Studying overseas can provide you with a great opportunity to accelerate your career. Global experience, advanced degrees and work experience are all looked on favourably by employers at home and abroad. To ensure you make the most of your overseas study, you should consider work experience during your degree in Australia.
Why should you do work experience in Australia?
There are several benefits to undertaking work experience during your studies. Here are just a handful.
One of the benefits of studying in Australia is that your student visa allows you to work while you study. Most visa holders are allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight. This additional income can help supplement your cost of living and let you enjoy everything Australia has to offer outside of the classroom.
Improve your written and verbal communication skills
It’s no secret that finding a job in another country can be tough. Cultural and language barriers can hinder a potential applicant. Work experience can address these problems. During your studies you can work in an Australian workplace and get exposed to Australian culture and improve your language skills, something Australian employers look upon favourably.
Work experience helps you build your network outside of university. While you should leverage your university networks to find a job, broadening your network will improve your chances for future employment. A role (unpaid or paid) in your industry will give you this unique advantage when it comes to looking for work after graduation.
Improve your chances for a job after graduation
This all leads to the biggest benefit for work experience – helping secure a job after graduation. It’s well documented that work experience does help you get a job after graduation. However, there are two exceptions; if the work experience is unrelated to your field of study or if it was a mandatory part of your degree.
This means if you want to get the most out of your work experience you need to put in the groundwork. Below are some of our tips to help you do just that.
Tips for work experience
Finding the right type of work experience for you can take some time. Here are some tips to help guide you during your search.
Understand your rights
As an international student you have certain rights under your visa. Make sure you understand the work rights under the visa that you have. Most international students have the right to work 40 hours per fortnight but that is not always the case.
Search for job options
There’s a variety of resources to use when looking for a job. Aside from job search websites and the employers’ own website be sure to use other resources. In particular, leverage the skills and expertise of your university. Your careers team is a fantastic source of knowledge. So are student organisations (think, consulting clubs or finance societies) that often have recruitment events.
Searching for work experience is a marathon not a sprint. Like a marathon, you need to prepare. This includes preparing your resume and practising your interview skills. Your resume should be tailored to each job and should describe how your achievements and skills make you suitable for the role. Interview preparation should include researching the company, common interview questions (e.g. describe a time you were challenged) and questions for the interviewer.
At Spark we understand the importance of work experience during and after your degree. That’s why we’re happy to provide resume review and interview preparation for our students.
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