Career and Work

The job race

business people silhouette

We start our first year of the university experience testing the waters out, seeing what studies are like, what the actual lecture experience is like, meeting the people who will be part of our group of friends – the people who we will go out with and be connected to throughout our degrees and afterwards.

The pace of the first years of university can become something of a blur, adjusting to the differences from being in high school, we begin to find our place in the university environment. But by the time a lot of us have the knack for balancing all the things mentioned above,  the degree is almost completed and we are left trying to figure out what to do in the next part of this journey.

We hear the talk during our lectures urging us to get the experience before we are done our degrees; get that internship, that mentorship, that part-time job, become a part of one of the numerous groups available to the students attending Griffith.  We have all heard it at some point, but whether we have all absorbed it is a different issue.

I found an eye opening statistic on in regards to job prospects for graduate students; it said that since the global financial crisis graduate job prospects have dropped and stayed at that lower level.

Now, I am using this statistic to scare students at the beginning, middle and end of their degrees.  But, I am trying to scare in order ignite a motivation to participate and get involved in all the things you like to do, things that will help propel you in whatever career path you choose to take.  From experience I know that competition for work at the end of university is hectic. I hate to use the word “competition” but that’s what it is – a head to head race to find that foot in the door against thousands of students who have the same qualifications, and possibly the same GPAs.

So the question I ask you is…


What sets you apart from the rest?


What will set you apart from the rest is all your experiences outside of University study – your volunteer work, your part-time job, your mentorship, internship, or club involvement.   For those of you who are already involved that’s amazing, and you will be prepared for the journey to your dream career.  For those of you who haven’t yet gotten involved I urge you to do so!
I had a friend, who was a HD student throughout their university degree, a brilliant mind in their area of study.  They didn’t get involved because they thought it was sufficient to do well in school, to excel in their studies.  To their surprise when they got out of university they had a hard time finding employment, even with the HDs.  Employers would ask “What else have you done besides studying?”, he would say “I put all my focus in school”, the responses were dismal.

But, I am glad to say after hard work, time and perseverance this friend is now in the career of their dreams.

The point of telling you this is because you don’t have to put in all the time, extra work and stress at the end of your degree in order to get the career that my friend had to put numerous months into finding.

You can start the process of getting involved; getting experience in the career you’re interested now.

From my own experience as an international student, I have had the opportunity to be involved in things I enjoy doing while studying at Griffith.  I have had the chance to participate in a variety of legal clinics, I have had the chance to volunteer in positions I actually enjoy volunteering in, and hey! I got the chance to write for this blog, which has also been a great experience.  Everything you participate in goes towards your future and provides you with endless possibilities and open doors which wouldn’t be available had you not gotten involved early.

So, I urge all students, look on the school bulletin boards, check out the student guilds, look at community services programs that can also give you credits (two birds with one stone), join a club or whatever floats your boat.  Just get involved so you can be ahead of the Job Race come completion of your studies.

– Dave


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  • Anne
    May 13, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    This is a very good post, and I think graduates should take the advice it offers.
    I graduated many years ago, but it is the internships I had done that got the employers interested. It is conversations about my part-time jobs that seemed to help build rapport with the interviewers. It is years spent out of my home country while studying that seemed to give me an edge.
    More than a competitive advantage in the “job race”, all these experiences help you understand better where you want to go, and above all, make you grow. Be ready to hit the ground running when you graduate and start getting involved now. It will definitely be worth the extra effort.