Arrr you advancing your Career?

26 Sep 2014

Talking like a pirate, it turns out, can have major career benefits.

Of course, it has to be in the right context. A stream of elongated vowels and a weird, growly, not-quite-Irish accent probably wouldn’t go down all that well in a stock-standard job interview. But for University of Queensland students currently working with the Talk Like A Pirate Day initiative, which is run by Children’s Cancer Support, there certainly are (or, er, “arrrr”) benefits.

Being able to demonstrate genuine, beneficial engagement with a not-for-profit organisation like Talk Like A Pirate Day, which raises funds for children’s cancer support, is invaluable in the professional domain.

For those who are perennially focused on career pursuits, volunteering can prove to be a weak link in job applications. Not a lot of us manage to devote significant amounts of time to volunteering even if we know it’d be good for our CVs.

Enter the Community Engagement Program, which is run by The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Law’s Careers and Recruitment Centre.

Students who participate in the Program get the opportunity to engage closely with a not-for-profit organisation, putting their academic learnings to use.

Cassandra Vickers, the Volunteer Program Coordinator at the Careers and Recruitment centre, describes the Program as “an opportunity for [students] to prove their employability skills, but also apply their classroom knowledge to a real life project in the not-for-profit sectors.”

The benefits of the Program relate to any discipline of study, but are particularly important for those undertaking courses in the competitive fields of Business, economics and Law.

Under the Program, participants – who can apply in fully-formed teams or as individuals – are linked up with a not-for-profit organisation and given a project brief that fits with their field of study. There are a wide variety of organisations that participate in the Program, such as MS Queensland and the Queensland Farmers Federation.

Vickers believes the time commitment and general involvement of the project can be partially determined by each student, however, the Program generally requires no more than a few hours of work per week.

Vickers also states that students who’ve participated in the program in the past have found it highly rewarding.

“Students continue to engage with the organisation after the project is finished,” Vickers said.