How to find an internship as an international student

One month ago, I was offered a paid internship as a tax accountant for two months during the tax season ( July to August). I was literally too happy I burst out crying when I got the phone call. If you are an international student as well, I’m sure you can understand why I feel this way. I know a lot of international students are struggling in finding an internship, so hope some of the tips I write in this blog can help.

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First let’s identify some difficulties when finding an internship for international students, taking me as an example:

• Language barrier

This obviously is a huge obstacle for me who have lived in China for most of my life. Coming to Australia last year and haven’t studied overseas before, I find it very hard when doing group discussion with domestic students and clearly conveying my thoughts.

• A lack of local working experience

When I started job seeking in October last year, most of my working/volunteering experience on my resume happened in Shanghai. I only put down one local volunteer experience (Robotronica @ QUT). This made me very unconfident as most companies value local experience.

• Unmatched information

This can be a lack of knowledge about resume format & recruitment process (it’s different from your home country), networking awkwardness (I have never attended any networking events before coming to Australia) and not taking good use of QUT Career Hub (which turns out to be extremely useful for me ).

Though these obstacles are very daunting, don’t let them define us and be positive! At the end of the day, you can totally overcome these difficulties. Yes, I guarantee! The following is what I did to improve myself and gradually be more and more confident as a job-seeker.

1. Start being active in uni

Join one or two clubs and get engaged with uni activities (aka connector, global cafe, LDI). I’m sure you want to build up your confidence and be a better communicator. Attending extra-curricula workshops is a good way to learn how to do team work and speak up your ideas. In addition, you can also meet people and expand your network.

2.Have a Linkedin profile and learn from other people’s career path

One of the things I often do is to check other people’s career path on Linkedin. It’s not stalking others (though my friends always say I like stalking people on Linkedin) but through reading other people’s work experience, you can see how they ended up getting a good graduate job. Some people may have great GPA, others, while not showing their GPA on Linkedin, have already got two or three major-related work experience before graduation.

3.Start volunteering, this will lead to a paid role eventually

Before I got this paid position, I have done lots of unpaid work ranging from being a QUT Connector in orientation week, being an executive in a uni club to volunteering outside uni in a non-for-profit for 7 months. This process is mainly about building up local work experience and get an idea of how it is like to work in Australian office environment.

4.Take good use of QUT Career and Employment resources

I attended lots of workshops hosted by QUT Career and Employment, most of them are extremely useful. If you want me to recommend you one or two workshops, I’ll definitely say: go for resume, cover letter and interview workshops, career counsellors will help you polish your skills.

5.Stay positive even though you get rejections

I know it’s very frustrating to be rejected. I have been rejected more than 20 times before getting this internship. Also I failed 3 interviews this semester out of 4 interviews. But that’s okay! You know what, one of my friends who’s also an international student applied for 60 positions on Seek, got lots of rejections but ended up getting a job eventually. So be positive and never give up.

6.Check Career Hub everyday and start applying

Why Career Hub is way better than Seek? Because most of the jobs on Career Hub is only targeted at QUT students  and only need entry-level experience while the job ads on Seek are available to everyone all over Australia and usually require many years of experience. So your chance of being successful is much higher. Everyday you will find new jobs posted on Career Hub as well. For me, both of the two positions I got so far were from Career Hub. So there you go, check it everyday and start applying!

Just found I have been talking a lot haha. Okay peace out and good luck! I’d like to hear back your good news.

O Week at QUT!

Monday 18 July marked the start of O week and the start of a new semester! It is good to be back to QUT after few weeks break. There are some new changes in the university during the break. One of the changes is QUT is now a smoke-free university. It is nice to see the university priorities students’ health and safety to start this smoke-free university policy and transform the smoking area. The smoking area has now been transformed to this:

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Best part of the transformation in my opinion is bean bags are provided. Students can now chill around with friends during lunch time or when they have break in between lectures or tutorials.

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Many clubs set up their booths during O week. It is the perfect opportunity for students to join some clubs, social events and expand their social networks. Many freebies and special deal were provided by the clubs!

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One of the reasons I love O week is lunch deal! Students are able to enjoy lunch that costs only $2 and also live performance on the lawn!

Some of the attractions during O week:

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Rock climbing activity.

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This is also one of the attractions in university. Students are able to touch or take pictures with the snake!

Don’t worry if you miss out O week! Market week is next week (Week 1 of the semester) and be sure to check it out 🙂

Orientation week at QUT

One thing I noticed between China and Australian is that: in China we don’t really have orientation week, but here in Australia Orientation is a good place to meet people and make your future campus life more colourful.

On the main orientation day, all the new students will come to university and attend workshops where they’ll be informed about things they need to know. Besides that there will be club stalls all over the campus. No matter what you are interested in, you can find the club.

For me, I was interested in doing some community volunteering, so I joined a club call QUT Big Lift straight away last year and even helped them recruiting new students in the orientation week this year.

QUT Big Lift Stall

QUT Big Lift Stall

QUT Brewers Stall

QUT Brewers Stall

 

Telling new students what QUT Big Lift is and enjoying the sunny orientation week 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handing out club-made ginger beer to potential brewers

QUT Brewers' giant barrel

QUT Brewers’ giant barrel

There are also quite a few volunteer programs running in the orientation week as well. If you have studied in QUT for 1 year and want to help new students settle down, you can join QUT International Student Service intern or QUT Connector. Both of them need volunteers to run workshops or campus tours for new students.

Volunteer with other international students for orientation week

Volunteer with other international students for orientation week

Me as a connector

Me as a connector

As a new student just arrived in Australia, I made awesome friends in orientation. As an existing student and orientation volunteer, I’m happy to talk to new students and share my experience with them. Orientation week is always a fun and colourful week for everyone!

Tips when looking for accommodation

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“I will be coming to QUT this semester and I need a suitable accommodation for my stay in Brisbane!!!! HELPPPPPPPP!!!”

I was really worried about finding a place to stay before coming to QUT to study. It’s important to find a place which is convenient to get to university and nearby public transport so you can get around easily. Here are some tips when looking for accommodation!

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Research! As you will not be here physically, you will need to rely on Google and do research online. Do this earlier and not leave it till last minute! Research area or suburbs which are near to QUT. If you intend to stay somewhere within walking distance to university, you could choose to stay in the city or South Bank. There are some students accommodation available nearby such as UniLodge, Iglu and Urbanest. You can also opt to stay in Kelvin Grove. It’s convenient as QUT provides free shuttle bus to assist students who which to travel within Kelvin Grove and Gardens Point.

Do some research, set a budget on how much you want to spend on accommodation and the area or suburb you intend to stay. This will help you narrow down your choices and save time as you can search for accommodation more efficiently! This make your accommodation lookout easier and you don’t have to waste your time looking at a large number of options which are not suitable.

Here are some helpful links when looking for accommodation:

You could also visit QUT website to search for rental accommodation: https://qut.studystays.com.au/

Join the closed Facebook group as well as students will post about rental accommodation: QUT HOUSE SHARE / ROOM RENT / INFO

Find out about accommodation services advice by QUT: https://www.qut.edu.au/about/services-and-facilities/all-services/accommodation

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Find out the public transportation nearby! If you intend to stay somewhere which you will be using public transport, it is important to find out about the nearby public transport!

Download the Google Maps and Translink applications to find out how to get around from your choice of accommodation. Make sure there are public transport nearby your place and it’s convenient to get to university! These applications are useful as you could find out the distance to the bus stop or train station, how to get around to your destination in the shortest time and plan your journey!

Find out what’s nearby your accommodation. Research to look out for nearby restaurants and grocery marts as well!

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Don’t worry if you are here all alone and have trouble with your accommodation. Seek QUT for counselling services and they will be really helpful! One of my friends just got here alone and had some issue with her rental accommodation. She got help with the international office in QUT (X Block) and they helped her to look for new accommodation. They were really nice and provided assistance despite the last minute notice given by my friend!

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Good luck looking for accommodation! 🙂

 

 

My thoughts on the incoming Co-Curricular Record at QUT

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Ever since the beginning of this year, I have been hearing people talking about QUT going to launch a Co-Curricular Pilot Record Program. That is to say, at the end of the year, you will not only receive an academic transcript listing your GPA, but also a record of your extra-curricular hours/involvement at QUT.

The reason behind this is to encourage more students to get involved with university activities and help them communicate the value of their skills and experiences to employers.

Personally I think this is a really cool idea because more students will have the incentive to take part in university activities and develop their skills. As far as I know, there are quite a few students who come to uni only for lectures and then go straight home for lacking a sense of belonging. I’m sure with the adoption of this program, more students will start participating in campus events or joining different programs.

For me I will definitely check this program out and share with you later!

 

 

 

Semester Holidays!

I had found the first two semesters relatively easy. I made the mistake of thinking third semester would be the same and took on quite a lot of stuff. The thing is QUT offers a lot in terms of skill development and personal development. I had decided that I would make use of those opportunities especially because that was one of my goals coming abroad. So, I took on a lot of stuff and it was a roller coaster ride. No regrets though. I know I would do it all over again.

It is winter in this part of the globe. They say the winter here is not harsh, but being a coastal girl from a tropical country that I am, I struggled last year. This year, however, I made sure I was prepared for anything that winter throws at me. I was not prepared for the rain though. The rains always remind me of home. It rains a lot back home and we even have different names for them (kaalavarsham, thulavarsham etc) depending on the month! I love curling up with a book and coffee when it rains. I had headed to the bookstore to check if anything of my taste is available and this is what I see! QUT has a good sense of humour, don’t they!

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Though it is holidays, I have exciting days ahead. I recently had the LDI Training Institute from 27 June – 01 July 2016. One whole week of intense LDI. Have I told you about LDI before? Nah? It’s a co-curricular program for leadership development for students. And it is something I have been involved in from the end of last year. I have made great like-minded friends through it and they are an amazing support system. I have found mentors through it regarding my skill development especially around workshop facilitation.

A group of friends are also working on getting a support system ready for international students who are doing their Masters in the Faculty of Health (MISH). And that’s something I am really excited about. We hope to connect students to each other and to QUT so that students can have a better adjustment to their university life. Wish us luck!!

P.S If you are interested to know more about MISH, please check our Facebook Group & Page

My experiences with resume writing workshop, career mentor scheme, and real world placement program

At QUT, there are many different types of services provided by different departments to help students strive for success during the entire learning journey.

Today I am going to share my experiences with some services I have used before. I have attended resume writing workshop and involved in Career Mentor Scheme and Real World Placement Program which were organised by QUT Career Hub. QUT Career Hub also provides many other support services to students, for example interview preparation, LinkedIn workshop, tips for finding jobs in Brisbane exclusively for international students etc.

I highly recommend resume writing workshop for those who are planning to look for jobs, no matter whether is it just a casual job during your study or a full time job after you graduate. The speaker will go through some tips to make your resume stand out from the crowds. You can also bring your resume to the workshop if you already have one to share with other students or ask for the advice from the speaker. Another good service I like is QUT Career Hub, which also provides resume feedback through email. If your timetable is conflicts with the workshop, you still can send your resume through the email and get the professional advice in time.

Career Mentor Scheme is another excellent program provided by QUT Career Hub. You will have to send in your application at the beginning of the semester and attend the Career Mentor Scheme Orientation. After that, QUT Career Hub will try their best to match you up with a mentor in the industry. You will receive a confirmation email if you are successfully matched up with a mentor and also the invitation to the career mentor scheme launch function. I am glad that I have a mentor now through this scheme. My mentor provided me the information regarding our industry and shared with me his working journey. I feel lucky to have a mentor along my master journey at QUT. I can easily seek the answers for my queries regarding to the study, work and industry from now on.

Real World Placement Program’s aim is to offer students a Real World experience so we can apply the theory we learnt during the lessons into practice within real organisations. The workshop guided us step-by-step in the process of preparing yourself for the placement. In the handbook given at the beginning of the workshop, it includes some useful tips for interview, handy templates for the cover letter and resume and others. It is definitely a helpful workshop for those who are planning for the placement.

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The RoundUp

Hi, everyone!

We hope you are enjoying the uni break! We’ve got the latest news from QUT and Brisbane for you to read.

Become a robotics guru!

QUT is offering two MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in robotics. Launch yourself into the robotic world with the Introduction to Robotics course, and if that has you hooked you can enrol in the Robotic Vision course later this year. Interested? We are!

Read more…

QUT students stand out from the crowd

QUT’s Leadership, Development and Innovation (LDI) Program is the only one of its kind in Australia!

So, what’s it all about?

The LDI Program takes students through workshops to re-think what leadership means in our rapidly changing world. Better yet, students receive awards for their level of involvement to showcase on their resume’ for future employers.

Read more…

Olympic fever!

Inspired by the Rio Olympics to explore a career in exercise and sport science?

Study human movement and exercise at QUT to learn from teaching staff who are internationally recognised for research innovations in sports performance, analysis, injury prevention, and rehabilitation.

Read more…

Be uplifted by QUT’s Big Lift organisation

The QUT Big Lift is an organisation which aims to support regional communities through meaningful volunteering programs. Those involved also get to learn about rural life in Australia and gain exposure to Indigenous communities.

Are you ready to pay it forward?

Read more…

QUT International College – not just a place to study

If you want to improve your English language or academic results, QUT International College (QUTIC) offers a variety of English language programs to suit your needs.

Plus, QUTIC has a lot of support services on offer so you are never alone in your education journey!

Read more…

Kick back in South Bank

Have you been to South Bank? It is in walking distance to QUT Gardens Point via the Goodwill Bridge. Great for a study break or to catch up with friends!

Read more…

Taste testing Aussie food!

BuzzFeed shared this funny video showing Americans taste testing Australian food. We think Vegemite is delicious (tip: avoid eating straight from the jar!)

Have you tried any of these classic Aussie snacks?

Read more…

Connect with us on Weibo

Are you on Weibo?

Our wonderful Digital Ambassador, Aubrey Zhou, has been helping us update QUT’s Weibo Account. We encourage you to connect with us on Weibo, too!

Read more…

Until next time, have an awesome weekend!

The QUT Team

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