A big misconception many students take into their first years of tertiary education is that study and a career are two separate, black and white things, one happening only after the other. Oftentimes, in our topsy-turvy world of today, the opposite is true! Learning continues well after tossing the graduation cap, and with tons of degree-relevant jobs on campus at UON, more and more students are finding themselves a few steps forward on the path to their dream position before even having completed their degree.
During 2017 and 2018, 615 roles at UON were filled by students, spanning a number of faculties and job types, and there are new openings popping up with each semester. No matter where you’re headed, there’s likely a student job at UON to help you get there, and all while earning a tidy bit of income!
The first thing to realise is the sheer number of jobs available on campus for students at UON. Too many to list, in fact: Project Assistants, Research Assistants, PASS Leaders, Student Engagement Assistants, Residential Mentors, Ambassadors, Receptionists and Content Contributors isn’t even scratching a scratch on the surface. There are tons of jobs on campus across many different faculties, and all of them are accessible through CareerHub.
CareerHub is the University of Newcastle’s dedicated online career services site, where all position listings at the University (and beyond!) are posted and updated regularly. You can also book into appointments, career skills and resume workshops and find a range of career information resources on the CareerHub site. To get the most out of CareerHub, it’s best to sign in with your student email and set up alerts for new job listings under the ‘Communication Settings’ tab, and to check back regularly. If something you’re interested in pops up, have a look in the resources section; often there will be guides for applying for specific types of positions. If you’re looking for more specialised advice on applying, resume writing or interviewing for positions both at and beyond UON, look no further than the University’s amazing (and vastly underrated) ‘Resume Express and Careers Consultation’. If you need less than ten minutes, you don’t even need to make an appointment! Find out what times you can drop in for the Careers Express service at your campus. Good news if you’re Callaghan based – simply swing by the Student Services Centre at Hunter and head upstairs to find the Careers Service every weekday from 9am to 4:30pm for a drop-in consultation.
Once you’ve decked out your resume and brushed up on your interviewing skills, it’s time to look out for openings. Many faculties at UON will offer student jobs relevant to different areas of study, which can form a natural bridge from undergraduate academia to full-time work. Sarah James has been working with the University of Newcastle’s Law School as a Research Assistant and has found it a massive career leg-up. “There are only so many paralegal jobs out there, so being fortunate enough to receive this position with the Law School has been a real win,” said Sarah. “I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Laws, and like most uni students will tell you, gaining experience is so competitive.” Sarah feels that her Research Assistant position has helped her progress with her studies and career. “Not only has the work been really interesting and relevant to my future career interests, I feel like my resume is so much stronger than it was previously.” No matter what degree you’re doing, there might be a similarly directed position in your field of study, whether that be Medicine, Engineering, Languages, or anything else on the A to Z of faculties at UON.
Beyond this, there are a number of administrative and assistant roles outside of specific faculties which can provide a great bit of casual or part-time work to support yourself and beef up your resume with administration and soft skills that are so important to a discerning employer. Roles at the University are well regarded by employers as they indicate a high standard of professionalism and a willingness to engage with one’s working environment. Student Central regularly takes in a large number of students as Customer Service Assistants at the Shortland, Hunter, Ourimbah and NewSpace Student Hubs. Hannah Moses is one of these Customer Service Assistants and feels the position has done wonders for her career skillset and employability. “My job has helped me improve my communication skills. Speech Pathology is what I am currently studying and the field I wish to work in once my degree has been completed, and Speech Pathology revolves around communication,” said Hannah. “Also regarding different means of communication, for example I am able to have professional conversations over the phone and can still pick up on feelings and tones even though this is a much harder thing to hear.”
And of course, one of the biggest areas of student jobs on campus are mentorship roles. These roles extend across a number of UON faculties and even include areas such as study skills, essay writing skills, computer literacy and more. A mentorship job at UON will allow you to greatly improve your interpersonal, workplace skills and really get to know the material like the back of your hand; one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to someone else. Speaking from personal experience, I was a PASS (Peer Assisted Study Session) Leader for two years, guiding students through a Film Studies course. Not only did I get so much more out of the course than I did the first time around, I also gained valuable skills in managing a team and organising myself (PASS is designed to slide into your uni timetable neatly). If you get asked to return as a PASS leader for a course you’ve done previously, I can vouch – it’s good stuff.
Picking up a bit of on-campus work while studying is one of the best things you can do for your resume-building while at university. With the sheer number of campus jobs popping up each and every semester, there’s something out there for everyone and every career trajectory; make sure to check back on CareerHub regularly so that you can get your UON career kickstarter happening!