Student - Career Challenges Post Uni

Hi all,

So recently I have been really thinking about my career and my future.

I have almost completed my commerce and arts degree at UNSW but have had difficulties securing a summer internship or an entry level role, despite my experience and good grades.

To date, the part time roles I have done while doing full time university include:

  • Internship at a private bank that serves the military. (4 months)
  • Marketing co-ordinator for two brands (B2B/B2C) in an FMCG environment.(6 months)
  • Analyst at one of Australia's leading media companies (1 year)

I believe I am also socialable and have great communication skills from my involvement with volunteering, sports and university societies. I have also spent a lot of time improving my resume and cover letter (for each job app).

I'm not sure where I am going wrong, but I know I should not give up on job searching. I'm eager to learn and am open to any feedback or advice.

Thanks so much!

Comments

  •  

    Network.

    I accept it's easier said than done, but Uni is the best place to do it. I'm in a similar situation to you. Studying at a comparable uni in Sydney, similar Degree. My experience is barely as good as yours, but I've manged to secure Summer Internships. Network with people.

    Also, chances are, you're porbably not passing the Pyschometric tests - get someone to help you do them

    • +1 vote

      Thanks for the response, I agree with you completely.

      It's more or less that a majority of the people I meet at university are students and are on the same boat as me. Most see each other as competitors and are too junior themselves in company to reccomend other students. But definitely, I will give networking a shot again!

      Oh I just wasn't any good at the video testing, but I've learnt how to approach it better now, thankfully.

      • +1 vote

        Don't just network with other uni students.

        Go to a ton of events. Not just at your uni, but there are public lectures at other unis, run by corporations, anything you find on eventbrite that doesn't seem too dodgy.

        e.g. go to this lecture at Sydney Uni
        http://whatson.sydney.edu.au/events/published/sydney-ideas-h...
        Its run by the law school, but you don't have to be doing law or have a connection with Usyd to attend. Maybe you just want to do business in Asia one day, or understand more about China. Then the next week go to Breakfast with the Economists
        https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/breakfast-with-the-economist...

        You might see someone at both events, good opening for a conversation, or you can mention at the second something you learnt at the first, makes you look really proactive that you get out there and do things. Some events might be boring and you might meet no-one and learn nothing. But as time goes on the more you go to, you get better at networking, and the more chance some connection will happen somewhere.

        •  

          Great advice I signed up for them. They actually seem very interesting also. Looking forward to them!

      • +3 votes

        Hi mate, my advice for networking is attend many careers fairs or events that your uni hosts and talk to the company representatives.

        I have been a company rep at uni careers fairs many times and here's what stands out to me:

        • Demonstrate you've done a bit of research into the company,
        • Demonstrate good communication and enthusiasm to the reps and fellow students
        • Demonstrate you are a serious candidate by asking the Rep heaps of questions like what's the culture like, what are the learning and development opportunities, what does career progression look like.
        • This gives the impression that you're not just "looking around". You're kind of like a serious buyer at a car dealership I guess.

        As a rep, if you demonstrated the points above to me at a careers fair, I'm definitely recommending you to the hiring manager - and the hiring manager LOVES me doing half the screening work for them and will def keep you in mind ;)

    • +3 votes

      you're porbably not passing the Pyschometric tests - get someone to help you do them

      This is what's wrong with hiring these days. Tests are developed to weed out the dishonest & unsuitable applicants, until those same dishonest applicants start cheating the tests.

      •  

        While having someone do the test for you is indeed dishonest, I don't think it's a bad idea to have someone help you learn how to tackle them. At least then you develop the right thinking for the tests, and hopefully the right thinking for the role :)

  • +1 vote

    At least you have a useful degree. I'm about to graduate next year with a bachelor of unemployment, I can either do a full fee JD or try my luck competing with other people with real degrees. Got a bunch of video interviews from investment banks for summer internships but I'm not holding my breath.

  •  

    I'm curious, how far into the process are you getting to? Are you having trouble finding interviews or are you getting to the phone/personal interviews but not getting a call back?

    •  

      I'm having trouble finding interviews with companies.

      But for summer Vacationer programs, I was just not converting video interviews into assessment centres.

  •  

    Are you completing your degree this year? Did you apply for any graduate programs with companies?

  •  

    Hi, I got this E-mail the other day…

    Students at any stage of their tertiary studies including post graduates studying business, commerce and accounting in Australia and New Zealand may apply for the Achiever Programme.

    https://www.youunlimitedanz.com/get-connected/achiever-progr...

    Applications close next Friday.

  • +1 vote

    you certainly did a lot more than me at uni and after 25 applications, i got 1 interview which happened to be big 4 and got the job.

    keep applying and get that 1 interview, good luck!

    •  

      Agree with this. I wish the OP all the best, but looking at what they've done so far, I believe they have taken the initiative to put themselves in a good position.

      All the best OP.

  • +1 vote

    To date, the part time roles I have done while doing full time university…

    Honestly you are already far ahead than most other university students. What major in Commerce? Looks like finance or marketing? Try to line up a graduate programme with one of the big accounting/consulting firm or banks.

    •  

      I'm actually a marketing major who has a risk management background.

      I've given it a go but have had no luck with the big 4. I feel like the big 4 is more favoursome to accounting (which makes sense) and finance majors. But hopefully I will land something at the banks!

  •  

    Update: Hi guys, just wanted to say thanks for all the support and advice you guys have given me! I have managed to land a summer internship at one of the big 4 banks. Pretty lucky, but it shows that perseverance and having better self-esteem really does help. :)

    Thanks again.

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