Today I’m going to chat to you all about the importance of work experience.
Now, a lot of you guys out there are probably just about to graduate from your degrees (yay!!) and start looking for jobs (boooooo!!).
I know, I know, you can see the finish line just over the horizon and all you’re thinking about is your six-month trip to America that will be starting as soon as your last exam ends.
But, just before you too deep in your thoughts of free time, ask yourself this; if I walked into an engineering firm, or a nurse’s station, or tried to start my own business…would I have any idea what to do?
The answer is probably “nope. Not a clue.”
Actually, your answer would probably be something like “I know the theory behind it, so how much harder can actually doing it, be?”
Well actually…in my experience, it’s a lot harder…
Now don’t get me wrong, I understand and respect the fact that you’ve spent the last three to five years working hard and pulling all-nighters to get your degree, and now you have all of the theory under your belt.
However, theory can only get you so far.
For example, let’s say you’re studying nursing and midwifery. Now, it’s one thing to look at a textbook and sit in a lecture room listening to someone talk you through your role during childbirth. However, once you get into a birthing suit with a screaming woman, a fainting partner and you’re up to your elbows in goodness-knows-what fluids…it’s a different story.
And for those of you who have just started studying, or are about to, this practical experience is a fantastic way for you to discover if the degree you’re studying is really something you want to pursue for the rest of your career.
Now in a lot of degrees, this experience is included (not specifically the child-birth one but you see my point.) You are either sent into a classroom, or a hospital, or a radio studio as part of your learning. However, a lot of the time the organisation you’re with will understand that you’re there to get a grade and that you really had very little choice about being there.
Therefore, I would recommend going out of your way to find extra experience, as I have done.
I started doing work experience back in high-school when I went to Charleville and worked on a cattle station for a week.
Three things happened:
- I was the first girl in the past hundred years of the school’s history to go out of my way to learn about agriculture.
- I accidentally crashed a car through the property owner’s fence.
- I learned how to fix a fence.
Anyway the point is I went out of my way and learned something I simply couldn’t from a textbook… and also that trying to stop a manual car with no brakes is no easy task…
A year later I did a week of work experience with the local radio station, fast-forward five years and here we are- I’m about to graduate from the bachelor of applied media, majoring in journalism, about to head into the world of radio.
So for those of you transitioning from uni to the work force, I would recommend going out of your way to do some work experience or an internship. Just…try not to crash a car through a fence…