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Curtin University

Gaining Experience

Employers rate work experience in the top ten most important criteria when evaluating candidates for graduate employment (Graduate Outlook 2014).

Whether your experience is industry related or not, it will enable you to enhance valuable graduate attributes including interpersonal and communication (oral and written) skills, problem solving abilities, teamwork skills and emotional intelligence. Opportunities to develop your workplace experience can take various forms and may be an advertised or unadvertised position. 

Furthermore, your participation in one of the following work experiences may contribute to your Curtin Employability Award. Your industry experience must fall within the parameters set out in Curtin Employability Award Industry Experience Guidelines

Work experience placements are generally unpaid, short term positions focused on boosting your industry knowledge and skills. Being proactive and sourcing work experience opportunities will have benefits when you are applying for graduate employment. As many of these opportunities are not advertised, you may need to take the initiative and source work experience opportunities through your personal networks and by cold canvassing organisations. 

To find out more, please read the Work Experience For Students
information sheet available on UniHub.

If you have successfully found an unpaid work experience placement, you may not be covered by the organisation’s Personal Accident Insurance (PAI). Careers, Employment & Leadership provides free work experience insurance to currently enrolled Curtin students for placements that comply with the Fair Work Act. 

Students will be insured for approved, unpaid, co-curricular placements in Australia and internationally.

For international placements and placement involving travel (interstate and outer Perth locations), insurance requests need to be made to Curtin Careers, Employment & Leadership 15 days prior to travelling for the placement - allow a minimum of 15 days for finalising insurance. Curtin Careers, Employment & Leadership cannot guarantee that students will be covered for travel insurance for late submissions.

For information on insurance eligibility criteria, read the Work Experience For Students information sheet available on UniHub. To begin your application, complete the Work Experience Insurance submission
Please allow 5 business days for processing of your application, including completion of the pre-placement training.

Aside from the financial and social benefits of part-time or casual work, these experiences enable you to build some of the graduate attributes desired by employers. For many students a part-time or casual position is a springboard to course related opportunities such as voluntary work, work experience, internship opportunities, vacation work and graduate employment.

UniHub advertises part-time and casual positions specifically for Curtin students. Search for more advertised part-time or casual positions online through employment and company websites, and in print media. 

Access your personal networks and try cold canvassing to discover unadvertised employment opportunities. You may also consider joining a recruitment agency that focuses on part-time and casual employment.

Vacation work and internships are generally paid, degree related opportunities that mainly take place over university vacation periods. Organisations that advertise vacation work and internships are typically recruiting penultimate and final year students.

Vacation work and internship opportunities are more common for some industries and professions, such as engineering and commerce, than others. Many employers use their vacation work or internship programs to assess your suitability for a graduate program offer. This experience also enables you to explore if a certain type of work is suited to you, and if you would like to work for the organisation in the future.

Attend the second semester Work Ready Careers Fair and Employer Events & Presentations to speak to graduate recruiters and find out about their programs and application processes. Locate vacation work and internship opportunities advertised online through job boards such as UniHub, Graduate OpportunitiesGradConnection and Unigrad

For more information on locating a relevant employment opportunity, refer to the Job Search Strategies section of our website. 

If, after researching this information, you would like to discuss your job search strategy, contact Careers, Employment & Leadership to speak to one of our team.  

What you can do now...

Complete the 'Stop Googling, Start Networking' module online through Curtin Challenge, or book in to a Professional Development Workshop to complete the module in person.

Browse the Job Search Strategies 
resources and employment opportunities available through UniHub.

Our Careers & Employment Roadmap
 and GO ebook can provide tips on directing your job search.

These resources are exclusive to Curtin students, log in with your OASIS details.