Student blog: My experience studying a postgraduate medical course in Brisbane
Studying a postgraduate degree means higher standards and further planning for your future career. Naturally, it's more challenging. However, in Brisbane, there are plenty of opportunities, resources, facilities across our city and education providers, which can guide you along the way.
Myths about a postgraduate degree
A lot of people assume that to study a postgraduate degree; you need an undergraduate degree in that specific field. That is not necessarily true – as long as you can demonstrate your genuine passion and knowledge in the field you want to study in, your undergraduate degree can be in a different field. However, any previous related work experience certainly makes the application easier.
For example, students with a background in health, business or management are qualified to undertake the degree I am studying – a degree in health services management. Australia's education system is quite flexible and can help us find a way to achieve the career path we are passionate about.
Facilities and resources in Brisbane
Brisbane has some of the world's top universities and finest education providers. These institutions provide additional support for international students such as English classes, mental health support, airport arrivals, student counselling and much more.
You can find many free libraries that offer great facilities across the city. Brisbane Square Library and the State Library of Queensland are two of my favourite places to catch up on my studies. Printing facilities, photocopiers, charging outlets and Wi-Fi are all at your fingertips.
For students who aspire to a career in medicine, the health facilities and resources in Brisbane are world-class. The city is home to Australia's first large scale digital hospital, the Princess Alexandra Hospital, and the largest children's hospital in the southern hemisphere, the Queensland Children’s Hospital. Likewise, QIMR Berghofer is a leading medical research institute in preventative health care.
Exciting opportunities while studying
Volunteering is a great way to gather experience and build local networks while studying. You can sign up to volunteer for various events happening throughout the year. You can also check with your study institution or search online for an opportunity that is specific to your area of study. This kind of experience will look great on your resume.
You can also join professional networking groups and attend networking events to meet people in your local community who share your interests.
I attend events related to my studies and do volunteer work whenever I get a chance. This has helped me gain valuable industry skills. I have been able to connect with industry professionals and mentors who have played a massive role in guiding me in my career pathway.
As a part of the course, the students in my field are required to complete a Work Integrated Placement where you can work at a health institute.
Opportunities like these give you the opportunity to apply what you learned in the classroom to a workplace. All these opportunities improve your industry knowledge and enhance your future job prospects.
Organisations may start recruiting a year in advance for graduates, so it is important that you are as prepared as possible – this will include being ready to do some job searches and already having some volunteer or internship work under your belt.
Currently, I work once a week for Mater's Refugee Health Services as a research volunteer and admin assistant. After I graduate, I will be looking at many career options, such as being a health services manager, hospital administrator, health project manager, health informatics manager and so much more. Brisbane is a fast-growing city that offers opportunities across a diverse range of industries. No matter what you study, you’ll find your degree will be put to good use either in Australia or in your home country.