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Extracurricular activities earn Jessamine a top award

Indonesian/Australian student, Jessamine Yilmaz was the first ever Bond student to receive the Grenby Family Beyond Bond Medal when she graduated with her Bachelor of International Relations degree on Saturday, June 18.

The award acknowledges the graduate who has accumulated the highest number of points and performed at an exceptional level in the University’s Beyond Bond program, where points are accrued by participating in a range of extracurricular activities designed to develop key employability skills.

Devised and managed by Bond’s Career Development Centre, the innovative program was introduced as a compulsory requirement of all undergraduate degrees in May 2014.

“In the beginning, I’m sure a lot of students thought it would be difficult to accrue the required 100 Beyond Bond points on top of their regular studies but it has been such a valuable experience,” said Jessamine.

“It’s been really helpful for me in getting work experience relevant to my degree, gaining confidence in dealing with people, and taking the initiative in my career.

“We had a wide range of Beyond Bond activities to choose from – all very diverse – and the program also included a process to reflect on what I had gained from each activity and how that related to my career.”

Ultimately, Jessamine exceeded the Beyond Bond target, notching up an impressive 120 points by undertaking a work-based internship, an Intercultural Skills Workshop, volunteering, community engagement and career planning projects.

“The Career Development Centre arranged for me to do a three-month internship with Access Community Services in Brisbane where I was helping former refugees from Afghanistan, Somalia, Uganda and other countries in underprivileged circumstances to settle in Australia,” said Jessamine.

“I assisted them with a variety of things from applying for Australian citizenship to rent applications.

“It was the first time I’d worked closely with refugees so it was an amazing opportunity to hear their stories and learn more about the challenges they have had to deal with.

“The experience was also very relevant to my degree in International Relations and affirmed my career ambition to help people from underprivileged countries, hopefully via a role with the United Nations one day.”

Jessamine also volunteered in various event management roles on campus, organising a fundraiser for the Make a Wish Foundation and getting involved with campus clubs such as the Bond University Red Cross Society, the Japanese Society and the Indonesian Student Association.

“One of the really valuable aspects of the Beyond Bond program is the career development process,” she said.

“The Career Development Centre has worked with me to prepare my resume and job applications, and they are now helping me to source postgraduate employment.

“The career element of my Beyond Bond experience also included doing Assistant Professor Mike Grenby’s ‘The Unfair Advantage’ workshop which involves delivering a speech out on campus dressed in a toga.”

Assistant Professor Grenby is renowned for Bond’s iconic toga speeches which he introduced in 1999 as part of a public speaking course designed to develop students’ confidence and communication skills.

His innovative approach has been written up in the Harvard Business Review and presented at the University of Cambridge, London School of Economics and Tsinghua University in Beijing, as well as being recognised with an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

The Grenby Family Beyond Bond Medal award is named in recognition of his contribution to Bond University over many years and includes a $1,000 prize, certificate and medal which was presented to Jessamine at her Graduation Ceremony by Bond's newly-appointed Chancellor, the Honourable Dr Annabelle Bennett AO SC.

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