Image: Zeke Findlay
Joel Findlay is studying a Bachelor of Finance (Honours) at the ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE). His research focuses on the link between the decline in initial public offerings and the increase in intangible assets. He is also currently working at PwC in the Governance, Risk and Compliance team, and has previously gained valuable experience working in accounting, construction and education sectors.
This past year, Joel has worked with the CBE Careers and Student Employability team on his applications for graduate roles. His appointments with them have helped him expand his career horizons and review his responses to selection criteria, which enabled him to secure his preferred graduate role.
Outside of work and study, Joel is a keen mountain biker and runner, and he volunteers with a local group who build and maintain mountain bike trails.
What opportunities during your time at CBE helped you secure your graduate role position?
Working as a Finance Assistant in a small bookkeeping and accounting firm provided me the opportunity to experience working in a professional environment, I produced high-quality work to meet tight deadlines and communicated with stakeholders regularly. Other opportunities I have had include surveying, tutoring, volunteering with a community organisation who assist disadvantaged individuals, and acting as a course representative. These roles have enabled me to gain valuable experience working in diverse teams, and strengthened my communication and problem-solving skills. They have also given me the scope to discuss topics I am passionate about in interviews and present a well-rounded profile.
What advice would you give to first year students on getting casual or part-time work?
The most important advice I can give is to keep applying until something sticks. Throughout this year, I received multiple rejections for graduate roles and it’s easy to become discouraged. However, this enabled me to improve my interview skills significantly and I’ve learnt a lot about myself. Furthermore, working with the CBE Careers and Student Employability team motivated me to continue applying for jobs, even when I was busy with my studies and other commitments.
Secondly, it is crucial to research the organisation you’re applying to work for and be prepared to demonstrate how your experience relates to the role and the company. It doesn’t matter where you have gained experience, whether it be from working in hospitality, sports teams, student leadership roles or community organisations. The ability to demonstrate how that experience has helped you develop your skills, which will be valuable to your prospective employer, is critical. In my experience, some of the most important soft skills are communication, adaptability, teamwork and time management.