Career & Study 
Career & Study 

This section is dedicated to providing additional study and career resources that are available to, or sometimes specifically developed for, the LfL Alumni.


Tips on succeeding in interviews & the workplace


Tips from the General Manager NSW/ACT nabprivatewealth

When being interviewed;

-                Preparation - know the role and the company, do your research (talk to people, review the website)

-                Suitable dress - applicable to the role (if you're going for a multi-media role, a suit and tie may not be the right gear, but be well-dressed, have made an effort)

-                Self-confident, able to express your abilities (but not over-confident!)

-                Positive attitude

-                Be authentic

-                You must genuinely want the job - it shows.

The General Manager NSW/ACT nabprivatewealth  provided an example of a young graduate he knew who was interviewed for his first f/t job. In the interview he was given situations and asked how he would respond. In one scenario, he was asked how he would tell a client their loan request was not approved. The young man didn't answer the question well, replying that he hadn't done this before. However, on reviewing his interview performance later with a mentor, the mentor asked him if he'd ever had to say no to something someone wanted. The young man worked part time in a bar and had the experience of refusing people a drink. The mentor asked the young man how he would do this - he responded by saying he would do it calmly, not aggressively, etc.

If he had thought about it, he DID have experience saying no to someone, and he was aware of skills he applied when doing this to minimise a negative reaction. He could have applied this experience well to the question.
When in the workplace, what makes more senior managers value you and want to support you?

-                Being prepared to take on a little extra, voluntarily, or when asked

-                Team player - collaborative, helpful, good sense of humour (the latter is very important!)

-                Positive outlook, 'can do' attitude

-                Speaking for the organisation's position on something, rather than 'about' the organisation's position on something and being seen to support it.

Graduates on the committee also shared their experience of learning from more experienced employees. A desire to learn, including asking others more experienced to share their knowledge, not shows eagerness to become more competent, which is generally highly regarded by more senior managers.

Sept 2009 Getting that dream job event a success!

The Smith Family Learning for Life Alumni recently hosted it's first careers event for tertiary students and graduates in Sydney. More than 20 students and 11 corporate volunteers came out to The University of Western Sydney for the event ‘Getting That Dream Job”.

Representatives from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Colgate-Palmolive, AMP, BMF Advertising, Woolworths, McCourts solicitors, Coca-Cola and UWS Careers shared their own stories of success and provided advice to students on topics such as resume and cover letter preparation, interview technique, research, presentation and professional networking.

Some students came dressed for an interview in suits and ties, many brought along their resumes and sample job ads to work on with the volunteers. Students Maha Yusif and Sam Farha were keen to put into practice the presentation skills they’d developed at a recent NIDA workshop and volunteered to MC for the night. Recent graduate Mirsada Alemic also spoke to the group about her experience since leaving uni last year. She said she’s still searching for that job; ‘There’s so much competition out there -how do you stand out from the crowd?”

Solicitor Lauren Rathbone shared her inspiring professional journey; “Attending a public school in Blacktown, I always thought I didn’t have the right background to go into law, even though it was what I was really interested in”. She told students “There are so many people out there who will put limits on you. Make sure you don’t put limits on yourself”.

Feedback from students was positive, with many saying they would have liked more time to chat to corporate representatives. One said: “‘Thank you for providing us with so many tips and opinions, will definitely attend in the future!’

TSF also received great feedback from corporates. “Students were so keen to get as much information as possible from us – it was very inspiring and rewarding, and great to actually be part of something TSF do”. Another said; “I wish I’d had something like this when I finished uni’.

Click on the links below to access some of the resources from the event:

  • Good resume example
  • Bad resume example 
  • AMP resume preparation guide
  •  Corporate Profiles  

    Some of the corporate representatives who were there on the night.

    Lauren Rathbone   
    Lauren is a practicing solicitor with 6 years experience in the fields of Compulsory Third Party and Public Liability, having worked for Ferguson Bolton, Hunt & Hunt, Beilby Poulden Costello and McCourts Solicitors. 
    Lauren grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney and completed her Higher School Certificate at James Paul Senior College at Marayong. Although Lauren’s HSC marks did not pave the way for entry into the legal profession, she discovered that determination and a willingness to work hard can pave the way into almost any area of study. Her career pathway started with a gap year being a nanny overseas, commencement of hospitality studies, then movement into business studies at which point she discovered her love of law and identified a way to complete a legal degree whilst working part-time for 2 years, and then full-time for 4 years.
    Lauren also does pro bono work with Cana Communities, an organization she has been associated with for 8 years.
    Mark Donkin                                
    Coca-Cola Amatil 
    Mark Donkin currently works as a National Business Manager at Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) where he is responsible for the sales of a number of high profile brands including Coke, Mother, Jim Beam, Canadian Club, Bluetongue Lager and Peroni Nastro Azzurro to a number of National accounts. He has been employed at CCA for five (5) years where he commenced in the role of District Sales Manager.
    Prior to working at CCA, Mark  was the Manager, Strategic Relations and Sponsorship at Sydney Olympic Park Authority and spent most of his working career (14 years) at the Parramatta National Rugby League Club as the Marketing & Sponsorship Executive. Mark has a Masters of Business and Industrial Marketing (MBIM) gained at the University Of Western Sydney (UWS) in 2002, a Marketing Certificate and Public Relations Certificate both gained from North Sydney TAFE in 1995 and 1996 respectively.
    Mark grew up in a fibro house in Sydney’s Western Suburbs with his 4 siblings and believes that defining what success looks like for each us, a commitment to then meeting that success  and a touch of luck will assist anyone in their career aspirations.
    Alex Chow - AMP
    My name is Alex. I am currently a second-year IT graduate working as a Business Analyst at AMP. I joined AMP at the start of 2008 as part of the AMP IT Graduate Program, and since joining AMP, I have been working on large-scale projects performing business requirements analysis and testing activites.
    I graduated from a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology/ Diploma in IT Professional Practice (submajor in Internetworking) degree at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in 2007. Currently I am studying towards a Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Markets) at Kaplan Higher Education, where I am completing the last subject required this semester to achieve the Diploma.
    While studying at university, I have worked in a number of jobs to gain professional experience and support my finances. In my 1st and 2nd uni years, I worked as a sales team member at Myer. During the third year of study, I scored a one-year IT internship position at the Catholic Education Office, Sydney to work as an Assistant System Administrator for 5 different schools in the South and South-West Sydney region. On my final years of study, I worked as an IT Undergraduate at Count Financial Limited, an independent financial planning company, where I performed a variety of roles including Network / Server Administration, financial planning software support and Website design.


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