Being a peer leader at QUT has given me much more than I had expected. I’ve received training, developed professional employment networks and had a real impact on my peers.
If you’re passionate about helping other students succeed with their studies, consider getting involved with one of QUT’s Peer Programs. Support from peers is effective because as a fellow student you are more likely to have experience and awareness of what others may be going through.
What programs are there?
There’s a huge range of programs and leadership opportunities available at QUT. Some are uni-wide programs that focus on connection and wellbeing while others are more discipline-specific. Each program gives you the opportunity to develop leadership skills, establish strong networks and form long-term friendships. Often being a peer leader is described as one of the most memorable highlights of student life.
What will I do?
Peer leaders are experienced students trained to share their knowledge and tips about life and learning at QUT. All peer leaders are required to undertake both online and on-campus training and professional learning for their particular peer leader role or roles. You can get involved through a variety of on-campus or online programs.
As a peer leader you will:
connect with other peer leaders in your program
help achieve your peer program’s goals and expectations
participate in training and receive support in your role
develop your professional and employability skills
receive recognition for your volunteer service.
Am I eligible to apply?
Each Peer Program has different applicant requirements. These may include:
applicant requirements (minimum GPA, study year level)
Peer Leader role overview and expectations (time commitment)
Check out what’s available for the upcoming semester. You never know where volunteering can take you!
Do you avoid making small talk? Is it something you dread? Some people seem to be naturals when it comes to small talk but many of us struggle to know what to say. But small talk has its place and building rapport using casual conversation is a useful tool to have in all areas of your life. So try these simple tips to make it less of a chore.
Part of the problem is not knowing what to say so it helps to have some simple stories prepared. Whether it’s about the coffee you spilled first thing in the morning, an interesting problem that is challenging you, or a funny conversation you had with a friend, find something that has a clear beginning, middle, and end that you feel comfortable talking about.
Find Common Ground
It’s human nature that we’re not always interested in things that don’t directly involve us. If you really want to enage the person you’re talking to it’s best to base your story on something you have in common. Whether it’s your study, the public transport or a contact you both know, talking about something that the other person can relate to will help to keep his or her interest.
Keep it Short
If you’re sharing an anecdote make sure it takes no longer than a minute to get through. Remember that you’re having a conversation rather than delivering a presentation and you want the other person to engage with you. You have to be careful not to dominate the discussion and leave your partner with no chance to respond.
Ask Open-ended Questions
Most people enjoy speaking about themselves because it’s easier than talking about a subject you don’t know much about. An open-ended question allows the other person to answer using their complete knowledge and understanding. These questions can help you generate dynamic, exciting conversations, and encourage the other person to share information.
Small talk is a simple exchange that is not meant to delve into your deepest thoughts, feelings, and ambitions. It fills the silence while waiting for something or during an introduction, but you never know where it might lead. If you want to improve your skills in this area, look for opportunities to make small talk and approach people as if they are already your friend.
QUT’s Speakeasy Peer Program offeres a range of interactive sessions aimed at helping you gain the confidence you need for success at university and beyond.
Uni isn’t all about study. One of the best things you can do to improve your overall experience, make new friends, and enjoy your time on campus is getting involved in university life. Check out the student clubs on offer, attend uni events and consider volunteering.
QUT Connect is the largest student volunteer group on campus, with several hundred active volunteers, known as Connectors. The volunteering and personal development program focuses on:
helping new students settle in
providing personal development to volunteers
building a vibrant campus community.
What do Connectors do?
Connectors can get involved with a range of activities run by Student Engagement and Sport.
Help run a two-day uni prep program that helps new students make friends and transition to university life.
Facilitate a QUT Connect session and campus tour for new students starting in your degree.
Provide a friendly ‘hello’ and guidance to students arriving on campus for O Week.
Help deliver social events, designed to help new students meet one another in a fun and supportive environment.
Help design and deliver activities that meet student need and build community. Activities might include fundraisers, social events, campaigns or student-led projects.
Weekly coffee catch-ups
Volunteer at weekly coffee catch-ups throughout each semester to facilitate thought-provoking discussions and encourage students to network with their peers.
Help with university-wide events such as the QUT Classic, QUT Games, TEDxQUT, or Dragon Boat Regatta.
What’s in it for you?
As a Connector, you’ll have the opportunity to:
meet like-minded people and expand your social and professional networks
facilitate and assist at university events, both on campus and online
attend the end-of-year ‘Connect Camp’
complete free leadership training and development workshops
build the campus culture you want to see at QUT
be part of a positive community of peers.
And as an added bonus you get:
a free Connect t-shirt and lunch during O Week volunteering
a Certificate of Participation (upon request) once you’ve completed training and begun volunteering
free or discounted entry to the QUT Classic, Dragon Boat Regatta and other exclusive events.
Find out more Connect or apply to join QUT Connect.