Building your experience
Whether you’re looking for casual work while you’re studying, an opportunity to develop your industry experience, or professional roles in your chosen field, planning how and where to look will help you find relevant opportunities.
Combining work and travel allows you to explore new experiences and gain new skills, with many employers valuing the international perspective that these experiences can help you develop.
You can find out more about working overseas by:
Apart from the financial benefits, working part-time or casually is a valuable opportunity to develop your transferable skills and experience. Even if your experience is not industry related, you can use it as a springboard to opportunities such as work experience, internships, and vacation work.
You can find out more about part-time and casual work by:
As well as contributing to your community, volunteering is a great way to begin developing the skills and experience that employers are looking for. You may even be able to apply your discipline-specific skills and gain practical experience. You can search online for volunteering opportunities that meet your personal criteria. If you have a particular cause or charity you would like to dedicate your time, check out their website or contact them directly.
You can find out more about volunteer opportunities by:
Work experience is highly valued by graduate recruiters as it helps you develop non-technical skills such as communication and teamwork. Work experience is also a great way to try out different employers and industries to see which best fits what you’re looking for.
You can find out more about what opportunities could be available by:
- reading Looking for Work [.pdf]
- finding out more about Earn While You Learn
- checking UniHub for opportunities
- checking other jobs boards and company websites
If you still can’t find work experience to suit your interests, you may need to create your own opportunity. You can find out more about approaching employers directly by:
- reading Cold Canvassing [.pdf]
- completing the Stop Googling, Start Networking module as part of The Skilled Professional
If you have found an unpaid work experience placement, you may not be covered by the organisation’s Personal Accident Insurance (PAI). Careers, Employment & Leadership provides free work experience insurance to eligible Curtin students for approved, co-curricular placements that comply with the Fair Work Act.
You can apply for Work Experience Insurance through UniHub.
Vacation work and internships are generally paid, degree related opportunities offered by larger organisations. These opportunities are more common in some industries and professions, such as engineering and commerce, than others.
Usually taking place during semester breaks, these opportunities are generally aimed at penultimate and final year undergraduate students, though postgrads in their first year can usually also apply. You can expect to be supervised and assessed during this experience, as many employers use this opportunity to assess your suitability for a graduate program offer.
You can find out more about vacation work and internship opportunities by:
- reading Looking for Work [.pdf]
- completing the Showcasing Your Skills & Qualities Workbook [.pdf]
- taking the Explore Your Options Challenge
- checking UniHub for vacation work and internship opportunities
If you’re new to the workplace, find out about your rights and responsibilities so you have an understanding of issues such as employment contracts and rates of pay.
You can find out more about your workplace rights and responsibilities by: