Category Archives: Students



Univative isn’t just a great name – it’s a great experience both for the uni students and the companies involved.

I know this from a company viewpoint as this year the Co-op has been part of the Univative Sydney Program.

How it works:

Two Univative teams from different universities are given a research brief. The teams are made up of a mix of domestic and international students who are all 2nd year and above.

The the teams working on our Univative brief were from the University of Sydney and the University of Wollongong, and the brief was on the student wallet and the psychology of the student purchasing process.

The teams had three weeks to work out their strategy, research, and analyse results, before putting their response together in a 10,000 word report, with reference to at least 40 different Australian sources.

The day after the written report was due the two teams came into our offices in Sydney and presented their findings to a panel.Our panel was Greg, Chief Marketing Officer, Stephen, Business Development Manager, Rebecca, Local Area Marketing Co-ordinator, a rep from the Univative Sydney Program, and me.

Following the presentations from the teams we deliberated on the results using a set of criteria included in the breifing document, and it was a hard decision.

Both teams had done well with the written report and presentation, but in the end a winner had to be declared so using the briefing document and combining the scores from the presentation evaluation sheets, the team from the University of Wollongong came out in front.

We are now looking at what we can implement either report, and are looking forward to taking part in Univative 2013.

As to what the students get out of it – here’s a quote from one of them:

“I found that working with the Co-op Bookshop provided me with invaluable real world experience for working for an organisation. Working in a larger, more diverse team than we are used to at University proved difficult at first, yet the diversity proved to be beneficial as everyone was able to provide input from various perspectives an individual alone might not of considered. The knowledge and experience gained from the work will help me in future situations once I have graduated.”

 Stuart Coates
University of Wollongong Team Leader
Bachelor of Information Technology, Major in Social Policy

The University of Wollongong Univative Team – Behnaz, Stuart, Nina, Wei, Anne, Daniel and Grace (LR).


amaysim – it’s your call

The Co-op is always on the look out for new things to add to our range, and this month we’ve launched a new partnership with amaysim.

amaysim are a mobile company that runs on the Optus network, with no-contract pre and post paid plans, that you BYO phone to.

(We also have some Co-op Member deals on mobile handsets if you’re in need of a new one).

amaysim have 3 different plans:

  1. As you go – for the occasional user
  2. Flexi – for the person who does a bit of everything with their phone
  3. Unlimited – the plan that has no limit on nearly everything on your phone

They’ve  put a list together of 10 reasons to switch, and you can save 25% on your first order if you use our special code COOP25 (offer ends 3rd August 2012).

To find out more about the different plans, or to order and save with our Co-op Code head to amaysim site and get connected.

You can also drop into your nearest Co-op Bookshop and get a SIM card in-store.



Crazy Good Interviewing

Crazy Good Interviewing

Crazy Good InterviewingInterviews are more daunting than a first date – let’s face it if you have a dud date you always try again*.

Interviews you don’t have that luxury – have a dud interview and there goes your chance at that job. What if that job is THE job – the one you’ve been wanting with that company you’ve always wanted to work for?

Author John B. Molidor wrote Crazy Good Interviewing following years of work conducting workshops and teaching interviewing techniques. It covers what could be considered standard interviewing tips (body language etc) while also exploring the ‘out of the box’ things that can make an interview a success – how to be memorable for the right reasons.

Crazy Good Interviewing is also an interactive work book; with self-assessments and quizzes, plus examples from pop culture and current affairs to help illustrate points. Specific to about to graduates and about to graduates are the chapters written with advice on how to bridge the gap between Gen X and Gen Y interviewers and interviewees.

Crazy Good Interviewing was listed in the on the The Wall Street Journal FINS ‘Morning Coffee’ article Best Career Books for 2012, and it could be what you need to get the best career in 2012.



*In theory you can re-do the date, really depends how dud a date it really was – otherwise there’s plenty more fish in the sea …


Study Quirks

For most of you this week is study week, stuvac, as it is known in some places and I’ve been doing some relaxing of late by re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and yesterday’s episode (Series 5, episode 11, Triangle) the following was said:

Willow: We can come by between classes. Usually I use that time to copy over my class notes with a system of different colored pens. But it’s been pointed out to me that that’s, you know, insane.

Tara: I said “quirky” 

It got me thinking – do you have a “quirk” you use to help all those bits of information from the semester stick in your head?

A set of coloured pens like Willow, or are you more a highlighter kind of person?

Do you use a different notebook for each subject, perhaps even ones with different coloured pages?

With your textbooks do you highlight, post-it-note or write in the margins?

I’m a different notebook, and different coloured pen and highlighter person  and when it comes to books I’m and underliner and post-it user.

Whatever you do to help you study for that essay or exam let me know, together we can build a database of study “quirks”

Neil Gaiman

The Graduation Address

I’ve sat through two graduations of my own, and to be honest I can’t really remember anything from the addresses, other than the first one being so boring that I didn’t want to go to the second (and I wouldn’t have if my mother didn’t want some pics for the study).

I’ve also been to graduations for others on subjects, which I admit, aren’t my specialty, but they were still boring.

I’ve watched them on numerous films, and they just seem so cheesy that even if they have valid points they aren’t ones that make me say to myself “that is so right” or “I should really take that piece of advice”.

Then last night I watched this address Neil Gaiman, author extraordinaire (I personally love The Graveyard Book) gave to the University of  Arts Class of 2012 in Philadelphia.

It may have been a combination of me being older and the fact I was sitting on a  comfy chair; rather than sitting in a lecture hall with a big gown and hat, but this address was great …


“So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom,  and if you can not be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, then just behave like they would. – Neil Gaiman”

If you’ve seen a great graduation address let me know through the comments section.


The Night Before the Interview

Your application got through the paper cull and you have the interview tomorrow – here’s 5 tips for what you should do tonight:Checklist

    1. Make sure you know where you are going and how to get there – if you are catching public transport make sure there are no changes to the route or usual timetable. Plan your trip so you won’t be late (derh), but don’t be too keen either – arrive about 5 minutes before your scheduled time. If you are early kill some time nearby and get yourself in the mental zone for the interview.
    2. Re-read your application – if you get asked questions from what you have put on it you kind of need to know what the interview is talking about.
    3. Check, check, check them out … check the website for the company, and do a web search for recent newspaper articles about them. Doing this will mean you are up-to-date on what has been happening – what’s more it looks like you are interested in the company you are going to work for!
    4. Plan your outfit – it sounds obvious and it is. The last thing you want is to be late because you’re having a fashion crisis or can’t find that lucky pair of socks. First impressions do count so if you are wearing something that needs to be ironed, do it tonight!
    5. Get a good nights sleep – it won’t look good yawning during the interview.

Do these 4 things and you will be on your way to a good interview start.


Thesis Survivor Stories

I would like to say:

“My Name is Jen, and I’m a Thesis Survivor”

but, I’m not.

I thought about doing the Masters at the end of my post-grad degree, and I thought about it some more, I weighted up the ‘being at uni for longer’ vs ‘having money to actually do things’ and lacking a topic I felt passionate about I opted, for possibly the easy way and went to work…

Thesis Survivor Stories

For those of you out there who have a thesis that is the first of its kind I tip my hat to you and your effort.

Thesis Survivor Stories was an April new release and it is a collection of tales from those who have gone before.

It got me thinking about how a process for something like a thesis can be the same, regardless of topic or even the country you are doing it.  The book is one for those of you about to start a thesis, to help you get an idea of what you may be up for, or if you’ve lost sight don’t give up – there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But the book made me want to ask those of you out there who have done a thesis – what is the one tip you would give someone else to keep sane and get through those thousands of words?




Just because you’ve been going to uni doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to graduate – sounds harsh?

Imagine getting to the last day of what you thought was your last semester and you realise that you haven’t actually got enought credit points to graduate?

Or, imagine waiting for the invite to the big graduation day only not to receive the letter – that’s right some uni’s won’t let you graduate if you have an outstanding library fine.

To help you avoid these and other ‘EEK’ pre-graduation moments we’ve put together this little brochure How I Survived Graduation it’s got some great tips for making sure you will graduate, student survival stories, along with some post-graduating tips to get you started …



First Year Uni

If you’ve ever been there you KNOW the first day of uni can be …

daunting, scary, exciting, confusing, fun … lots more adjectives … but most of all it’s life changing!

To help all those heading to uni whether straight from high school, after a gap year, or after something else, we ran some focus groups and got some tips and tricks from students who have been there, done that, to help make the transition smooth. From the focus groups we came up with –

“How I Survived First Year Uni”

You can pick a copy up in-store or check back here as we add to our blog more ‘How I Survived…‘ posts.