By Beka Naismith
When I knocked on the door of my local Public Relations agency for some work experience, 19 and hungry to be part of the media scene, I never could’ve imaged it’d launch my career. However, the reality is that work experience is a fantastic tool to gain insight into your desired industry, network with potential employers, and help land your dream job.
For context, I’d just completed my first year of online study towards a Bachelor of International Relations and Media, and I was craving some real-life experience. I felt like theory only took me so far, I needed to apply all my skills and knowledge.
I was also trying to get ahead of the game, graduate jobs were looking highly competitive, and I needed some tricks up my sleeve to make my career ambitions happen.
After 1 week of work experience at Commshake Media and Engagement, diving into some digital marketing and long-form writing, my drive and creative skills were recognised and I was offered a casual job. I hung up my hospo hat and picked up a pen, ready to give it a red-hot crack.
I’ve since had the opportunity to implement my theory in an office as I’ve learnt it in a classroom (skyrocketing my grades), work alongside some of the greatest minds in the business, build relationships with key players of the industry, and develop my confidence in a board room.
The best part? My life-changing career opportunity was waiting 5-minutes away from my house. No 80km commute into the city everyday, it was right here in the Murraylands. For the past 2 years I’ve been able to stay within region, save money, try my hand at new hobbies like yoga and boxing, have fun with my friends on the weekend – and even travel overseas one summer break, really living life to the fullest.
Fast-forward to now, I’m in my last semester of study before sporting the cap and gown look for graduation. I’m leading big-ticket digital marketing campaigns across Federal Government projects, tourism, property, and retail clients. I’ve become a confident and skilled player in the digital marketing league, ready to take on a full-time role in my dream job post-grad, and it all started with work experience…
You see, work experience works because you demonstrate your determination and skills to an employer, in a practical way you can’t convey in a resume or job interview. You get a chance to knuckle down in some real work and prove your abilities.
Soft skills also play a key role here, employers want skilled professionals who’ll be a friendly face around the office. Work experience allows your personality to shine, making you more than a name on a page.
Local businesses in the Murraylands and Riverland are always on the hunt for professionals. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain from walking into a local business in your field of study and applying for work experience. Just look at where it’s taken Loxton high-achiever Daniella!
If you’re feeling lost on where to start, the Murray River Study Hub Student Advisors can help tee you up with some work experience and explore your career options. Their 1:1 Career Conversations are open to everyone, so get ahead of the curb and contact them here.