It was with a beating heart that I made my way out of the law library to answer the call from an unknown Auckland number. Seconds later my friend rushed in from down the hall looking concerned, “Are you OK?!” she asked, “I heard shouting!!”. My reply, “I’M GOING TO OUTWARD BOUND!!! OH MY GOSH!!! I’M SO EXCITED!!!” This was followed by an envigourated and highly “studious” dance by us both around the cramped chat room! I later found out that, at that point, my excitement was broadcast not only to my friend but to every other person studying on level three of the law library … through the walls! Opps! ☺
My name is Alicia Williams and I am studying towards a double degree in Law and French at Victoria University of Wellington. I can safely say that I am still as excited for Outward Bound now as I was on that day when awakened from my slumbering property law study in the middle of a long and exhausting exam period! It was the light that got me through the tunnel!
I have had extremely high recommendations of the Outward Bound experience by friends and colleagues and greatly appreciate this upcoming and exciting opportunity which Grad Connection has made it possible. I sincerely believe that this course will assist the development of skills necessary for me to attack my future as a member of the New Zealand family law profession, as well as putting a significant edge on my CV for potential employers.
I am super excited to be able to share this experience with other young people in the beautiful Anakiwa, volunteering, tramping, kayaking, sailing, kayaking and taking on so many other outdoor challenges. It is a dream come true! I have full expectations that I will not only find but surpass… (entirely!!) … my comfort zones in the 21 day course to come… SO BRING IT ON OB…. LET’S GET YOU ON MY CV!! :D
Three years down in the degree and a summer of fun at the meat works ahead! Well that’s what I thought before I was offered an amazing opportunity in the form of GradConnections’s ‘Is OB on your CV scholarship.’ Now January won’t be spent helping put meat on your tables, but in Anakiwa on an Outward Bound course!
Like most people, the ‘Fresher Five’ hit me hard and unlike most people, it stayed with me, so hopefully I’ll be a slim jim before University starts again! All selfish and cosmetic reasons aside, I applied for this scholarship because I believe in life, we should always be trying to better ourselves. What better way to realise your full potential than on an Outward Bound course?
I was unsuccessful when I applied for the scholarship in 2012 and I thought to myself this time round, “if you don’t apply, then you can’t get it.” When Kelly from GradConnection rang with the news, I was stoked, but more so because it proved that you’ve got to put yourself out there in order to even have a chance at anything! So to anyone contemplating applying for the scholarship, definitely do and you never know who might be giving you a phone call!
I have two more years of varsity and its fair to say, the mid-degree blues definitely kicked in this year. I hope to discover all the potential from this course that people have said it can unlock and use those skills in my future career.
Well, enough said at this stage – can’t wait to let you all know how it goes! Until then, have a good summer everyone!
Only 36 days till Christmas so here at GradConnection we are starting to get in the Spirit!
Videos are always the perfect way. Hope this helps you too - maybe it inspires you to give it a go?
It’s that time of year again! Time to study for those exams!
Quite fitting that it is also coming up to Halloween don’t you think!
Unfortunately exams are not something that can be ignored, they may sneak up on you and scare you be containing questions that cause your mind to go blank and make it hard to remember how to spell simple words (this has been known to even include your name!!) Scary right!
Unfortunately exams are a part of university life. You may get the luck course or two that doesn’t have a final exam but they tend to be rather rare!
Whether you are answering multi-choice questions (that are never as easy as they were in school) or frantically writing as fast as you can to complete the six essays you have to write in the three hours – complete with planning – it is a stressful time of year that stretches over the study week right until your last exam for some unfortunate ones this can last longer - depending on how they feel after that final exam.
So we were going to pool together our own study tips but then coincidentally we found this great ‘mind map’ that has some great key things that can help you stress a little less! From brain food to the best environment!
Thinking of applying for our ‘Is OB on your CV?’ Scholarship?
Have a read of how the experience helped Jack (one of last year’s recipients) during his search for a graduate job and how he feels it got him his Graduate role with Lion!
I was fortunate enough to go on the 21 day Outward Bound course at the start of the year. The course was one of the best things I have done in my life so far as well as an incredible way to spend the last month of summer. OB gave me the chance to do numerous things I wouldn’t have otherwise done while meeting a wide range of likeminded people.
The course was also very important for something else – finding a job! Like many I had been applying for multiple summer internships during my University study but wasn’t getting any bites. OB changed all this and having it at the top of my CV allowed me to glide through the early rounds of recruitment. It also helped drastically during interviews where I could use it for examples for just about any question that was fired at me. The interview process is full of generic behavioural competency based questions that usually yield equally generic answers, however with the amount of challenges I faced on OB I was able to respond with honest and interesting answers over a wide range of topics. You face so many tasks and challenges it’s hard to believe the course is only 21 days long.
In the end I was offered multiple Graduate positions something I couldn’t imagine happening at this stage last year. I ended up taking the Lion Grad role; I have started early and absolutely love it! I have no doubt that without OB I would not have had the same opportunities with the Graduate recruitment process. I strongly recommend anyone interested to give it a crack.
To apply now - click here -
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Have you ever wanted to do an Outward Bound course?
Well GradConnection’s ‘Is OB on your CV’ scholarship - have opened application for the third year! Applications close the 22nd of October 2013 though - so you better get in quick!
Outward Bound will be on our Live Chat forum next Thursday the 3rd of October from 3pm - 4pm to answer any questions you have about the 21 day Classic Course that two lucky recipients will have the opportunity to complete over the summer.
To learn more about the ‘Is OB on Your CV’ scholarship - have a look at their profiles www.gradconnection.co.nz/outward-bound/ -
To read about Outward Bound and their Classic Course - www.gradconnection.co.nz/pages/outwardbound/ -
Kathy Allison, head of HR at boohoo.com
Kathy Allison has had over ten years’ experience in the HR industry and in that time she has managed to land a job at one of New Zealand’s top online fashion retailers, boohoo.com. Today Kathy is here to offer advice for all those students looking to pursue a career in Human Resources and how to get a head in this competitive industry.
How did you start your career in HR?
I got my first HR job after graduating University in the hospitality industry at Moat House Hotels as a Personnel and Training Manager. I went on to work as a People Development Manager at Radisson Blu hotels where I got to experience a variety of different HR roles. This helped to give me a more practical understanding of the different aspects of HR which translated really well into my role at boohoo.com.
Tell us a bit about your role and how you got the job at boohoo.com
I head up a team of 7 people in the HR department and around 700 employees across our sites. My role is very varied and I rarely have a typical day – I could be heading up meetings with the director, interviewing candidates for senior positions or supporting any issues we have in our head office or distribution centre.
My friend actually saw the advertisement for the position at boohoo and recommended that I apply as I have always had a keen interest in fashion. It was the first HR position boohoo had ever advertised for and we’re still growing today! With it being the first HR position boohoo had ever considered, it was quite a lengthy interview process but joining boohoo has been the highlight of my career as I have seen the company grow from strength to strength.
What advice would you give students who are looking to start a career in HR?
Get any experience you can, even if it means starting at the bottom. It’s fantastic when candidates can demonstrate how their understanding of HR and it’s usually those that have started from the bottom. Experience is great for making yourself stand out from the crowd and it just goes to show how valuable it is. My other piece of advice is to chase after the jobs you want, the HR industry is very competitive so be sure to follow up on positions you’ve applied for rather than leave it to luck.
How would you suggest someone would sell their skills and expertise in application and interviews for HR?
It’s all about preparation and keeping things relevant. As with any C.V. it needs to be to the point - employers don’t have the time to read through a 4 pages of past experience. I would start by bullet pointing key achievements that can be applied to the role you’re going for as this will help to catch the employer’s attention.
When it comes to the interview, make sure you have good examples of your knowledge and any past experience. Demonstrate your expertise by explaining why you went for a particular position and how it was an integral part of the HR process.
Can you describe some of the qualities you look for in a candidate applying for a job within HR?
As boohoo is a fashion retailer, we look for people who are passionate about the industry as well as HR and I think this applies with a lot of jobs these days. Make sure you know a bit about the industry you’re applying for because the interviewer may expect you to have a basic knowledge. It’s really important to research into the company as well because it shows that you are passionate and interested in the position rather than it just being another interview for you.
Many employers, including myself, like to see that people have had a practical experience as well as academic knowledge as it really allows you to get to know the ins and outs. For me, previous experience and the ability to demonstrate commercial thinking are essential. A candidate also needs to explain how you will help to benefit the business if they were to be employed.
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Applications open this Wednesday (18th of September) so make sure you have everything ready …. www.gradconnection.co.nz/planit-software-testing/
We are sure you have heard talk in the media recently around the difficulties of finding work after, or during, your studies. There is a lot of competition for graduate positions, but if you know what employers are looking for, then you can make yourself standout from the pile!
Here at GradConnection we thought we would help you out by going through you some of the things that employers are looking for from your application and offer some suggestions on how to achieve these –
Grades: The biggest mismatch between employers and students in terms of expectations is that students still believe that getting excellent marks is all that employers want to see! Don’t get us wrong, marks are important; it’s just that employers want other things as well. For example; what does your completed degree say about you – does the qualification have certain skills or ways of thinking associated with it? What will this specific degree allow you to bring to the company?
Soft skills: this is where you show what kind of person you are. Are you skilled in, professional communication, self-motivation, team work, or problem-solving? An easy way to show some of your soft skills is to research the company you are appyling for. You could highlight any of their core values and work ethics in yourself – show how you would be an excellent fit at the company!
Experience: Employers also want to see experience, and this is probably why students find it hard to find jobs in the first place. It’s a challenge to get experience without having experience! How about volunteering your time, or perhaps do some job shadowing? Job shadowing does require some supervision on the company’s behalf, but see if anyone you know can help you out – ask lecturers, or even trying ‘door-knocking’. This will look great on your CV, as you are showing your dedication to your career and a real willingness to learn.
Customise each application: sounds simple, but using a word here and there that utilises the companies language can make a huge difference. Not only does it show you to be a good fit, it also shows that you have researched the company and the role.
Don’t be afraid to show your ambition, or to show how the position you are applying for fits into your long-term career plans.
To finish off, here are a couple of things to note:
Good Luck on your job-hunt and remember, making your application standout makes all the difference!