Your first-year BEL student bucket list

Daiana Yoon

Post by Daiana Yoon, 4th year business and law student

If you’re keen to make the most of your first year as a BEL Faculty student, why not start working on your bucket list?

As a fourth-year business and law student, I’ve had countless opportunities and experiences that have helped me build meaningful relationships with others, maintain a healthy work-life balance and work towards my career goals.

Speaking frankly, it took time, but only because I was hesitant to ask for help and so used to having opportunities spoon-fed to me in high school.

‘Where do I start? How do I achieve this and that? How did that person get to where they are now?’ These are questions I frequently asked myself and stressed over. But here’s the good news: you’re not alone in wanting to know the answers, and there are people who can help you find a personalised solution!

I present to you – your first-year BEL student bucket list.

Join a society

Joining a society is a perfect way to build friendships both in and outside your program. You may feel nervous showing up to the first event alone, but rest assured everyone is in the same position. As friendships often solidify during your first few weeks, there’s no better time to step outside your comfort zone.

There are many societies, both big and small. If you’d like to meet new people from your program, some societies that may interest you include (but are not limited to):

You can always build friendships outside your program by joining societies with a common interest such as:

You can join a society online or in person during UQ O-Week. Joining fees usually vary from $2-10.

Daiana Yoon and friend promoting the L Card at Orientation 2020.

In future years, you can apply to become part of the executive team and work behind the scenes to help run events and activities. (This is also something you can and should add to your résumé to boost your employability.)

Attend first-year events

If you’re a law student, a great example is the UQ Law Society’s First Year Dinner. What better excuse to set aside your 200 pages of reading for the night? This event is a fantastic opportunity to get to know your cohort better – you’ll spend the next few years with this group, after all. Another great example is the Down to Business Luncheon hosted by FMAA.  These events are typically advertised on a society’s Facebook page.

Attend a ball

To help students celebrate end-of-semester exams, most societies throw a ball in the middle or end of the year. Ticket prices vary accordingly; however, normally they cost around $130-$150. The ticket price includes drinks and a guaranteed good time. If you’re looking for financial assistance, you can apply for equity tickets.

Last year I attended the Law Ball hosted by the UQLS. I would highly recommend it!

Join the UQ Textbook Exchange Facebook page

The last thing you want to do is spend $500 on brand new textbooks. I recommend joining the UQ Textbook Exchange Facebook page, where you can purchase second-hand textbooks. You can even sell your books at the end of the semester and make cashback.

Just make sure the textbook is the right one for your course, as courses sometimes update the required materials. You can do this by searching your course code online (e.g. MGTS2604 UQ), clicking on the course profile and looking at the learning resources.

staff and students at BEL Blooms, 2020
Stay informed through your student newsletters and keep an eye out for career workshops, interuniversity competitions and campus events like the UQ BLOOM festival.    

Book in with BEL Career Services

If you’re unsure where to start to achieve your career goals, book into a group consultation with a BEL Career Adviser.  Having attended a few consults myself, the team is always friendly and willing to help increase your employability. Attend the consult with your current résumé and an example cover letter, other any other general career questions you might have. The BEL Careers and Employability team also runs workshops and events for small groups throughout the year. Spaces fill up relatively fast so if you see something you like, make sure to book in quick.   

Put notifications on for StudentHub

Once you leave high school, pursuing job opportunities becomes your responsibility. This is where UQ StudentHub is extremely helpful. UQ has great connections, and some listings on StudentHub are advertised exclusively to UQ students.

You can change your profile preferences to have job opportunities tailored to you, and manage your communication settings to be notified when such opportunities arise.

Join 180 Degrees Consulting

Although I’m not a member, my good friend joined 180 Degrees Consulting last year and made me wish I was!  

180 Degrees Consulting is just like any society – no prerequisite skills or experience required. You simply pay a $5 fee to gain access to networking events and workshops hosted by Monitor Deloitte. It’s aimed at students interested in pursuing or learning more about consulting.

You attend recruitment workshops in Week 1, where you’re split into small teams to solve a business problem. As a team, you present your recommendations, all the while being assessed on your communication, teamwork skills and business acumen. Successful candidates are contacted afterwards to join a consulting team and are assigned an actual business project.

It will require your time, effort and commitment; however, you’re bound to reap enormous benefits. You’ll have the opportunity to build skills that are highly attractive to employers, create personal and professional connections and walk away with an experience worth mentioning in future job interviews.

Join a social sport or partake in an extra-curricular activity

My biggest regret since starting university is not staying connected with my high school hobbies (e.g. music, debating and team sport). I mainly blamed the fact that these commitments would cause me further stress, but I learnt quickly that they have the opposite effect.

Life is all about balance. Being around others, working towards personal goals (not just academic goals) and making time for your interests have a profound impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. I can say from experience, it’s so important to put your health above anything else – it gives you the endurance to make it to the end of your program. Some activities that may interest you include:

So there you have it – your first-year BEL student bucket list!

Hopefully, I’ve provided some insight into how to navigate your first year. But don’t feel pressured to complete everything in a year. There’s no firm time limit, and it’s never too late to get started. Just remember to enjoy the ride and seize as many opportunities as possible.

Last updated:
6 January 2023