Hi, I’m Samantha and I’m studying a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) at Griffith University on the Gold Coast. I moved to Australia from Zimbabwe in January 2022 after waiting a year to be here due to COVID restrictions. I was already a year into my degree, and didn’t know that I could start working in the accounting field before completing my degree, especially as an international student. Now I have two internships in two different accounting firms, BDO and RSM. This is how I did it.
During the course of my studies, I received advice from individuals in different sectors of accounting, who highlighted the importance of students having industry experience before they graduate. Therefore, midway through Trimester 1, 2023, I began researching programs that could assist me in preparing for my future profession. One of the first activities I signed up for was an ACE Grad workshop which educates students on how to prepare a good resume, how to apply for jobs, and where and when to apply for them. After the workshop, I obtained clear insight into what was required of me before completing my studies and I knew the key dates to apply for internships.
Essential career guidance
I had my resume ready by the time most accounting firms were taking applications for holiday/vacation students, although I was not very confident with it. I decided to go explore the myGriffith portal for resumes and career guidance, and it landed me at the Griffith’s Career’s and Employment Service. I quickly booked the earliest appointment I could find and as the day approached, I went in for my appointment.
This has to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Together with Belinda, my Career Development Consultant, we went through the resume I had prepared, and she assisted me in rephrasing it to make it more professional and gave me tips on the best formats to use. She even took time outside of the appointment to send me further resources of examples of good resumes that I could use as a guideline.
She also gave me the opportunity to continue communicating with her, sending her updated versions of my resume, and she would give me feedback on areas I needed to work on more. I went in for a final appointment and we agreed that the resume was perfect and ready for applications.
During the appointment, I also took the opportunity to ask questions about what to expect if I was called in for an interview and she helped in coaching me on how to answer specific questions that they usually ask most candidates.
Learning about AI
In the world we live in, artificial intelligence has become a strong resource and many companies are now using it as a way to select suitable candidates for job positions. Therefore, your resume content needs to align with the specific job description and requirements of the company you are applying for.
Griffith’s career consultants are very helpful with assisting you in using the right language when preparing your resume. This is one of the other things that improved my chances of getting internship offers.
Looking to the future
The main thing I hope to gain out of these internships is job experience. Companies are more interested in hiring students that have had a feel in the industry they would like to venture into. Therefore, these experiences will increase my chances of securing employment upon completion of my studies. Another thing I hope to get out of these internships is guidance, guidance in terms of which type of accounting I would love to specialise in. I managed to receive internship offers in different accounting departments, therefore I will have a feel of what I am mostly interested in.
My plans after graduating are to hopefully secure employment in my chosen line of work and further develop my skills as I would love to be a qualified Chattered Accountant one day.
If you’re a Griffith student (including GELI and Griffith College students) or a recent graduate, Griffith’s Careers and Employment team offers a range of services to help you plan your career and find work. They also have designated career advisors for international students.