2019 Your UQ Life Newsletter

Welcome to Your UQ Life Newsletter, after great welcome weeks we are excited to share experiences, opportunities, programs, and stories from across your University. 

Have you got a great UQ student experience that you would like to share? Please submit your story and you might be our next feature story. Submit story now.

3. Disability Employment Specialist

UQLife met with Student Employability’s newest careers adviser, Joachim Tan. A UQ graduate, Joachim specialises in Careers & Disability advice, and joins the Careers Service as a result of a partnership between UQ & Maxima through the national University Specialist Employment Partnerships project (USEP). Read what Joachim has to say about employability and his tips for setting yourself up for your future career.

Where and what did you study?

I completed a Masters degree in Social Work here at UQ and I hold an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology.

How can you help students?

The University Specialist Employment Partnerships (USEP) program is a pilot program that partners The University of Queensland with Maxima, a disability services provider, and is aimed at helping students with a disability prepare for and obtain sustainable employment. Students can make an appointment to have their résumé or CV reviewed, find graduate employment opportunities, receive guidance around disclosing their disability status to potential employers, and understand their rights. We also refer students to other suitable programs across the University and Student Services that may be of help.

We are passionate about supporting people who have medical conditions that others may not have, in any way that we can.

What are the most common questions students have for you about their employability?

What work experience, internships, or job opportunities are out there and how can I access them?

What single piece of advice would you give a student who is concerned about their employability?

Be open and adaptable. Generally, I think the best advice is to be informed, and make progressive steps to increase your knowledge about the particular industry and career you are interested in. This allows you to make an informed decision about your future employment options. There’s so much information out there, it’s about finding it and being critical with how you interpret that information.

What does employability mean to you?

Employability is the willingness to develop professionally, adapt to organisational change and constructively transfer your skills and knowledge in any given setting.

What do you think, beyond being informed, a student can do right now to help their chances of getting a job once they graduate?

Having the mindset that employability is a lifelong journey, their career is a lifelong journey. You can start today by sourcing information, exploring your own personality, your interests and what environment you like working in. Work out what style of work you want to do – creative or structured, etc. Explore who you are and really become self-aware. When a potential opportunity comes up, this will help you work out whether it is right for you.

What do you like most about your job?

I like the challenge, and the fact that no day is the same as any other. Challenges give you a sense of satisfaction at having achieved something. I like the fact that my job requires me to not take no for an answer and really explore alternative solutions to problems, make connections and seek out answers.


UQ students with a disability can access an on-campus Career & Disability Appointment with Joachim by making a booking through StudentHub. Initial appointments are conducted in person at Student Services (Building 21D) with flexible follow up appointments conducted either in-person, over the telephone, or via skype. These appointments are available each Thursday.

For more information on the partnership between UQ and Maxima through the national University Specialist Employment Partnerships (USEP) project, please contact Joachim or Krista at careers@uq.edu.au or visit the USEP website for more information including other participating universities. For more information on services, employment and volunteering opportunities, and events that cater to diversity, visit DiversityHub.