3 Graduates Tell Us How To Make The Most Of The Uni Experience
Don't fall into the "P's get degrees" mindset.
Starting university can be terrifying, even for the smartest, most confident, or “cool’” individuals.
There’s the unfamiliar campuses, busy study schedules, terrifying exams and lecturers that seem perennially grumpy.
To make life a bit easier for all of you starting uni in 2018, we asked three university graduates for their advice on making the most of your tertiary education experience.
First up is Gabrielle, who holds a Bachelor of Communication (with a major in PR) from the University of Newcastle. Gabrielle said something that was echoed by others that we spoke to, and one that especially affects people looking to go into the media industry. “Gaining more experience through internships is another thing I wish I did,” she says. “I undertook one internship whilst at university because I was too picky about where I wanted to intern.”
Internships, while sometimes not ideal, can form the backbone of a career if you make a good impression. Above all, though, they allow you to learn from people in the roles you want. Internships also mean that you can make connections, which can be where a lot of opportunities come from in the media industry. Not all roles are advertised online, and if you’re at the forefront of someone’s mind when they are looking for potential candidates, that can make all the difference to your career.
Gabrielle also touched on the “P’s get degrees” attitude: it’s an easy trap to fall into, but your lecturers and tutors do notice who’s putting in the extra work!
One man who found himself completing extra study was Alex, who studied Arts at Melbourne before completing a Graduate Diploma of Journalism at RMIT. He expressed how he’d wished he’d known how important practical experience was in terms of getting a job. He also talked about the classic “utilise your ATAR” myth.
“It’s also that classic ATAR score thing of if you get a good score try and do something ‘prestigious’ instead of something you’d learn so much more from,” he says. Alex made sure to stress that falling into the trap of using every ATAR point you get may not always be the best thing for those looking to study after high school, so back your original choice in!
Finally, Pip studied a Bachelor of Strategic Communication at La Trobe in Bendigo. She’s had a few more years out of university than the rest of the people mentioned, working in both marketing and media.
Pip also stressed the importance of internships, and how they allow you to find what you enjoy. “I wish I had have known that I could do pretty much any internship or work experience placement while I was at uni,” she says. “I wish I did because there are so many things I don’t know if I like or not because I never tried it when I had the chance.” A recurring theme amongst those interviewed was that university is a time for experimenting and learning what you like. If you come in with pre-conceived ideas of what you want to do, you might miss out!
Whatever you’re going to study this year, above all else, take care of yourself. Make sure you explore all that your university has to offer, but make sure to only take on as much as you can – you’ve got a lot of time to figure things out.
Follow Ben on Twitter @benmaddentweets.
(Lead image: Supplied/Peter Darnley-Stuart. All other images supplied.)