Staying afloat financially can be critical to a student's success. Along with possible Centrelink support and scholarships, income from paid work will have a huge impact on their lifestyle.
In the next few weeks, your USC student will be hunkered down over essays, presentations, assignments and then exams as the first semester winds down. It's important to take time out for recreation and of course many students have to work in their down time, to make ends meet. The short term pain of life as a student will statistically be rewarded by a higher income post-university but in the meantime there are part-time and casual work commitments to consider.
Finding a job on the Sunshine Coast has its own challenges with townships more spread out and less frequent public transport than a city. But working increases your student's social circle, trains them to budget better, rewards them with experience in different industries, makes them more flexible for a future workplace, teaches a lot about customer and employer expectations, opens up their eyes to real world business relations and even earns them some money! As a parent I can't emphasise enough how important it is to encourage your high school student to get a job and be more work ready.
At USC, Career Connections is a fantastic resource to get started with job-hunting. The CC team will help with resumes, interview techniques and job applications. There are even jobs available on campus, especially for students! Some of these positions are valuable work experience or can lead on to permanent employment as the university grows. Online employment forums, traditional 'situations vacant' in local papers, word of mouth recommendations and old-fashioned door-knocking all get results too.
Many courses offer internships and placements within a relevant industry.
My students have worked in a media newsroom and conducted reef research at Lady Elliot Island in the course of their degrees. USC students have even worked on the Galapagos Islands - what an amazing environment.
In a nutshell, working has a lot more positives than negatives. If you can support your student in their work endeavours, they will have a better future.
It's that time of year when flu bugs are lurking so encourage your student to eat well, exercise, maybe get a flu shot, and get off the computer to enjoy the great outdoors.
Denise French is a parent of four (two graduates and two current students), her children have studied at both USC and other universities. Denise is has also recently graduated from USC with a Masters in Communication.