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Orientation: build networks

Build relationships

Teaching staff and other students are important mentors (who have specialised knowledge of their academic discipline) and if you take the time to build relationships with them this will help to build your confidence, knowledge and support mechanisms. If you are proactive and engaged, you will find there will be great opportunities to engage with academic staff and other students who may one day be your work colleagues, employers or employees.

These relationships are also a great opportunity to build your skills in professional communication. The professional communication and interpersonal skills that are developed during your studies should be the foundation of your professional behaviour in the workplace, so why not start practising now?

Part of developing these relationships is establishing your ‘professional reputation’. Being a reliable student who is aware of the course requirements and submits assessments in a timely manner will enhance your reputation. Inappropriate language, failure to participate in group activities or disrespectful behaviour towards others will not go unnoticed.

Now is the time to start developing your ‘professional’ self that is reflected in your interactions with all others.

Some essential aspects of behaving professionally with teaching staff and fellow students are:

  • Introducing yourself to your teachers and fellow students and demonstrating your commitment and interest by being attentive and participating in learning activities
  • Using appropriate, polite language when communicating online, via the telephone or in person
  • Requesting extensions for assignments within the time frame required by the School/Faculty
  • Engaging with other students in a way that promotes positive interactions
  • Using feed-back on assessments to improve their future academic performance

See some relevant links:

Make new friends

Social networks with other students are an essential part of your survival at university. They provide friendship, support, and a way of managing the stress of completing assignments and exams. The CDU Students Association (CDUSA) provides a range of services to connect with other students. If you are in the Darwin area, you may also enjoy joining some of the discipline associations or CDU clubs and societies. See the links below for these.