Gaining work experience

Gaining work experience

Gaining professional and degree-related experience as early as you can while studying, will help you to stand out from the crowd. A 2015 survey showed that 31% of graduates won’t secure full-time employment within four months of graduation. However, graduates who had degree-related part-time work or experience in their final year of study found full time employment in their field much faster and more easily.

Start building your experience early

This helps you to:

  • become job-ready 
  • develop as a well-rounded graduate, which maximises your employability 
  • learn more about yourself, your skills and values  
  • acquire technical, practical or interpersonal skills  
  • allows you to highlight your professional qualities and achievements on job applications 
  • build your network and industry contacts 
  • practise and improve your English language skills. 

When considering work experience, remember you need degree-relevant experience. There are several ways to do this:

Curricular activities

PACE offers you a chance to gain relevant work experience while you study. 

PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) 

Macquarie's unique PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) program engages you in real world learning activities with organisations across Australia and around the globe. You will complete a PACE unit as a part of your Bachelor degree, usually in your third year of study. Our network of over 2,500 host organisations both within Australia and around the world provides extensive opportunities to explore potential career paths. Through PACE you gain that all-important practical experience employers really value.

PACE International 
PACE International offers a range of exciting learning experiences in over 25 countries around the world. Whether you are assisting with native land rights in Borneo, supporting an archaeological dig in Italy or working with a social media agency in Paris there is an international experience to suit you. Founded on the principle of reciprocal benefit to students, organisations and communities, an international PACE activity will help you to explore real world challenges while you gain professional skills.

Co-curricular activities 

Macquarie offers exciting opportunities to enhance your degree through its Student Exchange program.  

Exchange program
Gain a better understanding of global issues, develop your capacity to deal with change, build a global network, interact with people from different cultures and learn a new language. With over 200 partner universities in more than 50 countries, there are plenty of choices for short term or full semester exchange.

Extra-curricular activities 

Participating in extra-curricular activities (ECAs) can hugely assist your employability and future job prospects. ECAs help develop your personal brand, expand your social networks and help identify career pathways. 

Employers will assess your involvement in activities on and off campus to see if you’ll fit into their organisational culture and whether you have leadership potential. Employers favour ECAs that demonstrate your maturity, responsibility and reliability – so get involved! 

Global Leadership Program
Macquarie's Global Leadership Program (GLP) can equip you with the leadership potential, professional skills and international experiences to pursue a truly international career. GLP is an extracurricular program undertaken alongside any degree at Macquarie. Your global understanding and skills will be put into practice studying, volunteering and participating in activities in Australia and overseas.

Student groups and societies
Join a student group if you’re passionate about it or it’s closely related to your degree and/or professional career path. Getting involved by organizing events and working on industry projects will develop a network through your group.  

Volunteering is a great opportunity to create a professional profile and to give back to the community. Gain personal satisfaction, help others and add experience to your resume. Spend some time looking at volunteering projects and sites such as:

The Centre for Volunteering 

Do Something Near You  



Seek Volunteer 

And here on campus: 

Macquarie University's LEAP program 


Faculty of Science and Engineering – Research Assistance


Graduates can struggle to break into their chosen field, but building a professional portfolio with relevant work experience as early as possible can make all the difference. Internships are a popular way to increase your employability.

Undergraduate students 
Macquarie's PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) program is dedicated to providing opportunities for undergraduate students across all disciplines to gain vital practical experience. A PACE internship offers a minimum of 30 hours in the workplace. 

Postgraduate students
Several Masters degrees offer internships to students as part of their study program. See your Faculty Support Centre for more information.  

Paid internships

Search for paid internship opportunities through: 

CareerHub’s online job board 

Graduate Opportunities Website 



ACS Foundation Scholarship 


Inter-disciplinary Competitions

Our growing range of competitions both internal and external to the university offer immersive and intense professional experience. 

Industry competitions
Univative is an inter-university, inter-disciplinary competition jointly organised by Macquarie University, UTS, University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, and UNSW.  Applications for the 2017 competition will open this March-April via CareerHub.  All students, both domestic and international, regardless of degree are encouraged to apply.

Go Green In the City is Schneider Electric's global competition where students from around the world submit green solutions for urban environments.  The idea can either be original, or to solve a business case.  Registrations for teams close 12 May.  It is open to any business or engineering student who is at least 18 years of age and studying a bachelor, master's, or an MBA.

Entrepreneurship and Start-Ups
Compete at this year’s entrepreneurship competition and take a chance at developing your own start-up. The pitch night will be on 26th May 2017.  More information will be released soon.    

Media and Journalism
Entries for the 2017 YAJA Awards (Young Art Journalism Awards) are now open.  The competition helps media and journalism students showcase their talent in capturing art and culture in a creative way.  YAJA is designed to offer current students and recent graduates media opportunities, industry mentoring, networking opportunities, and a large audience reach.  There is no entry fee.

International students
Join us at Interchange, an international student competition run during the month of August, with the aim to develop your inner entrepreneur. This competition is proudly funded by Study NSW. More information will be released soon via CareerHub.

Paid employment 

Gain experience through paid employment such as part-time or casual work over the semester or during university holidays. This kind of experience is highly valued as it will build your employability and technical skills and show that you can balance your study and work commitments.

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