As the home of over 600,000 people, the Gold Coast offers a wide spectrum of opportunities for local and international students to gain valuable work experience while undertaking their studies. From part time jobs to volunteer positions and internships, the Gold Coast is the premier Australian destination to live, work and study.
Not sure which path to follow? Scroll down below to explore the benefits of an internship or a volunteer position to ensure you're making the decision which best suits your lifestyle and workload.
Ready to hop in and start exploring available opportunities? Visit the Gold Coast Student Jobs website now or download the app below.
6 reasons to do an internship
Although you probably won’t be tasked with a heavy workload as an intern, this certainly doesn’t mean you won't gain the opportunity to learn a number of valuable skills as well as important industry experience which cannot be learned at university. Often you will be asked to shadow another employee as they perform certain tasks, which can be highly beneficial as a method to learn how to do new things without the pressure of completing the task yourself. Additionally, working as an intern will allow you to quickly understand the types of software and platforms companies in your industry utilise on a daily basis.
Starting an internship grants you access to a brand new professional environment, which means a completely new network of professional contacts. When undertaking an internship, it is likely you will have the opportunity to talk to a lot of people within the organisation to better understand how the team operates from day to day. When doing so, it is important to try to make a good first impression, as making meaningful connections may open up the door for future employment opportunities.
Understanding how a real workplace in your chosen industry operates will provide you with invaluable knowledge when the time comes to apply for graduate programs or positions. While undertaking your internship, ask yourself certain questions – do you feel welcomed and valued by the employees? Are employees happy or do they seem stressed all the time? Answering these questions may inform your decision regarding the type of company you'd like to work for in the future.
There is nothing more daunting than starting your first ever professional role and having no idea of how or when to appropriately address people or who to talk to in relation to a certain task or problem. Use your internship as an opportunity to improve your communication skills and confidence level by doing things such as taking five minutes out of the day to introduce yourself to other employees, or by offering to host the next staff meeting.
A number of people who work hard to make the most out of an internship are fortunate enough to be rewarded with a contract of employment with the same company following the conclusion of their placement. Even though this is not always the case, it is essential to put in the maximum effort to be friendly, attentive and hardworking when undertaking an internship, as leaving on good terms means you’ll be able to attain excellent references which can act as a springboard into your next professional role.
Increasing your personal equity to prospective employers essentially occurs because of the other factors on this list, as building your valuable skills, experience and professional network not only makes you more appealing to employers, but also sets you up to feel more qualified and confident when interviewing for the next job opportunity that comes your way.
6 reasons to volunteer
If you participate in volunteer work led by an organisation you strongly align with, or if it coincides with a passion you have, chances are you’ll get a lot more out of the volunteering experience. In doing so you’re also raising awareness for this organisation when you recall the opportunity to friends and family.
It's undoubtedly true that volunteering work may have a hugely transformative impact on your life, however, the key thing you should be able to take away from the experience is that you have potentially provided a vital service to a person in need or the much wider community.
Volunteering often means you’ll be working with people you wouldn’t usually interact with, and a lot of the time these people will be far worse off than you. This can allow you to step back and put your own life into perspective, which may in turn result in setting new personal and professional goals.
You’d be surprised by how many friends you can make when volunteering. If you’re passionate about a cause then chances are the other people involved are too, meaning you already have something in common. Additionally, some of these people may also become professional contacts who are able to help you with your future career prospects.
Volunteer work is an excellent way to broaden your skillset and gain more experience, as the range of skills you learn can vary significantly – from learning how to care for elderly people through to working on major events of significant importance.
Looking to pursue a career in the not-for-profit sector? Volunteer work is often the best way to get your foot in the door, as it indicates to potential employers that you’re enthusiastic and dedicated to a particular cause through your willingness to put the effort in.
From Setback to Success: Rohit’s internship experience
Rohit Mankame is an international student from India currently pursuing a Master of International Tourism and Hospitality Management at Griffith University. Recently he commenced an internship at Service.com.au to increase his skill levels while providing work experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Having heard mixed reviews from my friends about their own internship experiences, I didn’t know what to expect from an internship in Australia, but I was excited to join a new organisation and upskill”, Rohit said.