Work experience

How do you stand out from the pack when so many other people are looking for work at the same time? Practical experience.

A graduate with "on the job" experience or clocked up hours in a simulated work scenario has an immediate advantage over job seekers that don't.

To make students "job-ready" when they are looking to enter the workforce, a lot of our courses include a mandatory workplace learning component that must be completed to graduate.

Benefits of workplace learning and internships

Workplace learning puts theory into practice, giving students experience in the professional, occupational or industry role that they would not get if the course was entirely theory-based.

Two options to gain experience

Option 1

Workplace learning

If your course has workplace learning already embedded in the course, you will graduate with some practical experience already in your job hunting tool kit. To find out if you are required to take part in mandatory workplace learning, check your University Handbook and subject guide.

Option 2

Voluntary work placement

This is the time to get proactive, or practical in this case and get some real-life experience working in your chosen industry under your belt.  A voluntary work placement may be unpaid but it is a valuable investment in your future career.

  • Many employers prefer graduates who have recent relevant experience, so VWP can give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs.
  • You will gain real-life insight into the type of work you want (or don’t want) to do, develop new skills and make useful contacts who may help you secure future employment (either directly or as a referee).

See our guide for organising volunteer work placement (pdf)

Other places to search for volunteer work placement

GoVolunteer Seek Volunteer Projects Abroad cisaustralia

Or we can help connect you with people in the industry...

Research as many potential hosts as you can to find a partner host institution. Then, filter the list down to your preferred options. Then... find out who to speak to in the organisation to see what you can arrange.

When engaging with a potential host organisation, be clear about your own expectations and how much time you are willing to give to the organisation for this opportunity up to a maximum of 10- day in total.

Charles Sturt University insurance policies will cover you, pending approval from the Career Development Service.

You can apply for insurance coverage from Charles Sturt for a voluntary work placement.

Submit application form

We also recommend you read up on Fair Work Australia's unpaid work information before starting a voluntary work placement.

Before you apply, read our voluntary work placement insurance coverage terms and conditions.

Other ways to gain practical experience

As well as being fun, rewarding or a good way to get involved at uni, extracurricular activities can help you build your skills and gain experience.

Employers are looking for more than just academic knowledge.

Show a potential employer you are not afraid of trying different things and have a thirst for learning and you're off to a good start.

Extracurricular activities can teach you extra skills to list on your resume like communication, assertiveness, problem-solving, running meetings, experiential learning and teamwork.

Four ways to help find practical experience opportunities

  1. explore our range of leadership opportunities in clubs, sports, student representation, Orientation, sustainability, on-campus accommodation, mentoring and more
  2. volunteer with Charles Sturt for any community, social or environmental activities
  3. lookup community activities in the area that you live
  4. find industry-related volunteer opportunities. Examples of industries that are known to have offered volunteer workplace learning include business, law, environment, agriculture, media, counselling, social support, projects and more.