International students pair with alumni to accelerate career development

13 January 2021
Business alumni mentor students through Job Smart Connect

Current student William Ng and alumna Cataleya Han share their experience with Job Smart Connect, which pairs alumni mentors with students undertaking Job Smart Edge, our award-winning international student employability program.

William Ng

William Ng
Current student, Master of Professional Accounting

Cataleya Han

Cataleya Han
Alumna, Master of Professional Accounting '18

Why did you participate in Job Smart Connect?

William: Job Smart Connect provided an opportunity for developing a larger professional network and fostering my professional development by learning from my mentor, Cataleya.

Cataleya: The Job Smart program jarred my memory of university life, which taught me a lesson fairly crucial for my later study and career planning: "Little grains of sand can add up to a mountain over time." As a prior Job Smart beneficiary, I feel grateful and honoured to share my work experience and knowledge with my paired student William in return.

What did Job Smart Connect involve?

William: Monthly Zoom meetings were arranged so that I could converse with Cataleya and gain valuable insights and feedback with regards to useful online resources and profile building.

Cataleya: Through various virtual meetings with William, I provided him with insights into the Chinese job market, including Hong Kong, the job application process of the Australian workplace, especially with Big 4 accounting firms, applying for a post-study work visa, selection of professional year service provider and other migration insights.

In the meantime, I helped bridge the gap between methodologies learnt from the university and real scenarios gained in the workplace by actively listening to questions raised by William, inspiring him to take the leap of faith and set career goals. Mentors are also required to give constructive feedback for CVs and cover letters while coaching.

How did Job Smart Connect benefit you?

William: It was a great experience as I was able to learn a lot from Cataleya, who is an experienced mentor and a great thinker. I am grateful that she was willing to empathise with my queries and provide valuable advice.

Cataleya: William was a mirror to me while conducting one-on-one conversations.

Through our meetings, I was able to update myself with the prevalent mindsets currently held by lots of students and help to create a much more inclusive and supportive work environment for them.

More importantly, William let me know myself through his eyes. His insights into state-of-the-art technology sparked my interest and inspired me to improve my own understanding. Job Smart Connect contributes to the process of self-analysis by fulfilling Aristotle's phrase: "Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."

What was the highlight of Job Smart Connect?

William: I was surprised by how enthusiastic Cataleya was to share her diverse experience and opportunities, in addition to offering a chance for self-improvement on my strengths and weaknesses.

Cataleya: After going through William's CV, I felt very much relieved as he not only managed to apply what I recommended to his professional profile but also embraced his own uniqueness concerning the fierce competition in the job market. Thus, his competence in balancing his strengths and weaknesses can make him a valuable employee in any firm. I am thrilled that the whole process met William's expectations and made him much more self-confident while facing uncertainty.

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