Volunteer and Find a Job You Care About


Are you finding your semesters packed with essays, essays, and more essays? Are you wondering how to show potential employers what you can do? When there is little room in the curriculum to apply your studies practically, it can be difficult to stand out and get into a field you’re passionate about. To improve my employability and find a job that connects to my studies, I sought out volunteering opportunities. 

As an English major and avid reader, the Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF) stood out to me as a fantastic opportunity to get involved with the literary community. I volunteered at the 2018, 2019, and 2021 Festivals. I keep coming back because I have found it to be an enjoyable and rewarding experience helping to ensure that the programs run smoothly. A bonus is of course getting to hear renowned authors speak about their work. Not only has volunteering at the Festival contributed to my lengthy TBR list, it has also fuelled my interest in my communications studies. In 2019, I volunteered as a photographer, covering a number of the program events for future promotional campaigns. This was a challenge for me as the only photography I had done had been as a hobby. However, it allowed me to develop the skills I had learnt in the MaPS workshops. What I had previously learnt in the workshops and in my studies paid off and some of my photos were published on the BWF website and social media. In putting the theory from my degree into action, I discovered that creating content for a community-based initiative was something I really enjoyed doing.

With this experience and new found enthusiasm for content creation, I volunteered with the HASS Digital Communications team in 2020. As a member of this team I got to create content for the student-led HASS Instagram. When I came to the project in semester one of 2020, it was still relatively new. I had not been involved with a branded instagram account before and so I was eager to implement what I had learnt about social media into a platform that was still finding its feet. In this role I got the opportunity to apply everything I had studied in my courses including developing a social media strategy and storytelling. I look forward to continuing to help this account grow and learn in a professional environment that complements my studies.

I am passionate about doing work related to my degree that enriches a community. Volunteering with the BWF assisted the delivery of multiple events which brought readers and writers together. Volunteering with the HASS Digital Comms team helped build connections between HASS students and promoted inclusivity online. 

Volunteering is just one of the ways in which you can connect your passions to what you study and improve your employability. Along with volunteering, HASS also offers Student-Staff Partnerships (SSP). This program aims to develop the skills and employability of students through collaboration with staff on projects that foster connection within the HASS community. You can find existing projects or start a new one which aligns with your interests and studies.  

So, what are you passionate about? What work would you want to pursue that would complement your studies in HASS? How will you go about finding a job you care about?  

By Courtney Smith