Student blog: Finding a job beyond your studies in Brisbane

Hailing from Sao Paulo in Brazil, Carolina arrived in Brisbane in 2015 to learn English, studying at Navitas and became a Brisbane International Student Ambassador in 2016.

Carolina shares a little of her experience as a volunteer and finding her place in the workforce, and offers up some handy tips on how you can also find your way into the workforce in Brisbane.

If you feel inspired to go out and find some volunteer work in Brisbane by the end of this blog, applications for 2018 World Science Festival Brisbane Volunteers are now open!

Brisbane BISA Carolina Santiago

My name is Carolina and last year, as a 2016 Study Brisbane International Student Ambassador representing Brazil, I wrote a little bit about myself and about my experience in Brisbane.

One year on, there is so much to share with you about all the opportunities that I’ve experienced. Hopefully, these tips will inspire you to start searching, because Brisbane is full of opportunities!

Volunteering is an excellent place to start...

...Not only will you be helping others, you will also be helping yourself as well. My first volunteering experience was at a church helping kids and soon after I applied for the Brisbane International Student Ambassador program. 

Carolina Santiago blog
Carolina was one of 40 Student Ambassadors in 2016

Being a Student Ambassador certainly gave me a huge hand in terms of exposure. Not only did I expand my network, but I made new friends, discovered new places and learned more about our beautiful city!

Tips for navigating your way into Brisbane's workforce

  1. Get your resume organised – this is very important!
  2. Look for volunteering opportunities – the Brisbane Student Hub Facebook page and the Volunteering Queensland website are a good place to start. Your institution's careers office may also have opportunities listed.
  3. Take part in job sessions – your institution's Student Centres or international student agencies will hold these regularly.
  4. Ask your teachers for advice! They are passionate about their chosen field and will be happy to share their story with you.
  5. Network with industry – this will provide a better understanding of the industry and offer some insight into some of the career pathways available to you.
  6. Volunteer – find an area you are passionate about and look for volunteering opportunities in that field. Find an opportunity that will expand your network and improve your English whole giving back to the community at the same time.

I followed these steps and since then I have found a job as an Activities Co-ordinator and Student Services Officer at Navitas English School. Basically, it is now my turn to help students benefits from my own firsthand experience! I run the Boomerang program, where my main goal is to create a welcoming and engaging space for the students so they can learn English while making friends and discovering Brisbane.

What's more, I am not the only former student employed at Navitas. In fact, as you enter reception on any given day you are more than likely to be greeted by the smiling faces of other previous students, Cinzia from Italy and Georgina from Spain.

We are proof that expanding our networks and getting involved in Brisbane really helped us - International Students - to achieve our goals.

Carolina Santiago blog

My whole experience in Brisbane has been incredible! I’ve mentioned before that being able to write in English really blows my mind. Now, put yourself in my shoes and imagine how I feel working in an English school like Navitas English.

Yes, it is crazy as well as awesome, isn’t it?

Until next time! - Carolina

Inspired to volunteer? Applications for 2018 World Science Festival Brisbane Volunteers are now open!

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