Above all, university prepares you for your future career, whatever industry that may be in, through theoretical and practical subjects. However, uni is also a time for professional and personal growth. Instead of leaving this up to fate and the ins and outs of uni life, Bond encourages students to take the reins of their own professional development through the Beyond Bond program.
We spoke to Medical Program student and Grenby Family Beyond Bond Medal winner Caio Christiansen about his experience participating in the program throughout his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science. Keep reading to learn more about Beyond Bond and how you can use this opportunity to harness the skills you’ll need to stand out not only in the workplace, but in life.
What is Beyond Bond?
Beyond Bond is a compulsory professional development program that all undergraduate students at Bond University must complete. It’s been designed to help you navigate both your time at university and your future career, and is comprised of practical activity requirements. All students must receive at least 100 Beyond Bond points by the completion of their degree, with activities undertaken every semester until these points have been fully acquired.
If this is a new concept to you, don’t worry – it’s nowhere near as scary as it may seem at first! Beyond Bond is simply guided encouragement to participate in extracurricular activities, undertake work placements and get involved in the community as best you can. You can complete the minimum 100 points, or run with it and take part in as many activities as you like. It’s a way to create balance in your uni life (not everything is about study!) and help you develop into a well-rounded, capable professional before you take the workplace by storm.
What kind of activities can you participate in as part of the program?
There are heaps of different activities across a variety of fields and interest areas that are Beyond Bond approved, which means you can totally make this experience your own, and tailor it to your career aspirations or simply what you like to do in your day-to-day life.
Caio Christiansen’s wide range of interests, both professionally and personally, meant that his Beyond Bond points were scattered across a number of eligible activities.
“Some of the activities I engaged with include volunteering at an aged care centre, playing touch football as part of a uni team, working in the HSM labs with my professor, undertaking a non-clinical work placement at Gold Coast Health, publishing a research paper and undertaking interview and resume training,” Caio says.
“As part of Beyond Bond, I was required to reflect on each of these activities. Each of these reflections were unique to the activity I took part in, but they all shared the same thing – the immense learning and development I experienced throughout.”
What do students get out of Beyond Bond?
As a Grenby Medal winner, Caio truly reached new heights throughout his experience with the program. However, he notes that no matter your level of engagement, there are still valuable things that can be gleaned from Beyond Bond.
“What I enjoyed the most about engaging with Beyond Bond was the personal and professional development I got out of it. I learned about the importance of allocating time and effort to learn more about myself, to improve on my strengths and to develop new skills,” Caio says.
“Most importantly, though, I matured a lot. I went from being a student who would dedicate time solely to studying and grades, to being a more aware, capable and responsible citizen.”
Caio says that amidst the rush of busy life as a student, he’d overlooked a valuable part of his learning experience – reflection.
“I realised that my achievements became a lot more meaningful when I sat down and reflected on them. This also gave me the opportunity to clarify what exactly it was that I learned and developed through a specific activity,” he says.
“Plus, it ensured that I always celebrated my achievements.”
What should I know before I start my Beyond Bond activities?
The beauty of the Beyond Bond program is that it’s almost entirely self-directed, so consider this carefully as you begin. On one hand, you can tailor your activities to suit your own goals, interests and career aspirations. However, this also means you’ll need to exercise some discipline and be responsible for what you get out of the program.
“I liked having the structure of the Beyond Bond program, as it showed me that a simple, day-to-day activity like playing sport with my teammates is an opportunity for personal and professional development,” Caio says.
“My recommendation for students who want to take Beyond Bond a step further is to participate in activities that are meaningful to you, and write your reflections about these as a result. Reflect on them sincerely and you will get lots out of it – I gained heaps out of this process and it had a positive impact on my self-image overall.”
“Remember that Beyond Bond is about you and your own learning, and you’re learning more about yourself through the reflection process,” Caio says.
What is the Grenby Medal?
Caio is a recent recipient of the Grenby Family Beyond Bond Medal, awarded for excellence and effort in the Beyond Bond program. The Grenby Medal was first established in 2016, and has been presented to one exceptional student per semester since.
“When it came to receiving the Grenby Medal for my outstanding effort with Beyond Bond, I was completely stoked! I told all of my family and friends, and everyone was very proud – I was so proud,” Caio says.
“The best part about receiving the award is having people ask me what I did to win. It’s really rewarding to reflect on my journey and all of the great things I have accomplished and achieved as part of Beyond Bond,” he says.
“I’m very grateful to be one of few students to ever receive the Grenby Family Beyond Bond Medal, and to have participated in such an eye-opening experience as Beyond Bond.”
Beyond Bond is a compulsory program that must be undertaken by all undergraduate students at Bond, with the exception of Medical Program students.
Explore your interests and goals with the Beyond Bond program.