COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 8 June 2022, 12pm (AEST)

Careers and Employability Gain experience and get connected

Gain experience and get connected

Gaining relevant experience is an increasingly important component of your course. It helps ensure you stay competitive in your chosen industry. Hands-on experience can improve your job prospects and help you stand out against the crowd of graduates. It can also give you valuable insight into the type of job you might enjoy once you’re out in the workforce, and help provide additional direction and motivation throughout your studies.

Volunteering, student competitions and challenges are an excellent way to gain experience and practical skills to add to the technical skills gained in your study.

Placement opportunities vary, depending on your area of study and the professional requirements of your degree. Because we have so many different student placements and professionally accredited degrees you will come across different terminology.

Student placements may also be called: clinical placements, clinical education, professional placements, legal placements, professional experience, Prof.Ex, work-integrated-learning (WIL), fieldwork, field trips, experiential learning, service learning, internships, professional industry experience, professional internships, and practicums.

We also have subjects where you can gain hands-on experience by taking part in capstone experiences, simulations, virtual experiences and project work.

Find out more on our Student Placements website.

JCU provides student insurance cover to enrolled students undertaking course placements that are a requirement of their program.

In addition, JCU may cover enrolled students who wish to do work experience in their related field, but where it is not a course requirement.

The relevant application form should be completed by students and approved prior to commencement of the work experience/placement.

Your career begins well before you finish your degree.

Vacation work programs are usually available to students from their second year of study. They provide hands-on experience, generally consisting of full-time work experience during the university break.

A vacation program allows students to make an informed career decision upon graduation, and provides invaluable experience and networking opportunities. Many students are offered full-time graduate roles as a result of their vacation program performance.

Vacation work opportunities for a range of disciplines are advertised on the following sites:

You should also identify relevant employers for your discipline to research. Vacation work and graduate opportunities are often listed on organisation websites.

Connecting with Professionals

There is a range of activities you can participate in during your time at James Cook University (JCU) which will help you to connect with professionals in your area of study.

One excellent strategy for meeting with employers is to join a professional association; it will show commitment to your profession and will provide you with opportunities to attend professional networking events.

Professional associations may conduct conferences, seminars, presentations and social functions to help members keep abreast of current practices and for networking purposes. For students, these events can be an excellent source of contacts, industry relevant information and scholarship opportunities. Membership is usually open to students at a reduced rate.

Networking is about building relationships with people. It’s not about contacting everyone you know when you are looking for a job and asking if they know of any job openings. Networking is the art of building alliances and that starts long before a job search.

From time to time, employers visit JCU campuses. Make sure you check JCU communications regularly so that you don’t miss a relevant event.

See Networking for useful tips for effective networking.

Professional Networking: How to add value to your connections.

Life as a JCU student is much more than attending lectures and tutorials. Student clubs offer many benefits, including:

  • Meeting new people who may become part of your professional network when you graduate
  • Developing transferrable skills, including organising activities and events and public speaking
  • Giving you access to industry relevant networking activities

Make the most out of your time at JCU – join a club or start your own. Contact the JCU Student Association to find out more.

This is a great way to connect with professionals, both local and from other areas.

See Using Social Media for your Job Search for further tips or go to the Linkedin website for useful information on how to create your profile and make the most of this professional networking resource.

Make an appointment with our team for feedback on your Linkedin profile, and follow JCU LinkedIn - Alumni.