You’re coming to the end of your undergraduate degree…. what’s next? With so many different options available it can be incredibly overwhelming. Do you look for full-time work in Brisbane, look elsewhere throughout Australia, travel, with so many options you never know which is the right choice.  Graduate programs are one of the many options you’re faced with in your final year. Many of these require relocation i.e. moving away from Brisbane. QUT alumni and media advisor for a federal government agency, Nelson Fogarty made a move to Canberra for a grad program and believed it was the best choice he’s ever made. I had the opportunity to interview him and here’s what he had to say.

So Nelson, what attracted you to a grad program away from home?

I was interested in moving to a different city for a change, and the grad program provided the opportunity to do that. The program itself offers development opportunities such as; further study through a diploma of government, access to a network with senior executives through a mentoring program and grad nights to get to know my colleagues.

Did you find it hard to move away from your friends and family?

Not particularly, as I previously said I was looking to get out of Brisbane, although moving to a city where I knew no one was difficult and missed the friendships I had established at home. It is still easy to stay connected with everyone at home through social media and video chats, which has definitely helped.

What challenges did you find from moving away?

Luckily as part of the government grad program, they fund the move, so I didn’t have to worry too much about that. Although it was difficult to find somewhere to live, particularly at the beginning of the year where everyone for the grad programs were arriving and looking for places to live, as well as Uni students. I would highly recommend doing research and trying to find a place to live prior to the move, if you don’t have somewhere or someone to stay with initially.

What positives came from moving to Canberra?

There are heaps of other people in the same situation as myself, coming to the grad program from interstate. This provides an opportunity to meet people straight away and make friends in the new city; it also offered a support network of other people in a similar situation who were looking to fit in like I was. This is one of the major benefits I found in a grad program, which I don’t think I would have experienced if I moved interstate for an entry level role. That is why I would highly recommend grad program if looking to move interstate right out of uni.

Do you have any advice for the undergraduates of today?

Although university grades are definitely important, I believe it is highly important to gain industry experience, as this is how I received a place in the grad program. I was lucky enough to do an internship at another government agency, as well as multiple internships in the private sector, which I think was the most valuable aspect of my application.

By Victoria Nowland

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