Seonghyun is a Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in Finance and Accounting. He has previously participated in MomentuM and CBE Internships.Seonghyun will participate in the Special Industry Project (SIP) in Semester 2, 2021. During the mid-year break, Seonghyun completed an internship with KPMG in their Darwin office.
What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship or job search?
Make full use of all the opportunities CBE offers as the College provides a wide range of opportunities to develop employability. This includes information sessions, workshops, employer events, career consultations, CBE Internships, and activity-based courses like SIP and the ANU Student Managed Fund. In my first year of university, I am grateful to have met over 50 companies through workshops and employer events held at CBE. Through these sessions, I have learned what industries I’m passionate about and found companies with which my values are aligned with. The most memorable event was the KPMG Emotional Intelligence workshop where I felt certain that this is the company that I want to work for, and it was also a great talking point in the interview. Later in my degree, I was able to develop both soft and technical skills through CBE internships and other work-related courses.
How did you prepare your application and for the interview?
During the resume stage, I focused on the specific key values and selection criteria of the company that I was applying for. You can find a company’s key values through a simple online search. I took particular care to include those keywords in the resume. I also tried to link my general responsibilities in past experiences to specific skills applied or developed, using action words like demonstrated, exhibited, or acquired. In the interview stage, I met with CBE career consultants to get a grasp of how to prepare for the interviews and what to expect in them. I also contacted the manager of the company I’m applying for, who is coincidentally someone I met at one of the CBE events, to understand the key traits that they value. Most importantly, preparing two or three good examples that can be applied to any behavioural questions played a crucial part in the interview.
What helped you most to secure the internship? Your degrees? Your experiences? Something else?
The CBE Internships mentoring sessions helped me the most regarding securing the internship. Entry-level employees won’t have many chances to chat with executives, but being a student or an intern puts you in a unique place that makes it easier to talk with successful people and gain their insights or wisdom. During the first two years of my degree, I was caught up in getting high GPAs or simply focusing on securing an internship itself, while not focusing on developing fundamental skills through these opportunities. I managed to pass most resume and psychometric test stages but never progressed further after the video interview stage. Later in my degree, my workplace supervisor in the CBE Internship course set up mentoring sessions with executives or senior directors in the company, where I truly started to understand Australian professional values. These sessions were especially useful as an international student who grew up in a different culture. After understanding these values, I was able to confidently provide my point of views or opinions, and passed most video and in-person interview thereafter.
What are your three tips for students looking to secure an internship?
Firstly, find your passion. I am a big believer that one can only bring out the full potential for the things that they are enthusiastic about. Even if such an accomplishment is something everyone else admires, it means very little if you don’t find it important. Say yes to every opportunity you can get. You will find what’s important to you just like I did at ANU. Secondly, seek help. ANU have high-achieving students, CBE career consultants, and lecturers who are always willing to help you. There is always something to learn from different people and your progress will motivate those who helped you. ANU also has one of the strongest alumni networks, which will help you create a strong bond and kinship with alumni all around Australia and globally. Finally, be prepared for applications and interviews. Looking back on my experience, there was a period when I did not take much time or effort to prepare for applications as much as I do for the final exam. I didn’t secure any internships when I did not prepare for them. However, when I did practice for interviews, it made me feel much more confident and enabled me to find answers in unexpected difficult situations.