industrial office

What to expect in your Work300

Blog by the lovely Kate Ryan, Work300 student.

As I come to the end of my Work300 with UNE Life, my manager has asked me to put together a little something-something about my experience, and what to expect – obviously, everyone does their placements in varied locations, and we’re all different, so your experience will be different – but I’m excited to share this with you!

We’ve all seen those job advertisements, where they require you to have prior experience before being considered. However, you can’t get experience without first getting a job. Go figure.

TBH, it can be a pretty daunting cycle for students. As a media and communications student myself, I know how hard it can be to start to prepare for the future with little to no experience in the industry. Actually, almost impossible. The same goes for all students who do not get given the opportunity to have work placements built within their degree’s. This is where the unit WOR300 comes into play. You have probably seen this unit floating around here and there but never really knew what it was or how you could get started. Anyway, I decided to give it a go, and now I’m sharing my insights…

What actually is a Work300?

You might be saying to yourself, what the heck is work300? And you have every right to be confused.

The unit is basically a self-motivated unit. Everything about it requires the student to initiate the experience.

Firstly, you will have to seek permission from the career’s office, to whether or not you qualify for the unit. To qualify you need to have successfully completed 72 credit points, with a minimum of 36 credit points at a 200 level or above. This means that you ideally want to be in your final year, or almost completed your degree. The unit has this requirement to ensure that students have a fundamental understanding of the theories and practices of what they are studying, so that they can take that knowledge into a workplace and successfully apply it – thank goodness as student we do a lot of writing because I’ve been doing a lot here too!

Once you’ve been successfully enrolled in the unit, you will have to undergo a preparation module before even starting your placement. This module will guide you through how to find a workplace, how to submit a resume, tips and tricks for suitable workplace attire etc. This is going to prepare you for a successful placement because it means that you will have some of the necessary tools to work and act professionally.

As a student enrolled in this unit, it is up to you to find a place of work that relates to your degree. This is the most challenging part because it requires you to put yourself out there. The preparation module will provide you with tips on doing this, but the hardest part is actually submitting yourself to be considered for placement in a workplace. But, once you’ve reached out to your hitlist of places and you’ve been accepted into a workplace, then the experience can really begin.

Side note: You will have to submit a bunch of forms and complete the preparation module before the placement can begin – nothing crazy though!

You will also be assigned an academic supervisor. You can nominate a lecturer that you have had for another unit, but ultimately you will be given an academic who is available to monitor you and your progress. You will work together on forming a set of assignments and they will be the one who marks them at the end of the placement. These assignments will form the basis of what you’ve learnt and achieved during your placement.

How to prepare…

Preparation for WORK300 is going to be very similar to how you would normally prep for your other units. Understanding the assignment parameters that have been set by your academic supervisor, knowing when your assignments are due etc.  However, everyone is going to have a very different experience when undertaking their placement.

One way that you can prepare for your assignments is to be constantly working on them. Most likely you will have to submit a reflective journal at the end, along with a portfolio and another piece of academic writing. The reflective journal and the portfolio are something that you can be constantly working on. It will mean that you are setting up yourself for success because you are not going to remember what you did on a specific date and at a specific time. So, having a constant flow of work into these assignments means you aren’t going to struggle when they are due. This kind of prep is really going to help you get the most out of the unit.

A few tools I needed in my placement: 

  • A laptop
  • A notebook
  • A pen
  • A pair of headphones

Things like a notebook and pen mean that you can take notes and keep a record of everything that you need to remember. A pair of headphones is great because you don’t know what you are going to need to watch or listen to in order to meet a brief, and a pair of headphones means that you can do it quietly without disturbing the whole workplace (my placement was in an open plan office – so these were vital). Things like this is a great way to start preparing and thinking about what you are going to need to bring.

There are so many benefits to undertaking the WORK300 unit.

The first and probably most significant is experience. You are going to gain so much experience and learn real life skills – which let’s be honest, is exactly what this unit is about. Providing students the necessary experience which is going to set them up for success after graduation. Depending on where you are placed, the unit can give you a really great understanding of the industry and what you can expect from a potential future job.

A chance to expanding your network. Graduating from a degree is one thing, but getting into your desired field is a whole different story. Through your work placement, you are going to meet some really great, interesting people, who not only have substantial advice but who are going to teach so much about working in a professional environment. They are the ones who are going to teach and mentor you, and from this creates lasting impressions and cultivates a network of industry professionals.

Develop an understanding of the industry you’re working towards. Before I started my placement with UNE Life, I had no idea what content creation was, or how much depth there is to a media and communications title – I actually think I only saw the tip of it. Working with the team has definitely broadened my understating of the industry and the range of different avenues that my degree can take me.

I’m sure you will find this in any placement and with different degree’s you’re studying too.  By undertaking this unit, you will quickly realise just the depth to which our own knowledge as students is incredibly hindered by our own understanding of what we are capable of. There is so much opportunity out there, if only we give ourselves the chance to find out.

It’s now up to you. Are you going to see what you are capable of?

The WORK300 unit offers so much more than a simple placement, but creates an understanding of our own potential in the work environment, it can really help to develop real-world skills and techniques in a unique, hands-on kind of way.

If you would like to complete a Work300 as one of your units,
speak to the team at UNE Employability and Careers today!