20 Things to do Before you Graduate
Hi and welcome!
My name is Claire and I have recently graduated from UOW with a Commerce/Arts Degree and will shortly be starting an exciting grad job in finance. Throughout my time as a UOW student I experienced lots of exciting opportunities and met lots of new people along the way. Before I left UOW, I wanted to share with you my top tips to help you get the most out of your UOW experience.
1. Develop your Graduate Qualities
Make sure you become an informed and responsible, independent learner, problem solver and effective communicator to enhance your graduate opportunities. (I was asked about these things in graduate job interviews). Employers really do look for these things and it’s a great way to make yourself stand out when you are in an interview! Check out Student Qualities to find out more.
2. Join a Club or Society
Clubs and Societies have been around for ages and they are a great way of finding people that share similar interests, creating social and professional networks, or even just making new friends. By getting involved with a club or society you may even be able to get leadership experience by serving as an executive which is a great thing to put on your resume! Visit Clubs & Societies to find out what you can join.
3. Go to PASS
If you want to enhance your academic performance, improve your study techniques and form social networks within your discipline then you will benefit from the skills and understanding gained by attending PASS. Students who attend PASS regularly may also be selected to become paid PASS Leaders and join the most awarded PASS program in the world. See PASS to find out how you can become involved.
4. Go on International Exchange
International exchange is a great way to see the world and get uni done at the same time. The International Exchange Program can help you make the most of the opportunity to study overseas for one or two semesters of your degree. To find out where you can go, what’s involved and how to apply visit International Exchange.
5. Give a Little Time for Free (Volunteer)
Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, make yourself feel good and make your resume stand out from the crowd. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer around campus, including joining UniCrew or becoming a mentor with AIME. AIME is a great program that provides support to Indigenous youth from year nine all the way to university and aims to increase Year 10 and 12 completion rates and university admission numbers for all participants. There are also lots of opportunities to volunteer throughout the Illawarra. Make sure you check out AIME, UniCrew and Volunteering Illawarra to find out more.
6. Attend a Uni Event
It’s important to have a balance between study and play. There are lots of different events hosted by the uni all year round. Uni events are a great way to meet other students and make new friends. Take a look at What’s On for a full list of up-coming events.
7. Find a Leadership Opportunity
Leadership programs are a great way to enhance your skills and enrich your student experience at UOW. Big Fish and iConnect are two such programs that allow you to connect to the UOW and wider Wollongong community and develop and extend your personal leadership skills. Make sure you check out Big Fish or iConnect to find how you can get involved.
8. Get Involved at URAC
Exercise is a great way to break up your study and keep healthy. URAC is located at the Wollongong campus and offers a range of sporting clubs, exercise classes and lifestyle programs. Visi URAC to see what’s on offer!
9. Get Academic Advice about your Degree
Make sure you plan out your degree early and ensure that you complete all the subjects and requirements necessary to successfully qualify for you course and major. Faculties offer free academic advice to students to help you effectively plan your degree. Consult Your Faculty homepage to find out more.
10. Fend off the Ducks While Eating your Lunch on the Duck Pond Lawn
When the sun is shining the best place to eat your lunch is on the Duck Pond Lawn. The Duck Pond Lawn is normally a hive of activity and you can often see live music performances on the Duck Pond Stage while you’re eating your lunch. A word of warning, beware of the ducks! They will steal your lunch right from your hands if you are not watching!
11. Career Advice and Work Experience
It’s never too early to start to look at your career options. Careers Central can help you set career goals and implement strategies to increase your employability and give you a competitive edge in the job market. Careers Central can also help you get work experience in your relevant field as well as helping you find a great casual job. To find out about work experience opportunities and to organise a meeting with a careers advisor visit Careers Central.
12. Climb Mt Keira
UOW’s main campus lies at the foothills of beautiful Mt Keira. If you are keen for a casual stroll or an energetic walk you should complete the Mt Keira Ring Track. As its name suggests, the Mt Keira Ring Track completely encircles the mountain and is a great way to have a break from study. For a map of the track and more information check out Mt Keira
13. Connect to the Alumni Network
Make sure you connect to the Alumni Network to receive lots of special offers and discounts not only in Wollongong but across Australia and online. Who doesn’t love a bargain? Find out how to receive your benefits card by visiting the Alumni Network.
14. Find the Best Coffee on Campus
UOW’s main campus is home to many great coffee shops. Whether you are in a hurry to get to class, want to sit and relax in the sun or catch up with your friends, there is a coffee outlet on campus for you. But don’t stick to the one. Make sure you give them all a try and find the best coffee on campus. To find out where they all are visit Food on Campus.
Some of the greatest business partnerships and networks start at uni. The person sitting next to you in a lecture may one day be the CEO of a fortune 500 company! Keep in contact with the people you meet at uni, you never know what opportunities may arise in the future from the people you meet today. To start to build your professional network check out sites like Linked In. You can also attend UOW events to practice your networking skills, see here for details.
16. Take a Surfing Lesson at North Beach
The Wollongong coastline is home to 17 spectacular beaches. Close to UOW’s main campus is North Beach which is patrolled all year round. You should take some time from your study and spend a day at North Beach. If you are looking to have some fun and get some exercise at the same time you should enrol in a surfing lesson. To find out more visit Tourism Wollongong.
17. Hone your Research and Study Skills
With so much information at your fingertips it is hard to know where to start looking. Researching is not just something you have to do at uni, it’s a skill you will need throughout your career. A good place to begin honing your research skills is StartSmart, which provides an introduction to the resources you need to complete assignments. Learning how to effectively navigate through information will not only save you time when completing an assignment it will help you stand out in your future workplace. Have a look at UniLearning to see how you can improve your research and study skills.
18. Take Time to Focus on your Wellbeing
Managing the stress of study, whilst juggling the demands of family, work and life in general can be overwhelming at times. You should make some time in your daily schedule to focus on your health and wellbeing. If you do you will find yourself feeling less stressed and more confident. Whether you are feeling on top of the world or under pressure you should check out Wellbeing @ UOW for information to keep you going or at least make you smile.
19. Experience Wollongong
There is more to Wollongong than just UOW. You should take some time to experience Wollongong’s food, shopping and nightlife. There are also lots of shops and restaurants around Wollongong that offer discounts to students. To find out what there is to do around Wollongong you should visit Tourism Wollongong.
20. Attend your Graduation Ceremony
After many years of classes, study, exams and assignments reaching graduation is a huge milestone. While it is not compulsory to attend your graduation ceremony it is an exciting and important day and gives you and your family the opportunity to celebrate your success. Graduation ceremonies are held twice each year in July and December. To find out more about graduation you should visit Graduation and Beyond.