When it comes to kick-starting your career, 3rd year Commerce & Media (PR & Advertising) student Scott Richardson has made all the right moves to get ahead.

As you approach the end of your studies you may be looking to gain a competitive edge to help you stand out in your chosen industry. From developing your knowledge and confidence to growing your industry networks, the UNSW Business School Career Mentoring Program could be the key to set you apart from the rest.

Scott will be the first one to admit that he was so focused on studying for exams and completing his assessments that he didn’t give much thought to applying for future grad roles and jobs. It wasn’t until he heard through a friend about how beneficial the program was, that he decided to jump out of his comfort zone and apply.

Scott knew he wanted to work in the finance industry and a grad role with one of the big four accounting firms would be the ultimate end goal. Getting there would be the challenge, but a little help from the Student Opportunities team would see him achieve his goal and land a hugely sought after summer internship with Ernst & Young (EY).

You were a successful candidate for the Career Mentoring Program, what was the highlight?

"Without a doubt, the highlight has been the talk that CPA Australia’s Anthony Matis did prior to commencement of the program. It gave me the skills and tools necessary to build my own personal brand and develop the relationships that are vital to success in the industry I want to go into. As a direct result of this short one-hour session, I implemented everything Anthony said and thanks to this have been offered a Summer Vacationer position at Ernst and Young!"

Knowing that Scott was keen to land an internship with EY, he took Anthony’s advice and said yes to a lot of opportunities. He heard that EY was hosting a free ice-cream event on campus and took the liberty to go and introduce himself to the EY representatives, and despite not being particularly interested in Robotics & Automation, he still took the initiative to attend the Student Opportunities workshop presented on campus by EY. Again, he introduced himself, handed over his business card and had a fantastic chat with the workshop facilitators. Going that extra mile and putting himself in the forefront of EY’s minds, undoubtedly contributed to Scott’s successful appointment.

The mentoring program is all about building your confidence, networking and picking your mentor’s brains. What were the best skills you gained from participating in the program?

"The best skill I gained in the program would definitely be an awareness of what prospective employers are looking for in candidates, and most importantly, how to effectively communicate these qualities. Everything from personal business cards and a strong LinkedIn to how to stand out in a group conversation."

"The mentor that I was paired with for the program is the co-founder and head of his own private equity firm. This gave me the opportunity to seek his advice whenever I needed it, as well as sit in on meetings with clients such as Deloitte to both contribute, as well as get first hand exposure to, what life in my desired industry would be like. – For a university student, this is invaluable."

Did this program help you with your future career decisions?

"This program has highlighted for me just how easy it is to move within the financial industry as long as you have the relationships to build from. This gives me an incredible amount of confidence as I pursue my desired career. By implementing what I have learned and by keeping in touch with those who I have met, I will be always keeping my options open."

Scott whole-heartedly believes that without the master classes with Anthony Matis and one-on-one mentoring he would not have been successful in securing his summer internship placement with Ernst & Young.

His advice to future students?

"Talk to the Business School Student Opportunities team as early as possible to better understand what you want to do and how to effectively get there."

"They have extensive experience and contacts within a vast variety of industries and will empower you to achieve more than what you thought was possible."

Lastly, Scott wants all students to know that university is not only about education, it’s also about building relationships and broadening your networks.

"Don’t underestimate how this will influence your prospects when securing a job or internship. Develop your skills that will make you a powerful networker when you need it."

Why not participate in 2018’s Career Mentoring Program and get a head-start on your business career?