Tag Archives: postgraduate

Work placements and queasy butterflies

I am standing in Kmart looking in the mirror at the grey “slim fit” trousers I am trying on. I never thought I would buy anything again in my life that did not say “skinny leg” on the tag.

It is work placement next week.

For the past three years I have been content with wearing sloppy gym clothes, or jeans, or an ENSOC BBQ outfit to lectures. It just has not bothered me. Now I am a postgraduate student and that sort of attire just does not really “fly” in my book.

I decide to purchase the trousers from Kmart in the hope that they will instantly transform me into a top-dog when I walk into the newsroom on Monday morning.


It is the night before the first big day at the office; our lecturer has spent two hours telling us all the things to avoid on work placement.

(1) Lock up your Facebook- editors will be all over that. Revealing to potential employers your saucy Saturday night out with the gal pals is definitely not okay.

(2) If you screw up do not make excuses, get on with it.

(3) Be prepared for anything, heels are probably not going to be appropriate if you get sent out to a flood.

(4) Having one too many vinos at Friday night drinks is not okay- pretend that you are driving and only have one glass of wine.

It is not all doom and gloom though, we get a much needed pep talk as well, because most of us are shaking in our boots.

“Be the best, be professional and stand out.”

Right, okay, got it! I am feeling somewhere between excited and on the verge of having a heart attack.

I can barely sleep on Sunday night. My dreams follow a hideous plot-line where I go out for the big scoop, screw it up, and have my name ruined forever in the limelight of print.


Okay it is Monday.

My classmate is picking me up so I do not have to negotiate public transport; he is my comrade-in-arms. We are in this together.

Then we are there on the sixth floor walking out of the elevator, the newsroom is enormous. People are flittering about, telephones ringing, and keyboards pattering.

I sit down at a desk, the computer is not working.

It will take me three days to realise that I have to press the power button on the actual system unit, and not the monitor, to get the computer to turn on.

An email is fired through to me with my first assignment, a story about a “hair gypsy”. My heart is racing; this is my chance to impress.

I get the story up just after midday and boom, it is live. My forehead feels a little glazed over. The first story is off the block.


A week later and I am not even sure where my time in the newsroom disappeared to.

Work placement was exhilarating, terrifying, and at times even deflating. That is the real world though – we all have to pop the bubble of the lecture theatre at some point.

Coming out of university with a degree is a huge achievement, but if you want to swing with the high rollers it is best to have more.

If a work placement or internship is not a part of your course then heck, go out and get one yourself. I had two under my belt before I finished undergrad.

As for an extra push in the right direction, a pair of slick dress pants make you feel like a boss, and let’s be honest, skinny jeans won’t rule forever – bootlegs too were just a phase.

How to stay sane as a postgraduate student!

I remember thinking when I was an undergraduate student that postgrads must be extremely clever, and very focused. This year I have found myself in the mysterious world of postgrad study, through undertaking my Honours in Media and Communication at UC. Already there’s so much to do that it can be easy to get overwhelmed!…however I know that my year doesn’t even really compare to studying towards a Masters! But all postgraduate students have different strategies that help them get through the year. Here’s a few of mine….

  1. Make friends with your classmates: You see them so often that it’s important you try and get along! Your study will feel a lot less lonely if you have some friends who understand what you’re going through, because they’re going through it too. Also if you need help with a concept, or notes from a class these friends will come in handy!
  2. Keep your non-postgrad friends: Don’t forget to make time for those friends who were there for you before you entered into postgrad. With the amount of time your head is in a book, these friends can provide a much needed break!
  3. Get some good study music: At the moment I’m loving Pandora Radio, a free online music service, for creating different study playlists. What’s so awesome about it is that you can enter and artist or genre you like and Pandora will find you a playlist of music similar to this. You can even follow other people’s pages and look at their playlists too.
  4. RefMe AppMy friend who’s studying Honours in History just showed me this and I love it! The app allows you to create bibliographies, citations and references on your phone. It’s so easy as well! You just take a photo of a book barcode on your phone and it imports all the details into your device for you. Check it out for yourself…
  5. Take regular study breaks: Believe it or not taking regular breaks actually helps keep you more on track, rather than pretending to study! One of my favourite things to do on a study break is watch a few buzzfeed videos, or read some of their articles. I find that this feels like a more relaxing break than being bombarded by friends on social media!

Let me know what you think of these tips, or if you have any good ones to add to the list!

What’s the haps?! 16-22 March

This week is UC Diversity Week (16th-21st) so there are loads of different events going on for that! A lot of the events are also presented/provided for by clubs on campus, which is pretty awesome! You can check out the full line-up here, as only a few of the many events will be listed on this week’s ‘What’s the haps?!”.

Monday 16th:

  • Open mic forum (presented for FEMSOC): As part of Diversity Week FEMSOC will be providing a forum in which you can hear from a number of speakers from campus and the wider community about modern gender issues. 1-2pm in the Undercroft.
  • A night with Mojo Mathers (presented by DESOC)5.30-7pm in The Living Room. Mojo Mathers, NZ’s first deaf MP will talk on issues surrounding diversity and the rights of people with disabilities.
  • UC SciFi Quiz Night: 6.45pm at The Foundry test your sci-fi and fantasy know-how, and well as general knowledge! $5.00 for members, $7.00 for non-members.

Tuesday 17th:

  • Accessibility Amazing Race: Experience the world as other students may have to do either in a wheelchair, through vision impaired glasses or with crutches. Compete in a group of 5 students and race around campus to be in to win some cool prizes! 10.30-12pm, C Block Lawn.
  • St Patrick’s Day Party: A celebration as part of Diversity Week from 9-11pm at The Foundry! Djs will be on till late!

Wednesday 18th:

  • World Market: At lunchtime (11.30-1.30pm) don’t miss out on the delicious international options available on C Block Lawn. Don’t forget CASH! There will also be cultural performances from clubs and the wider community.
  • EFSOC (Economics, and Finance) Quiz Night: 6.30pm at Bentley’s bar, $2 entry.

Thursday 19th:

Saturday 21st: