I studied a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) at the QUT Gardens Point campus for two years without befriending a fellow student. Despite the numerous social events and student societies available to me, I just didn’t feel quite part of the crowd and the idea of ‘diving in’ was daunting.
At the beginning of Semester 1, 2019, I decided to change that. I was about to step my studies up to a full-time workload and I couldn’t bear the thought of feeling alone on campus for another two years. Just one week into the semester, I attended my first student society event and (amazingly) I survived to tell the tale. Not only did I face and overcome my fears, but I also made some great professional connections and met people who fast became close friends. With my newfound confidence, I started actively seeking out new chances to enhance my studies.
Later in the semester, I signed up for my first Business Advantage workshop: LinkedIn and Employment Preparation, facilitated by the amazing Sally Dwyer from Be Social, Be Smart. The event was advertised on Facebook and, as a frightened but eager LinkedIn novice, I didn’t hesitate to sign up.
The full-day workshop broadened my understanding of the recruitment process within big organisations, demonstrated how to write a written application to stand out from the rest, and provided me with the tools to use LinkedIn as a true partner in my career advancement.
At the end of the day, I had eight A4 pages of notes, a killer LinkedIn bio and new confidence in presenting myself authentically and professionally to the online community.
One of the highlights of my day was finding the time to sit down and chat with Jess Kelly, the bubbly and vivacious new Business Advantage coordinator. Jess had some great personal advice on life after study, and we made sure to connect on LinkedIn.
Walking away from the free workshop, I truly believed I couldn’t have asked for more. Yet within two weeks, another big advantage of actively participating in free professional development and networking opportunities such as Business Advantage became clear …
Laura, a colleague of Jess’ within the professional staff team, was hunting for a short-term assistant to help her during a particularly busy time. Jess was asked if she knew anyone who was suitable and was kind enough to mention my name. Laura looked over my newly polished LinkedIn profile and messaged me to have a coffee date to discuss a mysterious job opportunity (needless to say, I thought the message was someone having a joke… it seemed too good to be true!)
As I write this, I have been working with Laura as a Digital Content Assistant within the QUT Business School office for nine weeks. I have loved the challenge of learning entirely new programs and systems, getting to work within a highly professional (and lovely!) team and applying some of my textbook knowledge to real-world projects (read your textbooks – it actually applies to a real job, I swear).
To anyone wanting to try something new at uni, whether it be a workshop, student society or work experience, my advice is to say yes! Attending my first Business Advantage workshop provided me with opportunities I never thought possible.