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Did you know that the University of Sydney Union has its own impressive art collection? Well, neither did we! That is, until we applied for the amazing opportunity to manage the collection.

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We’ve all been told that when it comes to securing an internship or job, often it’s not what, but who we know that makes the difference. For those of us who are a little shy or self-conscious though, the task of networking can feel intimidating, if not somewhat contrived. But it doesn’t have to be...

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Normally university education and fortune-telling don’t go together, but if you’re interested in finding out what studying at Sydney Uni will be like, then you should definitely be coming to Open Day!

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Whether you want to cultivate a career in criminology or Chinese relations, or have aspirations in art curation or architecture, the Postgrad Expo this Saturday 31 August is the place to start.

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Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Anderson Cooper, Stella McCartney, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks.

What do said multi-millionaires have in common? Before they ascended into the upper echelons of the world’s most influential people they were – brace yourself – interns.

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Thinking about a summer scholarship?

This time last year, I toyed with the decision of whether to pick up a second casual job or apply for a research scholarship through the Sydney Medical School for the majority of my summer. I chose the latter, and spent around 8 weeks working on the writing of a meta-analysis investigating the links between hormonal factors and the risk of developing oesophageal cancer.

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Image: students, staff and alumni pack birthing kits in the Great Hall, for distribution in Africa.

Many students enter university with the desire to save the world – by no means an easy feat! There are countless issues, from human rights abuses to environmental concerns, and the scale of the challenge can sometimes cause starry-eyed idealism to diminish.

But student life offers some great ways to make a difference...

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Student prize winners (from left) Scott, Louise, Andy and Vanessa with ASA president Andrew Hopkins. [Photo: Bryan Gaensler]

The Astronomical Society of Australia’s Annual Scientific Meeting is an opportunity for the Australian astronomical community to gather for a series of talks and meetings about all the great astronomy that has happened, is happening, and is going to happen. It's a fantastic experience for a student, because you gain exposure to diverse and pioneering research taking place as well as having the opportunity to network with students and researchers from all over the country. This year I was also fortunate enough to have the chance to present my work, which was a great honour and thrill!

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As part of my engineering degree, I have to do 3 months work experience with an engineer in the industry this summer. I was really worried at the start of the year – how will I get an internship position? What if I miss out? I’d heard stories from friends saying that they’d put tonnes of applications to companies, only to be rejected by a lot of them...

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Journalist. Politician. Lawyer. As professions go, these are some of the least trusted and most hated of all in society – and I happen to study all three! So why pick these subjects, and why study a combined degree?

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This week I spoke with four extraordinary young alumni, Emma Collenbrander, Katerina Kimmorley, Monique Alfris and Jamie Chivers, who joined forces in 2012 with a mission to eradicate energy poverty in India through their social business venture, Pollinate Energy.

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Popular Masterchef contestant Kylie Millar has just completed her Master of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney, and took time out from her busy schedule to do a quick Q&A with us:

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I’m Megan. I’m a third-year Commerce (Liberal Studies) student and intern at IBM and I enjoy living life at an unsustainable pace. I micromanage to do lists, I’m a coffee aficionado and I’m strongly opposed to grammatical incorrectness.

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What's it like to change countries and careers? Third-year student Audrey Deheinzelin is making the transition from IT to the environment, and represents students on her faculty board and the University’s academic board. She took time out from her busy schedule to do a quick Q&A with us...

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Where can your medical studies at Sydney Uni take you? Brooke Sachs (pictured) is a stage three medical student based at the Royal North Shore Hospital, founder of the rural youth mentoring initiative ‘Avenir’, and the Vice-Chair of the Australian Youth Forum Steering Committee. Despite this daunting workload, she’s made time to do a quick Q&A with us!

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Where can your nursing studies at Sydney Uni take you? Travis Brown joined a group of fellow students who spent part of their Christmas break working in hospitals in Vietnam, and we’ve asked him about the experience.

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Where can media and communications studies take you? Eleven of our intrepid students have embarked on international journalism internships after securing prestigious fellowships. Kira Spucys-Tahar is the first Sydney Uni student to be sent to The Indian Express in New Delhi, and we’ve asked her about her experience so far:

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An interest in science fiction and history – and the influence of some inspirational teachers – put Benjamin Pope on a study path that’s taken him around the world.

Now back at Sydney Uni after completing an exchange year at the University of California, Berkeley, where he conducted research with a Nobel Laureate and travelled to an observatory in Hawaii to work with world leaders in astrophysics, Ben has received a University Medal for his honours thesis and is about to start his PhD. “The example of those who've taught me has cemented the importance of nurturing the individual interests of students and helping them find the right field to kindle their excitement”, says Ben, but he didn’t start out with a career in astrophysics in mind.

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The current business environment is more uncertain than ever, and the University of Sydney Business School is definitely no stranger to change. And as a student of theirs for the last two years, I can certainly testify to the exponential trend of improvement and innovation taking place there, and the new Masters in Business Administration (MBA) is part of that change.

The MBA is very exciting news for graduates who are seeking to further their professional careers and become great business leaders in their fields.

But with all the MBA programs already out there, why create another one, and what makes this MBA so special? I believe the answer is very simple – adaptation. There’s no doubt the global business environment is becoming increasingly more complex, and as a result, what is required from business leaders has changed. The University of Sydney’s new MBA degree has been developed to adapt to these circumstances and even has an exclusive partnership with Korn/Ferry International, one of the world’s leading executive talent firms.

It is definitely a great time to be studying business, and I am very proud to be a student at a Business School that is so dedicated to innovation.

For more information, visit the MBA website.

I’ve just finished a month working full-time at SBS for my media internship. As part of the Media and Communications degree we have to do 20 days work placement, in any area of media you want really, and I was lucky enough to get SBS. The internship was one of the main reasons I chose Sydney uni’s course over other unis, because I felt like there was a chance to really test out what my future career could be like, and (fingers crossed!) make some connections.

The internship was great! I learnt so much! BUT the full-time thing was definitely a shock to the system! The show I was working on was ‘Dateline’, an international current affairs program. It’s kind of the bee’s knees of journalism so I was super excited to get it (and admittedly when starting, terrified!!!).

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As a musician (or, to be more specific, as a young and relatively-cheaper-to-hire musician), chances are you’ll be asked to do at least five million gigs before you hit 25. NEVER underestimate the power of a gig. A ‘bad’ gig can damage more than just your morale. In order to preserve your friendships, sanity, petrol, and bank balance, I suggest thou readest on.

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A motorbike’s carrying power should never be underestimated. Minutes after touching down in Phnom Penh I was marvelling at the acrobatic precision of a young boy twisting and turning a giant truck fender through the pulsing traffic. A family of five whizzed through the streets on their ‘sedan’. One man, while talking on his mobile, sat taking notes in a book wedged between himself and the driver. Others were loaded up with colourful fruit, veggies and produce from the markets, bags hanging from every nook and cranny.

Zigzagging through the city, life was loud and unabated. But street 264, a quiet bougainvillea and Buddhist Watt lined haven, was my final port of call. After months of dreaming, planning and anticipation I was suddenly ‘Gemma from the Phnom Penh Post.’

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After finishing my last working day at Lithgow Hospital last week, I have become nostalgic and felt like reflecting on a few things that full time work has taught me:

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Snow patrol

24 Jun

Who would have thought that our government is so wonderful. Well, at least working for the government has some great perks. I get paid to participate in relevant courses to my job (and it's highly encouraged). Work stays at work and 4:30pm onwards is my time. I get one day off a month to do as a I please just because I work an extra 1/2 hour a day. I earn an extra $7.50 a fortnight for laundry allowance. Plus I am entitled to snow leave.....

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Hello interwebs. Sincere apologies regarding my lengthy absence on Sydney Life. Here's what I've been doing...

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When I set out last year to finish my Arts Honours in Sociology and Social Policy, it all really started as a personal project. I was out to investigate the experiences of same-sex attracted (SSA) Australians from Arabic-speaking backgrounds. Little did I know, but my 20,000-word thesis would land me a commission to investigate the issue on a larger scale. I am about to embark on writing a government-funded report which will form the intellectual infrastructure for a campaign to change homophobic attitudes in Arabic communities. Not bad for an Arts degree, huh?

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After a long, long, loooong hiatus, I am finally back in BlogTown. Oh yes, strap yourselves in, wave goodbye, and get set for the the comeback blog of your life...

As you can see, not much has changed. My blogs continue to be self-indulgent and ... well, self-indulgent. Forgive me as we return to where we last saw each other...

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Rhetorical question for the day: why is there a need to get engaged straight after leaving uni??

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Housework used to be one of those items on my to do list that was expendable. If I was feeling generous, or rather guilty, I would perhaps do some washing or unpack the dishwasher. But those days are gone as housework has come to claim revenge on my independent living style. See, I have moved out of home, into the nursing quarters of Katoomba hospital.

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Today, I woke up at 6:30am. Tomorrow, I will again wake up at 6:30. Then it’s the weekend. But the week after that I will be arising at 6:30 am every day. Yes my dear friends, the time has come for me to abandon my indulgent uni holidays and ripped jeans, for I indeed started my graduate job today.

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This place is really nice.

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But there are other nice things in life too.

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The first time I heard Meryl Streep (as Miranda Priestley) utter her famous dictum, 'That's all,' it sent shivers down my spine. Oh yes, the Prada-clad demon (loosely based on US Vogue editor Anna 'Nuclear' Wintour) made me think of all the nasty, conniving employers out there. And injected me with a dose of fear and panic, staving off my desire for full-time work for....oh, at least another four years.

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I think it is fair to say that we are a generation that likes to surf the net. I must confess, I am ever-so-slightly a computer nerd. I check my emails at least three times a day, and then all my other favourite sites. Firstly there’s the penultimate Google (don’t pretend like you’ve never Googled before a first date!) Then there’s emails, blogging sites, MyUni and the good ol’ facebook (a new social networking phenomenon that is sky-rocketing in popularity here, just like in America.)

But the Sydney Uni Casual Employment Service website is certainly one of my favourites that I check every couple of days. Here’s why……

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People always ask me why I chose physiotherapy, and invariably my response is ‘I like sport and I like science so it seemed like a great way to combine the two and plus it’s easy to get a job at the end’. In the past four years I’ve learnt the exercise component and the science component. Now as I finish off my degree I need to start thinking about the job part!

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Nuclear transfer (better known as therapeutic cloning) is one of those issues that the majority of people would automatically skip over unless you were a keen medical science student majoring in stem cells or the likes. We see the word ‘cloning’, freak out by the thought of recreating people like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot etc and move on to the next blog.

And I would probably be the same had my dad not brought it up at the dinner table just about every night for the past fortnight (you see, my dad is one of those keen medical scientists!!)

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Uni is not all fun, games and politics. There are sacrifices......and most of them revolve around money. Like attempting to pack your own lunches instead of buying from the cafeteria. Or walking from Central Station to campus instead of catching a 90 cent bus trip. Or downloading music for free off the net (hold on a second, I think people who work full time do this anyway!)

My biggest sacrifice throughout uni was my blessed Sundays, which all changed as of last week.

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I’m guessing that whenever you meet a physio, you have this undeniable urge to tell them about your shoulder that has been dislocated 100 times, your painful lower back that develops a disc bulge every time you lean forward, or your knee pain that becomes excruciating when sitting and watching a 2 hour long movie.

(N.B this is simply an educated guess based on experience. No need to feel guilty if the above scenario describes you. Just don’t take it personally when the physio replies ‘that’s nice’ and changes topics!)

Funnily enough, no one ever has an urge to tell me about the phlegm that has been stuck in their chest that they just can’t cough up!! Yet for the past 5 weeks I have been doing just that – helping people cough up secretions.

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Tuesday – my first day at St. Vincents hospital to kick start my third lot of 5 week physio prac stints for the year. The day started well – I managed to jump out of bed at 6am without having to snooze more than once to go for a lovely bike ride on the quiet beach roads and watch the sun rise. Feeling all invigorated, I made myself an omelet for breakfast, showered, and put on my semi respectable uniform ready to be at work for an 8:15am start.

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Someone once told me that Tuesdays are a horrible way to spend one-seventh of your life, and but for the great TV viewing (I hope we're all on the same page here), I tend to agree.

Last Tuesday (or is it this Tuesday? In any case, I mean the Tuesday of two days ago) I went to the Careers Colussus, and though I didn't find a job, I did notice a few oddities about graduate employers that I thought I'd impart to you...

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Everything you ever wanted to know about uni but were too afraid to ask....
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