Why is 'Tertiary to Work' for me?
Tertiary to Work (TTW) is Canberra's only Graduate Careers Fair for students of all disciplines. It’s a place to find out about graduate jobs, and vacation and internship opportunities from a wide range of employers. TTW has been running for almost 20 years.
What are Graduate and Vacation Programs?
Graduate Programs are paid professional opportunities that usually run for 12 months but may be longer depending on the organisation.
Vacation Programs (clerkships in the Legal profession) are summer internships offered by many of the organisations offering Graduate Programs, usually for students who have another year of formal studies to complete. Vacation Programs may lead to a fast-track in the recruitment process for Graduate Programs.
Is a Vacation or Graduate Program for me?
Employers at The Fair want to meet students who show potential to be an asset to their organisations. They look for students with well-developed skills that they have gained through a range of experiences, including part-time and casual work, volunteering, internships, study abroad, student club involvement, etc..
Many employers consider students from any discipline. KPMG, a professional services firm, for example, places more emphasis on skills, e.g. independent thinking, curiosity and the ability to multi-task. In their own words: “We recruit across a range of degree disciplines, skills, abilities and backgrounds. We want diversity, commitment and ambition. We value innovative ideas and we're interested in you and your unique take on the world.” (https://home.kpmg.com/au/en/home/careers/graduates/what-we-look-for.html)
In other words, there may be opportunities for you with employers that you might not initially think of. A Design student, for example, may have developed unique problem-solving skills through studies and work, and that this can give them an edge over other candidates. Similarly, a Graduate Recruiter may be very interested in a Science student, who has developed a solid methodical approach when taking on challenges. A PR student may find a good fit in the Marketing stream of a Graduate Program that emphasises strong analytical abilities and communication skills to manage accounts or products and linking internal and external agents.
So, consider the transferability of your skills and experience!
What Graduate Programs offer
Many Programs offer rotations in different business areas and include personalised support. Evans Dixon, a financial services firm, for example, offers a Graduate Program with the following features: “Successful candidates will be placed into a graduate position and receive: mentoring by senior advisers; on-the-job training; practical and relevant experience from week one; a career development plan; financial support and study leave to obtain relevant qualifications such as a CA, CPA or CFP.” (https://www.evansdixon.com.au/careers/graduate-program)
The Vacation and Graduate Program application process
The application process for most Programs is rigorous and takes some time. Applications for Graduate Programs close early in the year (roughly March to May) for intake in February the following year, so you’ll need to apply early in your final year.
The recruitment process starts with your application. Make sure you tailor your application to each individual employer. Before you submit your application, make sure you know what you bring to the organisation and what employers look for. So: do you research! Did you know for example that Grad recruiters look for resilience, strong writing skills and professionalism (including humility and maturity) (among other skills and attributes)? Your research (online) and networking (including at TTW!) will provide you with valuable information that you should use in your applications.
Following your application, there are a number of steps in the recruitment process taht can include a video interview, psychometric testing and an Assessment Centre, where specific skills and competencies will be assessed.
What are my chances of getting a Vacation or Graduate Program?
Grad and Vac Programs are very competitive because of the great benefits, such as a strong focus on professional development. Don’t get discouraged by the often large number of applicants, though: first, this is beyond your control; and second, consider the fact that there will be many unsatisfactory applications. Keep in mind also that Vacation and Graduate Program are not the only way to get into graduate employment.
Drop by your University's Careers Service if you have any questions about Graduate Recruitment or your next steps after you graduate.