A closing chapter: goodbye La Trobe, hello world!

Jessica Micallef comes to the conclusion of her time here at La Trobe as a student, and intern at the Wise ASSC blog.

Well my degree has finally come to an end. Phew, what a huge sigh of relief. To think that three years ago, I was graduating Year 12, not sure what university I would end up at. Now I am three years older, I have experienced university and I know what I want to pursue. But the big question is, what happens to me now?

To be honest with you all, I started writing this post at the beginning of the semester. At that point in my life, I had not a clue where I was going to be once I graduated, and I based this post around that – the uncertainty of what the future holds. But here I am in week 12 and I am excited to tell you all that I have started a full time job.

I can now proudly say that I am a journalist at the Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Star Weekly Newspaper. When I received that phone call, saying I was successful in obtaining the job, I finally said to myself that all the work I have done at university has sure enough paid off. So I guess I do have to thank La Trobe University for giving me the education and experience I needed to secure a full time position as soon as my degree was over.

During my three year degree studying journalism here at La Trobe, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows – much like any course. Group assignments were such a heavy part in the course, and a lot of us will admit that we hated it. Assignment deadlines would also creep up on me and a lot of the time, assessments were left until the last minute. I hated touching a camera – what can I say, I am a writer after all – and would always somehow find myself practically crying in the editing suites with my friends, stressing over the work we were doing.

But I am so thankful that during my time here at La Trobe, I was able to narrow down what I truly want to pursue after my degree. I love writing, so therefore, this job that I have just landed is perfect for me. And I am thankful that exams are not a part of the course in journalism – that was a huge bonus. I made some great friends here and we shared some pretty memorable moments in class when we should have been doing the work. Being at university also gave me the confidence to complete two internships – giving me the vital experience and skills needed for the workforce.

But just like everything else, our time at university does eventually come to an end. And while you may be unsure of what the future holds, as I am writing this, this time last week I was a 21-year-old university student, employed at KFC, not sure where I would go or who would employ me. You will eventually get your foot in the door one way or the other and in the end that’s all that really matters.

So my advice that I am giving to graduating students who are looking for work, whether it be in journalism or psychology, teaching or podiatry, send out emails to companies with your resume and evidence of work if applicable. Another important tip to take into consideration as well is use your contacts. If you have completed work placement or an internship, ring up your supervisor again and ask if there is any work. Chances are they will remember you and if you left a good impression then you are already one step ahead of the next person sending in their application. However, you will receive a lot of rejections – I did before I landed this job. But the main thing is to not let the rejections get the best of you and to move on and keep looking. There is something out there for you.

So to everyone who I have met along the way during my university experience – teachers, students and now friends – I thank you. I probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you. I am very excited to see what the future holds for me and you should all be excited as well for your own selves. All you have to do is dream. And, as a Disney fanatic myself, I believe that all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them, as said by the one and only Walt Disney.

Jessica Micallef is a final semester third year Media and Communications (Journalism) student at La Trobe University. You can follow her on Twitter @jessmicallef19

If you would like to follow Jessica’s footsteps as our next fabulous intern at the Wise ASSC blog, click here.