or course options. You simply have to search for terms like “careers advice” or “course finder” to find a range of websites that are tailored to your needs. You could also try libraries or bookshops for books on topics like career options or particular industries.

Research University or Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses

#3 Information about university and VET courses are readily available in the course guides created by the education institutions or on their websites. Read through the course descriptions of degrees or courses that interest you and take a note of the suggested career paths for graduates.

Whether you decide to pursue a career for stability and financial security or for passion and enjoyment, following your interests, skills and personality is a good guide. This means you have to know yourself and have confidence in your ability. Remember that nothing is set in stone once you leave high school, you can always change courses, or pursue a completely different career path once your complete you undergraduate degree.

To connect with Year 12’s transitioning to University, click HERE.

To connect with others from your University, click HERE.

Is a gap year right for me? Some tips to get the most out of a gap year.

#1The decision to take a gap year is a big one and should be made after careful consideration. If done well a gap year can equip you with valuable experiences, any may even give you a clearer direction of the career path you want to pursue. If handled poorly you could waste a year getting apathetic in a dead end job or lose focus by getting caught up in reckless living.

There are many things you can do on a gap year. Whether you’ve decided to go travelling or you’ve got your sights set on full time for a year, you should take some time to work out what you want to get out of the year.

Lots of students choose to do extensive travel before you settle into full time study. Travel can be a wonderful eye-opening time and a lot of fun too. There’s nothing wrong with having a good time, but focusing solely on this can give you a false sense of achievement until you get back home and realize you’re no better off than when you left.

#31 If you’ve decided to jump on the next plane out of your city when you finish year 12, think about incorporating some interesting work experience opportunities, if you have the right visa, and /or some worthwhile charity work can make a lot of difference to your year. Sight seeing tourist stuff is great, but doing some hard work in country will give you a sense of purpose and may give you some ideas for your future career.

If you want to take a gap year to work, may sure that you have some clear personal development goals for the year. Full time work in the right business will give you some great skills in time management, meeting deadlines, structure and can help you to develop a strong work ethic. If you find that your manager or supervisor has some skills, traits or work habits that you admire, consider asking them to mentor you. All of this personal development will help you with your studies if you decide to go to university and will hold you in good stead in your career.

You may have in mind engaging in a combination of part-time or casual work as well as internships and volunteer work. Again having specific goals are very important for keeping you on track. With internships be sure to research your options well and keep an open mind with the position you secure. The goal is to get experience in an industry you may be interested in working in. Companies typically give interns all the menial jobs, so make sure you take a positive attitude and use your time to make a good impression and ask lots of questions if you have the opportunity.

There is also the option of using your gap year to work hard and save money for your study expenses or some other big financial goals. If you decide to go down this route be sure to make your financial goals clear and work out a budget that will help you to get there. It’s also helpful to have someone, your parents or someone else that you respect keep you accountable to your goals. Give yourself some milestones to keep yourself on track and celebrate by treating yourself to something nice each time to achieve a milestone financial figure on the way to your goal.