Reflecting meaningfully on your WIL experience

While feedback that you receive from others is an important tool for learning from your WIL experience, it is also that important you personally reflect on your WIL experiences to make sure you’ve taken the most from it.

It’s important to reflect on your WIL activity and transfer the skills you have learnt and developed into future work success. Make sure you take some time to consider these questions during and after you complete your WIL activity:

  • What you learnt from it, including skills, behaviours and attitudes, and how they can be used in your studies or for future roles after you graduate?
  • What you did on your WIL experience that you can list on your resume? This includes tasks and responsibilities, projects, training and presentations.
  • What you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy and how this might influence future choices on work experience, electives and which jobs you might apply for?
  • What challenges or obstacles you faced (expected and unexpected) and how you addressed them. These will be useful in future job interviews in even if you decide to pursue a different type of role to what your WIL experience involved.
  • What you would do differently in the future to enhance your personal and professional development? Remember that can be either for other experiences within Australia, if you continue to travel or if you return home.

The DEAL model helps you to reflect by describing the experience, evaluating it and articulating your learning from it. Here are some questions to guide your reflection in each category:

icon describe

Describe

  • What took place?
  • When and where did the experience in question take place?
  • Who was present
  • What did you and others do / not do?
  • What did you see / hear etc?
icon evaluate

Evaluate

  • In what ways did you succeed or do well?
  • In what ways were you challenged?
  • How has your perspective / thoughts changed in light of your experience?
icon articulate learning

Articulate Learning

  • What did you learn?
  • How did you learn it?
  • Why does it matter?
  • What will you do in light of it?
The answers to these questions will also help you generate great examples to include in your resume, job applications and job interviews. Regardless of whether your WIL activity was short or long and whether you’ll stay in Australia after your studies or not, no doubt you have learnt something about yourself, developed a skill or two and gained insight into what might come next in your studies, your career and your life.
icon checklist

WIL Preparation Checklist

Use the DEAL model to reflect on your WIL experience.

References

Ash, S.L.; & Clayton, P.H.(2009). Generating, deepening and documenting learning: The power of critical reflection in Applied Learning. Journal of Applied Learning in Higher Education. 1(1), 25-48. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/handle/1805/4579

Preparing for your WIL Activity: Getting the most from your WIL experience

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