Written by Angela Malusa
University is more than just a school for big kids. For us feeble students, university is a lifestyle to which we are accustomed. A little cocoon in which to wrap ourselves in and hide from the lives we will soon live as real people with real jobs. ‘I’m still a student,’ is a great excuse to constantly procrastinate and spend way too much time playing pool in the Caf.
However there will come a time when all students must ditch their lazy ways and see what the real world is like through internships and placements. Many degrees at UniSA offer its students a chance to see what they’re really in for by throwing them head first into their prospective fields. So what can you expect?
Bachelor of Junior Primary/Primary Education student Ally Ong was luck enough to experience four placements throughout her degree. Whilst she admits the placements have been challenging at the best of times, she attributes her confidence to the experience.
“Your placement shows you that you can actually do it, it’s an amazing feeling,” she said.
“In my fourth year placement, I did 5 weeks of full time teaching without a mentor. It really gave me a chance to see what to expect as a teacher.”
Ally feels that her placement allowed her to develop the social skills needed to communicate effectively with all the people she will regularly be in contact with, which she explains is more than just fellow teachers and students.
“It all comes down to building up healthy relationships, especially with parents. A lot of them become really involved in the school and my placement taught me to interact with parents in a professional manner,” she said.
“My experience gave me an insight into how the communication within a school actually works, something I couldn’t have learnt in my studies.”
Public Relations student Georgia Aish worked hard to earn an internship at the Adelaide Crows Football club. Like most students, Georgia says she was scared to leave the comfort of university but greatly appreciates the benefits of working closely with professionals.
“You get feedback straight away. It’s so good because in the classroom you rarely get that,” she said.
“I was very nervous at first, but after this I could do anything.”
Georgia is adamant to inform students that all their slogging away at essays and sleepless study nights all come in handy.
“Everything I’ve learnt in class is reflecting itself in the organisation. Things like how the organisation works, how it is structured and most importantly how decisions are made,” she said.
So there we have it, the proof is in the pudding. Internships are not the terrifying experience students have nightmares about. Let this be a lesson to all students hiding behind their essays and student discount cards. One day we will be without the comfort that a student life provides us. It’s time to scrub up and see what’s in store for you!