By Mia Casey
Starting university can be a scary prospect. Thankfully, Orientation exists. UTS Orientation helps you prepare for uni through a variety of events, workshops and tours. It can also help get you out of that post-HSC, post-high school haze that settles in after your final exams.
While exciting, university is your first step into adulthood and the rest of your professional life (dun dun duuun!), so it’s important to start thinking about your career from your first days there. It may seem super daunting, but there are heaps of little things you can do throughout Orientation (and your degree) that will help set you up for success throughout the rest of your academic and professional career. Here are a few tips to get you started!
1. Take advantage of Orientation
There are so many opportunities available throughout Orientation. One of the many great ways you can start thinking about your career and building your skills, is the U:Professional workshop.
U:Professional is designed to help commencing students start thinking about developing the soft skills employers look for, while also discovering what opportunities are available to them while they study. Each session helps students develop their personal brand by working through the 3 C’s:
- Clarify your strengths and weaknesses, passions and purpose. The session helps you break down and identify who you are, and where you want to go.
- Communicate your brand both online (LinkedIn, social media, blogging etc) and offline (job applications, elevator pitches, networking or in-person meetings). U:Professional provides you with the information and advice you need to communicate your personal brand effectively.
- Capitalise on what you have discovered, and make the most of it! Hear from students who have been in your shoes, learn what opportunities are available to you at university, and how you can utilise your new self-awareness and understanding to succeed.
You get to hear from industry professionals on how to develop your professional identity – from skill building and networking, to discovering what employers are looking for, and thinking about where you want your career to take you. This workshop is a great way to start developing the motivation, skills, and awareness you’ll need to set yourself up for employability success come graduation.
Check out this short video to get a very quick taste of what U:Professional is like:
2. Get organised
Start using a diary or calendar. Whether it’s an actual book, or your phone or laptop – keeping track of when things are due and other commitments you have coming up is a great habit to get into as your start uni (it can also really help you stick to deadlines when it comes to your career as well!). It’s one of the most beneficial habits you can pick up as you begin your studies.
Read more: Some 2017 Career-Inspo
3. Be savvy
There’s a number of ways you can do this.
Textbooks are expensive, so it’s time to do a little research. There are various UTS Facebook groups where students sell their second-hand textbooks, or you can also try the Co-op bookshop and see if they have cheaper second-hand copies of what you need. If you’re happy not to hold onto your textbook once you finish your classes, you can also check out the UTS library to see if they have the textbooks you need (or if they can get it in from another library), or try rental sites like Jekkle and rent your textbooks for a fraction of the price of buying them new.
Start buying your stationary during the ‘back to school’ sales at the beginning of the year. Stores often have huge sales as kids go back to school, so stocking up on your pens and exercise books now can save you a bit of money down the line.
Third: uni discounts
There are a number of sites, including Rewardstudents (which gives UTS students discounts to a number of local stores and restaurants) and UNiDAYS (which gives students discounts to a huge range of online stores) that you can use or sign up to now that you’re a uni student!
4. Get prepared
Get the lay of the land. Before classes officially start, spend some time on-campus and familiarise yourself with your upcoming classrooms and lecture theatres. There’s nothing worse than that awful sinking feeling you get when you want to make a good first impression, but you’re running late because you got lost!
If you’re ever lost, look out for the UTS Peer Networkers – they always wear hard-to-miss bright orange t-shirts and are happy to give you some directions or advice if you need it!
5. Work it! (Or netWORK it!)
Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Starting at uni, everyone’s in the same boat and often a bit nervous about having to meet a whole new group of people all over again. If you’re waiting for a class or lecture to start, turn to the person next to you and see how they’re going! This is also a great way to build your networking skills which are pretty vital in the current employment landscape.
So if you’re just starting at university, it’s time to start thinking about what your future career should look like. So start building your skills, planning ahead, and getting prepared!
Oh, and before I forget – if you’re new: WELCOME TO UTS!
Featured image courtesy of Pexels.