Building connections to build a career
Alumnus Tsukasa Ishida, BA/DipEd (2013)


Building connections to build a career

Today, the average age of teachers is currently over 50, with many considering retirement in the foreseeable future. While that will certainly make way for a new cohort of teachers to take over, as many graduate teachers know, it can be hard to land a permanent position.

Macquarie alumnus Tsukasa Ishida has some advice.

Tsukasa originally came to Macquarie as an exchange student from his native Japan in 2007, where he was planning to study English and education.

“I came here to improve my English but loved the tranquility of the campus and Macquarie’s flexibility so much that I decided to stay.

“It felt like fate,” he says.

“Macquarie is respected for the quality of its education degrees so I started studying for my BA Dip Ed, which I completed while working at the same time.”

He says that while you need a degree to be a teacher, it was the connections that he gained through Macquarie that have really helped him to forge a career, and in return he has helped others to find their feet.

“I was working as a language assistant during second year and a friend undertaking a practicum needed a native speaker to help his class. Initially it was a voluntary role but later I got a job at that school.”

Today Tsukasa teaches Japanese at Hills Grammar School in Kenthurst, where in addition to teaching students he organises enrichment activities, visits to the Japanese speech contest at Macquarie as well as to the Hills Grammar’s sister school in Japan.

He says that after he was made permanent in his current role he was offered other jobs through connections he had made at Macquarie.

“While I was unable to accept them, I was able to pass on one of my Macquarie colleague’s name to the schools, and he now has a permanent job,” Tsukasa says.

“I still see friends and connections I made through Macquarie all the time,” he says, adding that he is now studying French at the North Ryde campus.

Tsukasa recommends that anyone who is keen to follow a similar path should start with volunteer work and build relationships with lecturers and other faculty members.

“My first reference was from my language methodology teacher at Macquarie,” he explains, adding that he often advises students and graduates to get permission to attend conferences and meetings with other members of the language teaching community.

“Whatever you do is a plus,” he says. “It can be difficult to find a permanent job, especially when you are starting out.

“Building connections can make all the difference.”

Now available: Master of Educational Leadership Alumni Scholarship.

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