Disclaimer: This worked for me, but it might be different to you, so please read it with this in mind! ?
So, you have just started your first day as a university student, in a country that could be a few thousand kilometres away from where you call home.
You would then attend your first lecture and workshop, found the contents to be difficult, yet intriguing, and are keen to get settled into this new and exciting chapter of your life.
Suddenly, it’s Week 6 and you’re starting to hear that your peers have started applying for and getting their first jobs, whether it be a part-time retail job or an internship that will further develop their professional development. You begin to wonder how your peers did it – possibly feeling slightly annoyed, panicking and typing in “the latest resume template” on Google, updating your LinkedIn profile, and applying for every job that matches your previous experience that you can find. Weeks goes by, you haven’t heard back from your applied jobs, and trust me, I know that exact feeling.
However, you might be forgetting the fact that you are still in university, and no one expects for you to have all the answers in the world – although you feel like it all the time. Notice how I have bolded the word university? That’s because at university, you have access to all the support that you can get, whereas you don’t get as much help in a professional workplace.
In terms of the support, not only are there academic and financial support services at Griffith, but there is also more personal support. The academic and admin staff represent the well-rounded foundations of the university – as they’re knowledgeable, can take constructive criticism and reflect well, and are willing to support their promising, high achieving and motivated students to achieve their collective dreams.
Case in point – I’m a highly motivated and high achieving student in all my courses, whether it be in software programming or graphic design. I would start my assessments weeks ahead and would contribute during the workshops daily. I’m also someone who doesn’t back away from a challenge and will always look for ways to expand my connections with the academic and admin staff. A former senior lecturer and who is now one of the School of ICT’s Head of Discipline saw how proactive I was in her courses, told me that should I ever want to do some undergraduate research and get some academic experience, that I should reach out to her.
I thought about this for a while and decided to write a research paper on the importance of having a student-centred methodology in programming courses. This aligned well with my lecturer’s research interests, being human and computer interaction. I reached out to her about my interests, and she told me that there was an opening and that she would be happy to co-write it with me, as an informal mentor-mentee partnership. I would also be able to practice and get some academic tutoring experience during my new role as a research assistant.
The rest is history!
And my professional development will continue to expand and increase, especially over the course of Trimester 2, 2021.
The morals of my story are:
- Lay out a professional development plan and act upon it
- Don’t stop looking for innovative ways to immerse yourself into this great community and establishing connections
- Ask for help along the way when you need it – as you might never know the kind of help you will get in return
- Don’t ever back down from an unfamiliar challenge
- And always be grateful and willing to help others – especially those who have previously helped you.
Also, I will always be able to help you in my capacity if you need a friendly face and a positive attitude! You will most likely find me in the library, either working on personal or clients’ projects, or at the nearest boba tea shop, as I’m something of a boba connoisseur myself.
Drop me a LinkedIn request here if you are polishing up your LinkedIn and would like a second opinion, or have a project that we can both collaborate with each other and grow together!
Good luck out there!
Bachelor of Creative and Interactive Media.