Written By: Suved Gadtoula Ambassador International Student (Nepal) UniSQ 

I will never forget my first day in Toowoomba because I almost had to sleep on an empty stomach as I was unaware of the timing of the meals in the colleges of the University of Southern Queensland. Fortunately, one of the friends that I met that day called security and explained my situation. The security personnel were kind enough to bring me some fruit Juice and apples. The first day woke me up to the reality of living alone but it was not enough to scare me at all as I am a stubborn man who likes to do things on his own and embrace the challenge head on.

 

It has been 1 year and 10 months since I arrived here. I have had my fair share of struggles to cope with. I have lived my life to an extreme extent, enjoying every bit with wonder and appreciation going on hikes, movies, college events and being a gym freak. I got my first job as a farmhand on a remote farm in a small town called Crow’s Nest after 5 days of arriving in Toowoomba. Initially, we were a group of 4 people who were given a farm vehicle which only I could drive because I was the only one with the licence at that time. Working on a farm from 6 am till 2 PM and sometimes working overtime until 5 PM was not an easy job but I enjoyed every bit of it because I was with my friends. I left the farm job for a cleaning job at Woolies in Pittsworth. Additionally, I have worked as a Cook (Naan maker), Kitchen hand, DA (Daily Assistant), Construction Worker, and Bond cleaner and finally settled as a PCW (Personal Care Worker) at Crow’s Nest. Yes! I have been travelling from Toowoomba to Crow’s Nest 9 days a fortnight for the past 1 year and 2 months. I drive ten thousand kilometres every 2-3 months on average.

For the readers and upcoming students in Toowoomba, I would like to share a few tips on how to land a job. 

  1. First and most important thing: Get A Licence! You will need a car for commuting and having more chances of landing a job.
  2. Finding a job sometimes can be frustrating as you do not have enough experience while you are seeking a job and Australian employers tend to hire someone who has local experience. To tackle this problem, you need to think outside the box and start meeting people.
  3. Do not miss the events inside the university which bring the greatest opportunity for networking and knowing people.
  4. Do not forget to check the university job board which is located inside the refractory in the university. Most of the jobs I mentioned above were through word-of-mouth which is a common way of getting casual opportunities. Apart from that, it is also important to keep applying for jobs through traditional resume drops and online applications.

In essence, finding a job and maintaining a balance between study and work has been challenging yet rewarding. From my perspective, it’s your energy that you manage rather than trying to manage time itself. If you can eat a good diet and manage to sleep enough, it will be easier on your body clock to keep up with the pace of work and study. It is necessary to invest a good amount of concentrated and focused energy in your studies to ensure that your student visa conditions are met. One should be careful not to overwork and breach working restrictions as well.