We know that there’s more to finding your dream job than completing your university studies and hoping for the best. That’s why there’s a wealth of opportunities offered to you during your time at uni – such as industry-led work placements, summer internships, field work, international study tours, career masterclasses, employer expos, practical online tools and apps – all of which can enrich your experience and help you to graduate career ready.
But sometimes it can be hard to know what opportunities and resources are out there and how best to take advantage of them.
Creating a successful career path starts the moment you step on campus – you just need to take advantage of the all the resources readily available to you.
Here’s our step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Cultivate a career-ready mindset
To make the most of the opportunities that are presented to you, it’s a good idea to keep the following clear in your mind:
- What do you want out of university?
- Who do you want to be when you finish your studies?
Whether you’re early on in your academic journey or coming towards the end and preparing for your next challenge, these can be scary questions. But don’t let anxiety rule your answers.
There isn’t one single path to follow to get you to where you want to be. In fact, it’s the journey itself that may reveal what you should be doing with your life.
Part of the fun of studying, networking and doing work placements is discovering where your strengths lie. If you can identify the types of environment where you thrive and what types of projects motivate you to be your best, you’ll be in a stronger position to communicate these strengths to future employers and stand out from other interviewees.
Use this chance to develop your understanding of the world of work, discover where you fit and how you intend to shape it.
The key take-out: Say YES to opportunities as they present themselves.
There are myriad resources here on campus and online that will help you gain practical on-the-job training, improve your communication skills, enhance your cultural awareness and nurture your entrepreneurial spark.
Step 2: Take advantage of on-campus resources
Did you know that there’s an array of events and experts here on campus to support you with your job hunting and career planning?
Our highly trained team of career advisors and employability ambassadors are available to speak with you one-on-one throughout the uni term. They can help you with really useful stuff like:
- Exploring career options related to your course
- Postgraduate study
- How to search for jobs
- Interview practise
- Developing your job-ready skills
- Employment rights and responsibilities
- Career-readiness tips and training
- Connecting with employers and mentors
- Register for flexible paid work opportunities
Compliment this one-on-one assistance by attending one of the regular networking events, Masterclasses or workshops that our Career Ready team host throughout the year. These events will introduce you to local employers, recruiters and our major industry partners, all with a focus on helping you to find internships or work placements and learn what hiring managers are looking for in new graduates. This opportunity to have face-to-face contact with employers will help you develop the edge you’ll need in your job search.
Take a look at the schedule of current events aimed at undergraduates and post-grads looking to launch their career.
Step 3: Gain real life experience in the world of work
You’re probably aware that in this competitive job market employers are not just looking for people with degrees. They’re seeking well-rounded, adaptable graduates; people with a range of non-technical skills and life experience that will help them to solve real-world problems and work well within existing teams.
Knowing that employers value graduates with workplace experience means that developing a wide range of diverse skills while you’re studying is of vital importance.
Work placements are a brilliant way to gain insights into the industries and occupations you have your heart set on outside of the classroom. They help you to develop your own professional skills and personal strengths, and to identify those characteristics that will help you stand out from the rest of the pack.
Such opportunities also allow you to form invaluable relationships with professionals in your industry through participation in major events, community outreach projects, private and public sector internships and industry-connected international study tours.
Play your cards right, and you may even come out the other end with a job offer before you graduate!
Lucky for you, the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce (ASSC) and the College of Science, Health and Engineering (SHE) each have specialised employability-enhancing programs tailored to your field of study – some optional, some paid, many built into your course framework.
It’s best to speak to your course leaders directly but here are just a few of the discipline-specific opportunities you can take advantage of:
Added bonus: Being able to say you meaningfully contributed to a real-life project or helped solve a real-world problem means you can list it on your CV – and supercharge your resume.
Bonus! Online resources to help you graduate work-ready
Career Ready Advantage – This program will help you prepare for life after La Trobe. Developed in partnership with actual employers, it’s designed to help you develop social intelligence and cognitive flexibility, as well as the skills and attributes that employers find attractive in new graduates.
As you progress through the program you’ll learn how to confidently tell your own story and articulate your value to future employers.
Orient yourself first with the online learning modules (e.g. Lynda.com and TED Talks) which will be tailored to your interests and goals. From there you can unlock rewards as you move on to more structured work-related activities (such as internships and volunteering). You’ll also get a chance to reflect on your journey through your own Career Ready Advantage Dashboard. This activity will help you translate your new capabilities into transferable workplace skills.
Access Career Ready Advantage through the Career Ready section of the MyLaTrobe app or your student portal.
There’s also the Online Jobs Marketplace
- CareerHub – search for graduate jobs, casual and part-time jobs, work experience and volunteering opportunities
- EmployerConnect – connect with employers hiring graduates around the world
- GradConnection – apply for formal graduate positions with some of Australia’s biggest government and corporate organisations
- Unitemps – An on-campus recruitment agency connecting you with employers across campus and industry to help you land a flexible job while you study
Have a question about your career options, further study or landing your dream job? Contact the Careers Ready team on campus today