Get the experience you need for the career you want
There are many reasons to study at an overseas university. It is an opportunity to experience a different culture, meet new people and experience new ideas. It is about preparing you for your next stage in life, getting a good start on your career. And while your reading and lectures and other formal learning opportunities are crucial, there is so much more you can do to increase your chance at career success as a graduate.
Learning through working
When an employer looks at your resume, they are not looking at your grades. Yes, good grades are important as evidence to yourself that you are learning, but employers probably won’t be asking about them. What the employer will look for is evidence that you can apply the theory you have learned. One way to achieve this experience is through Work Integrated Learning, where you gain work experience as part of your program.
‘Deakin facilitated work experience in my field where I was afforded the opportunity to work with real clients in the final year of my undergraduate degree,’ says Shanya, who came to Deakin from Sri Lanka to study information technology. ‘Deakin has taught me how to apply the theoretical frameworks in practice. This gave me a solid foundation to enter the workforce.’
‘Deakin facilitated work experience in my field where I was afforded the opportunity to work with real clients in the final year of my undergraduate degree.’
Students also find value in being involved in on-campus groups and activities. Luocheng (Rod), an occupational therapy student from China, and Zimbabwean data analytics student Christian both provide student-to-student support through Deakin programs. By acting as mentors to other international students they are, as Christian says, learning crucial ‘problem solving and time management skills as well as other soft skills such as communication.’
Campus activities such as these not only build personal skills but are important for networking. Christian’s time in the Business and Law Mentoring Program ‘opened doors for more opportunities’ including a paid role in that program. Muhammad, a Master of Marketing student from Pakistan, created a peer network by co-founding the Delta Marketing Club Deakin (DMCD) and becoming its first president.
‘During my tenure as president, we organised several industry events and networking sessions for the club members,’ he says. ‘This was important to me because I understand that international students who are coming here for the first time may not have the same connections or know much about the Australian workplace.’ These are networks of like-minded students who can become valuable colleagues in the future.
Becoming part of the community
Off campus and away from the university, getting involved in the local community enables students to build a well-rounded resume. ‘Employers want to see that you have diverse skills and that you have interacted with a broad group of people in Australia,’ said Syreeta from DeakinTALENT, the university’s award-winning 24/7 ‘anytime anywhere’ careers service. ‘We offer workshops to help you network and engage with employers and develop a strong application so that employers are able to get a good understanding of who you are and what you can do.’
Volunteering and being involved in community groups improves both personal and professional skills. Since arriving in Australia from China, occupational therapy student Rod has immersed himself in his local community. ‘Participating in community activities continually improves my English and confidence, and builds my professional skills,’ Rod said. ‘I have had the chance to meet the local people, and to understand Australian culture, values and the meaning of inclusion.’
‘Participating in community activities continually improves my English and confidence, and builds my professional skills.’
Larry, who is also from China, has been getting volunteer experience directly related to his studies. Coaching junior basketball in Melbourne while studying exercise and sport science at Deakin, Larry says that the opportunity to support young athletes with their sport skills and their mental health is extremely valuable for his future.
According to Syreeta, ‘building your experience while studying though volunteering or internships is valuable not just to gain skills and confidence, but also to develop relationships and a potential future referee. Your supervisor on that internship can be a good reference when you begin applying for graduate roles.’
Support throughout your studies
Syreeta is with the team that coordinates the DeakinTALENT International Student Careers or ‘DISC’ program. They provide specialised support for international students to understand the Australian labour market, strengthen their professional network, and apply targeted job search strategies through a series of workshops, events, and online resources. They’re not just for students looking for their first job after university. Christian, studying in Australia from Zimbabwe, sought help from DeakinTALENT with applications and interview skills for a Work Integrated Learning placement in Korea and an internship in Canada. That’s international experience that he will remember!
Whether it is your lecturers, your fellow students or our award-winning DeakinTALENT team, everyone at Deakin wants you to succeed.
Find out about studying at Deakin University here
Learn more about DeakinTALENT here
Discover Deakin’s range of study areas here