Hi, my name is Jay Singh and I am a penultimate year Commerce student. My one and a half years at university has been enjoyable, challenging and most importantly, filled with learning opportunities. I would love to share my career journey with you and hopefully do some reflecting of my own.
I was constantly told during my first weeks of university that my three years here would really feel like one (and I can now understand why). This motivated me to take a proactive approach in professionally developing myself by; getting involved in clubs and societies, organising face-to-face sessions with our CEO consultants, attending countless networking events, and ultimately not being afraid to put myself out there despite my age.
In fact, as I wished to pursue a career in professional services, I also kept up to date with the programs offered by the Big 4 professional services firms and came across their pre-penultimate year development programs; which often go unnoticed by first-year commerce students. After attending numerous CEO workshops, I was able to perfect my resume, cover letter and application, and was successful in getting through to the video interview stage for two of the three programs that I applied for. Like most first-year students, I had never completed a video interview and was extremely hesitant about speaking in front of an emotionless camera. However, I was determined to improve my video interview skills and attended an insightful 1:1 session with a careers consultant who introduced me to the ‘Interview Stream’ service offered to all USYD business students. After numerous practice interviews with family members, friends and in front of my laptop, I took on the real thing and was then successful in obtaining a position in KPMG’s Foundations Program. The Foundations Program helped to further expand my understanding of a career in professional services and gave me a clearer sense of direction on how to launch my career.
As the name of the program suggests, I laid a solid foundation in my first year and was able to take advantage of the many opportunities that are available to pre-penultimate year students. In fact, due to my involvement in KPMG’s Foundations Program, I was fast tracked through the recruitment process for the Vacation Program and after recently completing a partner interview, I was offered the position. In preparing for my first-ever professional interview, I conducted countless practice runs and arranged mock interview sessions with our CEO consultants.
Although I have been lucky to secure a position in the Vacation Program early in my second year, I am still progressing with other applications in order to further improve my professional skills. I have actually found the recruitment process to be much less daunting as a result of the initiatives that I took during my first year.
On a final note, I would like to emphasise how important it is to maintain an active interest in your career and to take the initiative to improve yourself on a professional level; even if you don’t have relevant industry experience. In fact, like many, I do not have any relevant professional experience. Nonetheless, I have tried to further develop the skills and qualities that will allow me to transition into professional life, and I believe that being able to demonstrate this during the recruitment process precedes everything else.