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By Johnna WIENS (HSBC Prosperity Hall)

As university students, networking and gaining professional experience are two things we hear a lot about.  We’re bombarded with professors and advisors telling us to establish connections within the professional realm and take up internships or part-time employment to garner skills to set us ahead in the future.  This is great advice, and we know it, but many students find themselves wondering how to locate these resources. As daunting as it may seem, CityU provides a number of resources for students who want to step outside the academic box and do more to develop themselves professionally.

Arguably the best source of aid in locating these opportunities is the professors and advisors in your academic department.  They can help students in two ways.  First, they may be able to help students locate a position within the department as a research assistant or to help with coordinating a professionally relevant event. An eager student is always appreciated and will always be rewarded with experience that will boost a CV and provide invaluable skills to draw upon in the future.  Second, they are already well connected to your field, so they may be able to aid in finding an internship.  Advisors are there to help you as a student. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of that.

Another resource available here at CityU is the Career and Internship Office (CAIO).  The CAIO provides a database of On-campus Service-learning Scheme (OSS) listings that students can browse to find a job or internship in their desired field. Throughout the semester, the CAIO also hosts numerous career and internship recruitment talks, which provide employment opportunities, plus occasions for students to network with industry professionals. 

Many other non-academic CityU offices offer OSS employment for students.  And remember, just because the office isn’t directly affiliated with your discipline doesn’t mean that the job won’t provide valuable experience that does relate.  For example, the Student Residence Office employs students each semester in OSS positions, such as writers for ResLink, photographers for hall events, handling check-in and out and event coordinators etc. Although students are working for the SRO, they are developing skills they will need to enter the professional world. 

The important thing to remember when considering an internship or part-time job as a way to set yourself ahead for the future (and you should!) is to not be afraid of searching opportunities out.  They’re there; you just have to look for them.   When you arrive at your first job interview after graduation and your future employer skims your CV and smiles, you’ll be thankful you took the time to find and utilise these invaluable resources.