In Focus Careers

Insanely great career advice.

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Create an Insanely Great School Leavers’ Safety Net

Leaving home to study at university or TAFE is a giant leap. Especially for RRR students.

Notre Dame University has a RRR Student Support Program which is like their support for international students. No other Western Australian university or TAFE has anything special in place.

Students flounder. Parents panic.

Stressed parents can help their school leavers to make the giant leap seem more like a hop by doing these things.  Tell them to….

1.   Get a Mentor

People love it when you value their knowledge and expertise so getting a mentor isn’t rocket science. Just be nice and value what the mentor tells you. Find someone whose subject knowledge you value and start to ask them for advice and support.


Vocational colleges like TAFE do not have formal mentor programs.

Students will need to put in some effort to find a good mentor. They may choose to build a mentor relationship with a lecturer, with one of the many technical experts that work in colleges or with an older student.

This will be their “go to” person when they are wondering what is coming next or how to do something.


Universities have formal mentor programs.

The mentors are older students who are building their resumes by demonstrating leadership through mentoring.

New students are often allocated a mentor during orientation. If you didn’t get one, or if you didn’t get along with your mentor, go to the guild, or student services office, and ask for a mentor in your faculty.

Getting a mentor means you are consciously and deliberately working towards a successful career. That can’t be a bad thing.

2.   Find and Use Support Services

Support services are numerous and varied, and they are usually free.  You really are not alone but unearthing the support service you need may take some digging.

  • Career Counsellors. Most tertiary education institutions have career counsellors. These can be your lifeline when you start to doubt your subject or course choices. Don’t just drop out. Go to one of the counsellors to see what you can do.


  • Specialist Support. There will be support for students with identifiable different needs, like Aboriginal students, people with a disability or people from non English-speaking backgrounds. If you are eligible for these services, take advantage of them.


  • Classes in Study Skills. There may be classes on study skills, or how to write an essay. They will be designed to address a problem like not knowing how to study most efficiently, or how to write an essay with correct referencing. These skills can save you hours throughout your student career.


  • Industry Group Services. Some industry groups, like the building and construction industry, provide mentors, scholarships, mental health programs and industrial relations support through the union. Google your industry to find what support services they offer.


  • Specialist Industry Support. Specialist support groups, like Women in Science and Technology and associations like the Marketing Association, the Accountants Association or the Australian Computer Society can help you while you are studying, give you a network for applying for jobs and they will be able to tell you about scholarships, internships and financial support.

3.   Stick with Family and Family Friends

Leap and the Net will appear PNGHaving the freedom to do what you like away from home is exciting. Taking risks is part of the excitement.

New students are a target for crooks and scammers. The crooks and scammers don’t come with it written on their foreheads. They are usually nice, friendly, helpful people who know how to win the trust of a new student.

Believing the old Zen saying, Leap and the net will appear and keep you safe whenever you take a risk, could result in you getting a criminal record or being physically assaulted.

Make a formal plan to stay connected with family and old family friends. If you are unsure about someone, invite them to come with you when you visit your family.

If you don’t feel comfortable inviting them to meet your family or family friends, check your own feelings. Your innate wisdom may be telling your something.

If you invite your new acquaintance and they choose not to come a few times, you will start to question their friendship.

If they do come, and your family does not feel comfortable about this new person, listen to your family. They are the ones who will provide a safety net that protects you as you leap into your new life.

4.   Say “YES, and …”

If you just learn from class when you go to uni or TAFE, you are missing out.

post-it-notes-There is so much more to enjoy. There are so many opportunities to engage with your industry, enter competitions, take on projects, join clubs, go for scholarships.

Don’t just wait for an opportunity to fall into your lap. Look for things that might interest you on campus noticeboards and join online groups to find out what is going on.

When you hear about an opportunity on campus say “Yes, and where do I apply, what else can I do, when can I start?”

Growth opportunities are generally set up by your campus to help you to have a better student experience.

Just by applying you are creating your own opportunities. You might find out where you are going by setting out in a different direction.

5.   Create a Small Group

If you have friends from school studying at your campus they are your obvious first point of contact. You will soon be overwhelmed with new people who are vying for your attention and you will be trying to connect with new people who you meet.

Trying to be friends with everyone will exhaust you. Focus on a small group and establish friendships with them.  You can make friends with other people later.

HINT: Be nice to everyone. There is a good chance you will be in the same workplace as them at some stage in your career. It is important that they remember how great you are.

Find out what careers information came out this month. Get a free copy of the latest In Focus Careers Newsletter.


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Career Events This Week

FREE WACE Revision at ECU

This is an amazing offer from ECU. They offer free WACE Revision Sessions in late September. There is high demand so register ASAP. Register now


Remember the census! Don’t leave your TISC application to the last minute. Applications close on 30th September at 11am.  Apply on the TISC site now.

Street NDNotre Dame Applications 

Notre Dame doesn’t use TISC. You need to apply to Notre Dame directly. Applications also close on 30th September.

WAAPA Application

Year 12 Students need to apply through TISC AND apply directly to WAAPA for any course where you need to do an audition or interview.


In your future workplace computer skills will be fundamental to your career success. Keeping hackers away from information and business systems will be vital. You can become an expert at that. sciene-computing-and-securityFind out about courses that can lead to a dynamic career in computing and IT security.

ECU Joondalup Campus 6.00pm Register at:


Find out about ECU’s Bachelor of Education Courses, with specialisations in Early Childhood Studies, Primary and Secondary school teaching at this information evening.

Joondalup Campus   6.00pm  Register at:

14 September UWA Maths Information Evening

To find out more about how to become an engineer, book a session here. In the meantime, you can talk to us about starting your engineering career with UWA by emailing Rose Nightingale.

Engineering Lecture Theatre 26.30pm-7.30pm  6.30pm-7.30pm

15 September ECU BUSINESS and LAW

ECU allows you to make some interesting subject combinations for your degree. This information evening will provide information about what is possible.

Joondalup Campus 6.00pm Register at:


Find out how you can start your dream career in theatre and performing arts at this information evening.waapa134

Mount Lawley Campus     6.00pm  Register at:



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Artistic Types – Applying for WAAPA


If you are applying for a place at  WAAPA for 2017, getting your application in should be the easy bit. If you are a senior student and need to do an audition or interview as part of your application to WAAPA you must do two things:

1. Apply using the normal TISC process.


2. Submit a separate application direct to ECU.  

The fabulous but boring TISC site has all of the information you need for applying to university in Western Australia. Notre Dame has its own application process.

Applications close on 30th September.


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Career Events WA This Week

Notre Dame Open Day Today

Street NDSunday 21 August 

Notre Dame staff and students really know how to make you welcome – as many people are discovering. Today is their Open Day and a great day to walk around the West End of Freo.

ECU Health Sciences 

This information evening is for those interested in becoming paramedics, working in speech pathology, occupational therapy, and health-related careers.

23 August  6pm 



420ECU Sports and Medical Sciences

This information evening is for people interested in health and sport and who would love to work in the area.

24 August at 6.00pm

ECU Pathways 

If you need general information about how to get into ECU and alternative pathways to uni this is the information evening for you.

25 August at 6.00pm 

ECU Nursing and Midwifery 

At our Nursing and Midwifery Information Evening you will experience hands-on demonstrations, take a tour of our facilities and you will also have the opportunity to discuss courses and careers with our experienced academic staff.

26 August at 5:30pm

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What’s On This Week

Life after schoolScholarships

If you were not gifted with academic brilliance you may still find a bucket of gold at the end of a scholarship rainbow.

Check out some of the rare and wonderful scholarships here or just search Google for scholarships, bursaries and government payments that will help you succeed in the workforce of your future.

WAAPA Applications are Open

Make haste… if you plan to apply to WAAPA for 2017.  Applications close in September. 

Media Portfolio Preparation

Have you finished writing your novel? Producing your movie? Recording your podcast? Use it to apply to Murdoch through a media portfolio.  There is a Media Portfolio Preparation Day to help you to finish off your masterpieces on 27th September.

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Doctor of Medicine Degrees in WA

UWAUWA Requirements

UWA provides a 4 year Doctor of Medicine post graduate program.  UWA is the only provider of the Doctor of Dental Medicine in WA.

Applicants are required to:

  • Have a minimum Grade Point Average of 5.5 (distinction grades) over 3 years of a full-time bachelor degree.
  • Undertake the Graduate Australian Medical School Admission Test towards the end of their undergraduate degree. International students undertake the International Student Admission Test.
  • Pass the WA Certificate of Education English, English Literature or English as a Second Language. An International English Language Test Score of 7 is deemed to be equivalent.
  • Undertake an interview.

Assured Pathway to UWA     

There is an Assured Pathway that guarantees applicants a place in medicine for 15 applicants with an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 99. Students wishing to apply for an Assured Pathway in Year 12 need to undertake the Undergraduate Medical Admission Test (UMAT) and undertake an interview and have demonstrated English language competency.

Applicants should apply through the school Tertiary Institutions Service Centre process.

International students wishing to apply for an Assured Pathway should apply through the UWA International Centre They will need to undertake the International Student Admission Test.

Final ranking is based on the UMAT, ATAR and Interview and is weighted 1:2:2 respectively.

Recommended Subjects for UWA

  • Physics and Chemistry in Year 12
  • Chemistry, Biology or Human Biology in first-year university.

logo-notre-dameNotre Dame Requirements

Notre Dame offers a 4 year post graduate degree with an intake of about 105 students per year. In 2015 there were 2200 applicants for those places

Entry to the 4 year post graduate Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery requires a minimum:

  • Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test official score of 50 or greater. In 2015 the cut off score was 60.
  • An undergraduate degree Grade Point Average of at least 5 on a 7 point scale. In 2015 the cut off score was 6.3. This score is scaled with your final year worth more points than the previous 2 years. Your second last year is worth more than your third last year.
  • An interview
  • A School of Medicine Application Folio (SoMAF) that measures your personal qualities and motivation to study medicine.Your folio will reflect your knowledge in Aboriginality and/or Rural and Remote issues.
    BEWARE – The Tips to preparing your portfolio site on the net is not recommended. Just be yourself in what you write rather than writing to a formula.
  • An interview

You can do the GAMSAT once per year and the result is valid for two years. One GAMSAT test result can be used across Australian universities.





Curtin University Requirements

Curtin is starting a 5 year medical degree for school leavers with an intake of 60 students in 2017.

Enrolments are contingent on finalisation of accreditation of the course by the Australian Medical Council.

International students cannot apply for these positions in 2017.

Students should apply through the normal TISC application process although they do not have to put this course as their first preference. PLEASE CONTACT CURTIN FOR MORE INFORMATION WHEN YOU ARE MAKING YOUR TISC APPLICATION.

Applicants are required to:

  • Have a UMAT score of at least 50 in each section
  • Have an ATAR of 95 or more.
  • Assessment of interest in and suitability for working in rural and remote areas.
  • Undertake an interview in December.

Pre requisites

Chemistry ATAR or equivalent

Study in one of the following Mathematics ATAR courses is desirable: Mathematics Applications, Mathematics Methods, Mathematics Specialist, or equivalent.

In addition, all applicants must meet Curtin’s minimum English entry requirements.

Please see the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery application requirements for more detailed information regarding admission criteria, requirements and eligibility.

Special Consideration

School leavers are the target group for this intake with rural, remote and Aboriginal students getting special consideration. Only 5 places will be for older students.