Written by Josh, Caitlin and Damien Boccamazzo, and Brent Kealy
City & Beyond is a resource we created for rural students to help with the transition from high school to university. Rural students are at a significant disadvantage to their urban counterparts for primarily two reasons:
- Complete lack of information and resources, and
- Having no choice but to physically move away from family and friends.
This is problematic because:
- A disproportionate number of former rural students drop out of university before the end of their first year, and
- Rural students aren’t properly prepared for graduate recruiting and can’t compete with urban students.
These are problems we’re committed to solving. Ultimately, we want to provide rural students with the guidance to facilitate success so they can reach their potential.
How do we plan to solve this problem?
City & Beyond aims to offer insightful, detailed and practical advice based upon our own personal experiences. We’ve done the research, we know what works and what doesn’t, and we want to equip rural students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed.
We aim to comprehensively cover the five pillars of a successful university student:
- Transitioning to university:
- This covers the period between finishing high school and starting university.
- This transition is often a period of rapid change and some guidance on a few key decisions will put students on the right track.
- We will also include general advice such as: gap year advice, living away from home, selecting and starting university, cooking and diet, keeping fit, etc.
- Arguably there is a greater emphasis on this period for rural students because they have to face choices and make a series of decisions that urban students do not.
- Personal finance:
- Students typically struggle with handling their finances, but with a little education and implementation, they can be a lot better off.
- Rural students often have to spend more than their urban counterparts which puts an even greater emphasis earning and spending money properly.
- Time management and organisation:
- A student’s schedule is typically flexible and revolves around the university semester.
- Often students have several competing commitments.
- This creates unique circumstances and a workload that can be managed effectively if students know what they’re doing.
- Study techniques:
- While everyone has their own style, there are a few key principles to follow and proper advice can greatly accelerate learning.
- The learning curve from a high school work load to a university one is often steep and can be unforgiving with fast turnaround in semesters.
- Rural students typically have less guidance in developing good study habits.
- Career preparation:
- This is one area where rural students are often grossly unprepared due to lack of resources and information.
- Getting in the right mindset and being equipped with the right tools can put students ahead of the pack. Especially given the tough graduate employment market.
Students right now will have immediate access to our advice through a free blog and subscription service.
In the future, we plan to develop:
- Advanced learning through online video courses and interactive workshops;
- Mentorship through one-on-one programs and 24/7 on-call service; and
- Practical tools through templates, information packs and how-to guides.
Ultimately, we want to develop a community of people that will act as a comprehensive resource to bridge the information gap and eliminate the disadvantage suffered by rural students.
How can we make this work?
We’re hoping to reach as many rural students as possible by getting them to sign up to our subscription service accessible at www.cityandbeyond.com.au.
This allows us to:
- Grow a network of likeminded people committed to helping each other out; and
- Increase the level of feedback we receive. This ensures we are providing exactly the kind of information rural students need to succeed.
Our current service offering
A more concrete description of what we’re offering at this stage:
- A growing database of information with five distinct categories – free and available to everyone
- Subscription service where we deliver structured programs – free and available to everyone who signs up, and
- 24/7 access to an online mentor – free and available to students who sign up.
This is what we plan to propose to schools in the beginning. As mentioned above, we hope to expand into video courses, full scale mentor programs, workshops, etc., and ultimately create a network of rural students acting as a comprehensive resource.
Who is behind City & Beyond?
Graduated Albany Senior High School in 2008; final year law/commerce student at The University of Western Australia; starting graduate employment with Deloitte in 2016; two years of teaching at the UWA Business School; extensive internship experience; committee experience at UWA Business School.
Graduated Albany Senior High School in 2011; final year commerce/mathematics student at The University of Western Australia; graduate employment with Ernst & Young starting in 2016; 12 months of experience in college and private tutoring; experience on advisory boards at the UWA Business School.
Graduated Albany Senior High School in 2011; final year commerce/economics student at The University of Western Australia; graduate employment with Ernst & Young starting in 2016; 24 months of experience in college and private tutoring.
Graduated Geraldton Senior High School in 2008; final year law/commerce student at The University of Western Australia; graduate employment with PwC/Strategy starting in 2016; extensive leadership and committee experience at St Thomas More College and UWA Business School; over 18 months of professional work experience.