20 February 2017

Why you should make your first stop the Careers and Employability Office

You’re just about to start at the University of Sydney Business School – your thoughts at this point are about making new friends, finding the best coffee, navigating your classrooms and finding your feet in new surroundings.

Whether this is your first, second, third or even last year, make your first stop on campus the Careers and Student Experience Lounge on the Basement Level of the Abercrombie Building. The New Year brings a newly revived space, that allows students to seek advice on careers resources, resume and application assistance, and also spend time practicing and perfecting them in a supportive environment. The Careers and Student Experience Lounge encourages Business School students to utilise the space as an innovative hub to implement learnings and stay up to date with all of the exciting opportunities on campus.

Engage with the Careers and Employability Office (CEO) early to learn about the range of programs, events and extra-curricular activities that you can get involved in to maximise your employability in the future. The CEO events calendar EmployableYOU, is designed to cover all aspects of your career development process. 

So, if you’re already trying to figure out… what can I do with my degree? What do I want to do? Can I work and study overseas? When, where and how do I get a graduate job? 

Or you’re thinking… My resume isn’t ready! I have never had an interview! My casual jobs aren’t relevant! Don’t panic all of these questions and concerns are completely normal. EmployableYOU events feature top graduate recruiters, employers and Business School alumni, exposing you to guidance that will help feel more confident in your career journey.

Here’s some opportunities you can expect to get with EmployableYOU:
  • Network with recruiters and hear about the current job markets locally and internationally 
  • Practice your all‐important interview and assessment centre skills
  • Experience case studies in different fields, such as performing a quick audit, creating a marketing campaign and much more
  • Hear about new industries and keep up with how business careers are changing
  • Undergo a career health check up with one of our consultants.

The Careers and Employability Office is here to assist all Business students to not only find employment but to become career ready. 

By the Careers and Employability Office, at the University of Sydney Business School.

16 February 2017

5 minutes with a Future Leader

We asked the 2017 recipient of the GradConnection Ashurst Law Award, Jasmin Jade Hamade, to share how she got to where she is and how she feels about the experience. Jasmin is currently in her fourth year studying a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law at the University of Sydney.

What has shaped you into a Future Leader?
There is no doubt that my parents played the most influential role in shaping me into a Future Leader. They taught me that the three essential ingredients to be successful is to keep learning and understand the power of education is limitless, to be kind and to always work hard.

Secondly, the Business and Law School are transforming students like me into real employable graduates with leadership attributes and a legitimate passion to make a difference. The Business School helped me step out of my comfort zone, taught me skills for impromptu speaking and networking, and prepared me for the nuances of the corporate world. By soaking up all the opportunities that are available such as the Industry Placement Program, volunteering initiatives and competitions, the Business School has helped shape me into a Future Leader.

Has there been any standout experiences during your degree?
All it took was a little bit of courage to reach out in my first year to the Business School for opportunities. Opportunities to do fantastic things are definitely out there for people who are genuinely passionate about what they do. Over the last three years… I have been a Career Leader for the Careers and Employability Office, mentored 16 incoming students as part of the Peer Mentoring Program (three of which I still mentor and keep regular contact with), I have been mentored through the Alumni Mentoring Program, I am the only student member of the Business School's Equity Working Party, part of the Business School's Student Advisory Committee, a Compass Student Leader with the Widening Participation and Outreach Team, and the President of the Work and Organisational Studies Society.

This probably sounds like a resume, but I am proud to keep myself busy with initiatives I believe in. Opportunities are out there and I hope I can inspire other students to get involved. I've done things at Sydney University I will never forgot... all because I sought the opportunity to make a difference and have wholeheartedly applied myself ever since.

How does it feel to have won the Ashurst Law Award?
I still feel so numb - who would have known?! I am so proud of myself. I didn’t even think I would get past the video interview! 

Is there anything you didn’t get to say when you received the award that you'd like to now?
Every single Top 100 finalist has excelled as a leader, which is why they have been picked out as the crème of the crop in each category. I’d like to challenge those of you who can, to offer a leadership opportunity to someone who does not immediately jump out at you as a natural leader and guide them to flourish. Everyone has the potential to lead and the more leaders we have, the better and more productive our world would become.

When you’re not studying, getting awards or being involved with your extra-curricular activities – what do like to do?
I am all about having a balanced lifestyle as the last thing I want is to burn out. I love to keep fit, explore, socialise and bake. More recently, I have been trying to perfect Black Star Pastry's watermelon cake! 

Read the full story about the 2017 awards, including other recipients from the University of Sydney.

The Top100 Future Leaders awards is a national award that looks for and recognises the top students coming out of Australian universities. Find out more.

15 February 2017

5 things first-year Business School students should know

Starting your degree is an exciting time, from organising your timetable to figuring out what major interests. We asked our current students to share a few things that they think every first-year Business School student needs to know before they start uni.

1. There’s support available to you
“In my first two years here I worked full time as a cadet and studied part time. I found the Business School really supportive and flexible with my timetabling, which allowed me to balance my work and studies.” Georgiana Ma, Bachelor of Commerce student.

“I’ve really learnt how to tackle the challenges that uni presents. I’ve also learnt how to get out there and embrace the help my tutors present. There is so much support available to you at the Business School.” Emma Cleary, Bachelor of Commerce/Arts student.

2. You can do more than just study while you’re here
“During my first year at the Business School I learnt to be entrepreneurial, and not to be afraid to really express your ideas in terms of any business plans or things that you want to do. I found that if you share with other people that they’ll really give you good feedback, which you can use to build upon your ideas.” Alan Shen, Bachelor of Commerce student.

3. Take advantage of opportunities that prepare you for your career
“The best thing about the Business School is that there’s so many services you can access when you come here. The Careers and Employability Office is probably the main one. Coming into uni I thought that my resume didn’t really have anything on it, but they showed me that there was so many things that I could actually include. Those services are there for you to use.” Laurie Yutuc, Bachelor of Commerce student.

“There are so many professional events and seminars. Going to events like these and networking, really gives you a sense of career direction.” Abigail Hinchcliffe, Bachelor of Commerce/Arts.

4. It’s okay if you’re not sure what you want to do
“When I first started at the Business School I thought I was going to be a finance major, and it took me three quarters of a finance degree to realise that’s not me at all. The course flexibility meant it was easy for me to change to a marketing major, and here I am now graduating with a marketing degree.” Anthony Makragelidis, Bachelor of Commerce/Law student

“During my first year I transferred easily from a Bachelor of Commerce to a Bachelor of Commerce Liberal Studies degree. It permitted me to explore my other passions and options at the University. The Business School provides numerous opportunities to do so.” Brian Kane, Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) student.

5. Everyone’s different, but you’ll still make friends here
“During my first year at the Business School, I found out that not everyone loves Justin Bieber as much as I do. But, they will be your friends anyway.” Annalise Pahos, Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) student.

13 February 2017

3 tips for succeeding in your first semester

Transitioning from school to university can be challenging. While you’re settling into life at uni, here are some tips from our current students on how to make your first semester at the Business School a successful one.

Take advantage of the great programs available
“It’s important for you to get a head start on your studies, so programs such as Maths in Business and Peer-Assisted Study Sessions will really help you to revise the work you’ve done in class and to work together on problems with your peers.” Jenny Nguyen, Bachelor of Commerce student.

Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) are a peer facilitated support scheme that operate in most core units of study. You’ll get to attend weekly sessions where PASS facilitators help students further engage with course content to excel in their studies. Maths in Business is another free program designed to strengthen your maths skills to ensure high achievement throughout your business degree. The workshops are offered in a range of areas from algebra to Excel skills, all available at beginner and intermediate levels.

Talk to your lecturers and tutors
“Lecturers and tutors are pretty much the experts in the field, some of them have even authored the textbooks you’ll be using in class. So really take the opportunity and gain good advice from them, whether that be going to consultation times or even sending them an email.” Robyn Lu, Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) student.

Sometimes navigating through subject material and concepts can be difficult. Who better to talk to about your coursework than those who teach it? Lecturers and tutors have set consultation times that you can utilise to discuss any questions or concerns you might have related to the subjects you’re undertaking. Make sure you ask for support when you need it.

Find out what opportunities interest you
“Learn about the opportunities that are out there so you can plan to fit the them into your degree.” Tracy Trieu, Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) student.

There are a variety of programs available to you at the Business School. Finding out what you’re interested in early on will allow you to be more flexible so that you can work them into your degree. Some of the opportunities include the Industry Placement Program, Job Smart, competitions and projects, and workshops run by our Careers and Employability Office. Learn more about what you can do while you’re here.

Spread a smile, get involved with Peer Mentoring

Want to sign up for Peer Mentoring? Find out how.

First semester, especially the first few weeks of university, can be very exciting, as well as daunting for new students. During this period, students can have a lot on their plates - from trivial things like understanding the class routine and finding the right buildings, to more serious concerns like grasping lecture content and coping with new environments. This can be especially overwhelming if you don't possess the right information about university life. In this regard, a peer mentor can significantly reduce the pressure by acting as a guide and a source of information.

Mentor to the rescue!
My experience as a mentee:
No matter how old we get, most of us will always have that feeling of anticipation and excitement on Orientation Day. In fact, for some of us, the feeling can be so intense that it takes us to the verge of almost skipping it! Although my Orientation Day was gloomy and cold due to the heavy rain, my day thankfully turned out to be amazing because our peer mentor created a cordial platform for our group of five so that we could go beyond mere greetings.

Now that I look back, I would have never taken a tour alone on that rainy day.
After playing a couple of mini ice-breaker games, our peer mentor showed us around the campus - the libraries, cafes, printing areas and the likes. Later, he advised us how we could develop better time management by not underestimating the study load, which was good to realise then rather than during exam week!  For the next 8 weeks, we kept in touch regularly and at the end of our mentoring program, our mentor arranged for a lunch with us at Darling Harbour, where we all admitted to one thing: the mentoring program brought us a lot of positivity during the beginning of our new endeavour.

Why I chose to be a mentor:
Being a student myself, I know the struggles new students may face. Though different individuals will have different sets of problems, there will always be common issues that can be addressed on time if there is someone to show us the direction beforehand. Reflecting on my experience as a mentee, I have realised the importance of my mentor’s contribution and I want to reciprocate it by facilitating the transition of new students, so that they have a better sense of belonging at the University of Sydney.

Cheezburger animated matrix
Mentor can support students’ successful uni transition
Why you should become a mentor:
Apart from meeting new people and being a valuable part of students’ transition into university life, you will also have the following benefits being a peer mentor:
  1. Rewarding experience - By being a mentor, you will be the helping hand of others which will give you a sense of achievement and fulfilment.
  2. Boost leadership skills - Giving advice and support to new students will help you learn effective ways of dealing with people and motivating them. In addition, it will help you become more tolerant and flexible.
  3. Grow interpersonal skills - It will improve your ability to listen, understand and give clear answers and constructive feedback.
  4. Enhance time management skills - Being a mentor will require you to be self-motivated, focused and a better organiser.
  5. Increase self-esteem - Interacting with a group of mentees on a regular basis will enhance your self-confidence and the way you present yourself in front of the people.
  6. Strengthen CV - It will enrich your resume and help you stand out to employers, as volunteering experiences and the above transferable skills are widely sought-after.
Mentors boost our confidence and bring positivity!
Take away message:
A peer mentor has the ability to foster optimism and university culture in new students. So if you are driven to make a positive difference in other’s lives, then apply to be a peer mentor and spread a smile!

By Anindita Roy Bannya, current Master of Human Resource Management/Industrial Relations student and Peer Mentor at the University of Sydney Business School.

10 February 2017

Creativity and why it's important

A recent survey of over 1500 CEO’s worldwide revealed that ‘creativity’ was at the most valued quality of upcoming leaders. Yet, according to a global study by Adobe 75% of people do not believe they are given that chance or driven to be more creative, rather the pressure is on deadlines.

So what is creativity? Often it is breaking the status quo- thinking differently and taking a risk.

Can we learn to be creative? Can we develop ‘out of the box’ thinking? Or were we born creative but taught not to be at school. A TED talk by Ken Robinson, ‘Do schools kill creativity?’ brings this issue to life- and his points have resonated with many people. The rise of standardised testing fails to recognise that every student has different strengths and passions. There is strong emphasis on certain subjects- namely maths and literacy and yes these are important but Ken makes the assertion that:

“My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”
- Ken Robinson

 And I must say that I agree. He makes the point that kids are not afraid – if they don’t know- they will have a go. And this shot often results in a different way of doing something- something creative. And sure sometimes these ‘shots’ will fail. Definitely. It is rather the ability to try- to speak up without the fear of being wrong. Have you ever been in a classroom where the teacher asks a question and absolutely no one speaks for fear of saying the wrong thing? Often the teacher thinks you do not care or you have not done the readings- yet that often isn’t the case. We have become frightened of making mistakes - yet mistakes shouldn’t be seen as the enemy - they should be seen as learning and growing.

By Cara Mayne, current Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) student at the University of Sydney Business School and Network of Women Events Director.

This blog was originally published for the Network of Women website.

IBM 2010 Global CEO Study: Capitalizing on Complexity.
https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/ken-robinson-how-schools-kill-creativity/ big

20 January 2017

First Year Survival Guide

If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that coming to uni for the first time can be pretty daunting. We've reflected on our first year at the Business School and come up with a few pointers we think might help you get started.

Get involved
University is a lot more than just studying and exams. There is so much to do on campus that the possibilities and opportunities are endless. Getting involved is a great way to meet new people, make friends and to gain experiences that will not only add to your résumé but will change your whole university experience. With over 200 clubs and societies across campus and many that are business-specific such as the Sydney University Business Society (SUBS), Sydney Marketing Society (SMS) and the Financial Management Association of Australia (FMAA); we're sure you'll be able to find one that interests you.

Stay on top of your work
Uni is like that needy girlfriend that constantly craves your time and attention, and when you don’t put in the hard yard, she bites your head off. This doesn’t mean your head has to be in the books 24/7, it just means you shouldn’t be out partying every weekend. However, don’t fret too much over missing a few things here and there. 

Blackboard can either be your friend or enemy. Use it correctly and it will help you stay on top of course material, assessments and announcements from academics. Neglect it and you might find yourself buried under a mountain of assignments, homework, and stress you never knew existed.

Organise your time well and you will fly through uni with minimal hiccups. Be prepared for a lot of independent work and content heavy units. Don’t feel overwhelmed when exam and assignment periods come looming in. Top tip: save a few hours on Sunday to make sure you are up to date with your units for the upcoming week. 

Don't let this be you. 

Know your way around
Despite most business units being timetabled in the new Abercrombie Building, chances are that your classes and lectures will be spread across more than just one building. Give yourself some time to get to know your way around campus and you’ll soon realise that you’ll save much more time than having to last-minute scramble your way around. Still don’t know where to go? No worries, there’s an app for that!

Have a good balance
It's easy to get carried away during your first year with all the social events, opportunities and new people that you'll meet. With all the flexibility and freedom you have, it can be quite overwhelming that every single decision and choice you make is up to you. It is important to remember to find that good work/life/study balance as it would certainly reap the benefits for you as you progress in your study. So think about what you might have due or your other commitments and responsibilities before you decide to go on an impromptu night out.

Photo credit: Trevor Mein

Don't be afraid
Uni can be daunting with the fact that you’re in a completely new environment, there’s pressure to make new friends and you have to adjust to a different learning and teaching style. But don’t be afraid! The Business School has loads of support and resources from Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) to a Careers and Employability Office that will guide you into the right rhythm of uni. And your academics are always there to lend a helping hand. 

The Business School creates the perfect environment to cultivate your creativity, learning and innovativeness as you are surrounded by like-minded individuals who are or have experienced the same feelings you currently possess. So don’t be afraid as help is always around the corner. 

Don't be too hard on yourself
It’s okay to be unsure of what you want from your uni degree, what majors you’re interested in or what you want to do in life. Don’t feel pressured to start uni with your degree and career goals set in stone. Uni is a learning curve that exposes you to many different things that will change your perspective. It’s okay to change your mind halfway through your degree, Sydney provides various pathways, options and resources for you to attain what you desire.

Just remember to enjoy your uni experience because they will be the best years of your life!
By Vince Lam and Cindy Ngo, current students at the University of Sydney Business School