It was at the end of her first year of university that Janice realized the critical importance of industry experience: “In my first year of university, I was really focussed on academics and doing really well in my subjects. But when I was doing my resume, I realized that I had a lot to put in the education section, but then I noticed I was spending 80% of my time on only 20% of my resume… and I had nothing else to put on the remaining 80% of my resume.”
So as she progressed through her degree studying a Bachelor’s of Commerce at the University of Melbourne, Janice was motivated to build out her professional experience – and use this as an opportunity to learn what she was interested in and where she might start her career. As part of this exploration – she completed KPMG’s Data Analytics Consulting Virtual Internship.
Janice was excited to share with Forage her hard work and experience paid off – and she is looking forward to joining KPMG in their Audit team in 2022! So the Forage team asked Janice to share a bit more about her journey and what helped her along the way.
Showcase new skills
“It’s really just about the strong urge of wanting to know something more specific about the job and about the company and knowing you have to do that to have a strong application.”
As an international student trying to gain professional experience in her field, Janice faced some barriers when looking for a formal internship. She comments that it was hard “to find experiences to explore your career journey and add to your resume, especially for me, being an international student, where it is difficult to get an internship with the issue of VISAs.”
This is one of the reasons why Janice really appreciated the Virtual Experience Program. She knew she was interested in the auditing sector, and she was looking for opportunities that were accessible to her. In her words – the program was a “valuable opportunity that you can’t get elsewhere except for really applying for an internship with KPMG which will not be an option for everybody.”
She expresses gratitude for the opportunity to learn what it is actually like to work at a big firm as it goes beyond what she learned in school. In the virtual experience program, “you get a spreadsheet and it is nothing like you get in a uni assignment so you get that first-hand experience so it is really what it looks like in real life.”
In her words, “I just don’t see the reason why you wouldn’t try this out?”
A “real taste of what you’ll be doing at the firm” – setting her up for success in her application
When applying for a position with KPMG, Janice could draw on the skills and knowledge gained through the program. “When I was preparing for these interview questions, [the program] really was helpful… it resonates with the employer a bit as well because you are not just talking about general, unrelated things. You are talking about what is happening at work.”
The Importance of Experience
As Janice could draw on her experience with Forage during her interview, she advises others to ensure they are getting the proper experience during uni. She says how she “feel[s] like when you’re early in uni or high school, you focus a bit more on the academic side of things so I think you should start with the experience and exploring things.” There’s no reason to not to try gaining experience as it’s free and accessible.
Connect with Janice on Linkedin here.
Follow Forage on LinkedIn here.