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  • Max Iles

What experiences I want from university to prepare me for work

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

After completing year 12 last year against the backdrop of COVID-19 lockdowns in Melbourne, there was a longing left in me not to leave high school. The lack of social and extra-curricula opportunities in 2020 left me feeling unprepared to move interstate and re-establish myself in a new stage of my life during a pandemic. After the strenuous lockdowns in Melbourne during 2020, I felt socially unprepared to meet new people. I felt like an adult at the bottom of the food chain in this new environment, as a first-year undergraduate student at a Group of Eight university,


I have spent a semester of navigating a life of new relationships and dynamics living and studying on campus. I feel that I have been able to start compensating for my lack of experiences and opportunities throughout year 12. Through volunteering in a youth STEM group and volunteering to coordinate a Women in STEM conference, I have been able to combine both the social aspects and the experience opportunities that were severely lacking in 2020. Looking to my future in learning, I hope that my university will be able to provide opportunities both inside and outside coursework learning to help me prepare for life after graduation.


After a semester of navigating life with new relational dynamics with the people in my learning environment, I have been able to start compensating for my lack of experiences and opportunities throughout year 12. Through volunteering in youth STEM groups and coordinating a Women in STEM Leadership conference, I have been able to combine both the social aspects and the experience opportunities that were severely lacking last year.


Looking to my future in learning I hope that my university will be able to provide opportunities both inside and outside the framework of learning to help me prepare for life after graduation. It is probably premature to take the idea of the workplace too seriously as a first-year student in a five-year degree but I am hoping there will be opportunities to broaden my skill set outside of essays and group work. I am aspiring to complete a series of experiences at university, like exchanges and internships, that will make me a worldly graduate with genuine life experience that translates on to employability and empathy.


If the pandemic taught me anything, it is that learning is so much more textbooks and teachers.



#firstyearexperience


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