Graduate Recruitment Blog Australia

Advice on Graduate and Internship Programs

April 28th, 2016

Applying for Graduate Jobs

As a graduate or a student in your penultimate year, you can’t be expected to know everything there is to know and so there are bound to be mistakes made. These mistakes usually revolve around the graduates and students that are looking for or applying for their first graduate job. For those in their penultimate year or have already graduated and are still seeking or starting to apply for a graduate job, there are a few things to look out for to be able to get the most out of it. A few mistakes that students and graduates make with job seeking and during the process of application include1:

  1. Not applying enough
  2. This is a mistake students often make, narrowing down to their preferences and losing great work opportunities.  Although considering the number of employers to apply to that have the same morale views. What is recommended for job seekers is to apply to 30-40 jobs, to look for alternatives and broaden your chances, however do not apply for any and every job available but a job that suits your field.
  1. Only applying online
  2. Students and graduates that are seeking for graduate jobs and applying should know that applying through only one platform, more specifically applying online on their website, would lessen your chances in getting called from the employer. Applying online is not a bad thing but it requires the least effort and doesn’t help with showcasing how you are in person. If you are applying for jobs, it is recommendable to apply through all sorts of platforms for the job, both online and offline applications, and also connect yourself with people that are working with the employer you want.
  1. Not enough networking
  2. It is recommended for students to have your own network with as many people as you can, whether or not they’re from your immediate circle. Staying in contact with lots of people can help you in the long run when you’re looking for recruitments as they’ll become a helpful source in getting you the job. These networks can help you with what you may need for the job (e.g. interviewing, making your resume, etc.). Going to conferences, events, and fairs would be a good start to creating your network.
  1. Using the wrong social media
  2. Although there are numerous numbers of social media, LinkedIn is the social media platform that you should be using if you are seeking for a job.  It is recommended to already have a LinkedIn profile by the time you graduate and it’s even better if you have started building it since you were still a student starting university. Using LinkedIn can link you to a number of people that may be of importance in the future; it could also help you with building your network.
  1. Giving up too early
  2. Applying for jobs means that you will be competing with several other students and graduates that also want the job. For recruiters it becomes a long day and in most cases, you may not hear from them after applying, but this doesn’t mean you should give up. If you do not hear from the jobs that you applied for, it is recommended that you take action to find and apply for more positions. Tap into your own network and ask if there are any job openings where they’re working. Limit yourself also means that you’re limiting your opportunities and applying for other positions that are still in your field may help you maximise your job search.

It is common for students and graduates to make mistakes during the application process and these are a few points that you may be able to reflect on yourself. However, these aren’t the only mistakes that students make.  Communication between a job seeker and employer is usually reflected on their quality of work2.

  1. Be Clear
  2. As a young employee, expressing yourself clearly to employers may be difficult, whether it be through writing or oral. Being able to express, communication and explain yourself and your work etiquette. Having good communication skills does not only does this apply to obvious jobs such as marketing, consulting and other careers that require a lot of communication, but it also applies to many others. Communication is a central part of work to avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings between one another, whether it be a workmate or potential client.
    During an interview, make sure not to recite what you’ve written in your resume. Make sure to get your message across without having to repeat your words and be clear about who you are and what you can do. By doing this, you are able to show how well you can communicate in the future with work members, clients and other important people on the job. 
  1. Social Media
  2. Social media is considered to be one of the fastest way to communicate with one another and also the most effective when looking for a job. However, the downside to social media is that it damaged graduates’ the ability of communicating professionally. Social media style of writing is succinct and usually ignores the basic professional writing etiquette. Although social media has changed the interactions between job seekers and employers, it is important not to forget the professional protocol.

These are small, common mistakes that students and graduates do that could be avoided and even help you with job applications. Having communication skills in both oral and writing is also something that can be improved with time and experience, however it is important to be familiar with the professional protocol.


1 Adams, S. 2013, 5 Mistakes College Job Seekers Make, http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/04/22/5-mistakes-college-job-seekers-make
2 Nguyen, A. 2015, The biggest writing mistakes new graduates make, http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20150915-the-biggest-writing-mistakes-new-graduates-make

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April 15th, 2016

writing a cover letter

When seeking for jobs, there are a few situations where employers expect you to not only bring in a CV or resume, but you may also be told to bring a cover letter. In other cases, cover letters may not be required, but including one may differentiate you from other applicants and help your chances.

Cover letters and resumes are almost similar to their purpose of having to prove that the experience and skills that you’ve obtained is useful and meet the requirements for the job that you are applying in. However, there are some distinct differences to the structure of a cover letter and a resume, and should be viewed individually but complement one another.

Resumes are document used to summarise your employment history with information that covers the jobs you’ve had, your education, certifications, accomplishments, skills, and other background information that you’re able to add in to show your qualifications. Your resume should highlight what you have done in the form of bullet points.

Cover letters are structured differently to resumes as it is in the form of paragraphs, including a greeting, a body with several paragraphs and a closing. When writing a cover letter, repeating what you’ve written in your resume and formatted to be written in paragraphs is a common mistake that many job seekers make.

As employers don’t have much time to read numbers of applicants’ cover letters, a cover letter should be concise, possibly no longer than 250 words to convince the employer that you’re the right person for the job.

Employers want to know more about you and why you are applying for the job. A cover letter is not only written to highlight your qualifications, but it is more importantly a way to introduce yourself and prove to the employer why you qualify for the job you applied for. While a resume answers the facts of who, what, when and how; a cover letter gives you the opportunity to add the explanation of why. Writing a cover letter follows a simple format and should preferably only be one page.

  1. Review the job requirements
  2. Make sure you have gone over the job requirements to find out what you can highlight from your resume and explain in your cover letter how you meet their criteria
  1. Get straight to the point
  2. Make your cover letter short yet concise. Use the two to three paragraphs needed for a cover letter to explain and prove yourself to the employer without having to add information that may not be relevant to the job qualifications
  1. Sell yourself
  2. A cover letter gives you the opportunity to sell yourself and use persuasive language to why you want the job and why they should consider you as a potential employee
  1. Use a simple font
  2. Ensure that your cover letter and resume have the same font and font size that is easy to read. The last thing you’d want is for the employer to not be able to read what is written. The most common font for resumes and cover letters is Times New Roman, size 12 points in black
  1. Double check and spell check
  2. Double check, and even triple check your letter in case for spell checks or grammar errors. After you’ve checked your work, make someone else that you trust check it as well. Sometimes poor English may make or break your chances
  1. Tailor your cover letters
  2. Cover letters should be unique for the different jobs you apply in. This way it is personal and also allows you to highlight the proper qualifications that are suited for the job. One way to make your cover letter personal is to properly address the employer. Do background research to find the name and title of the person hiring to show effort
  1. Format your paragraphs
  2. Make sure you know the important information you want to put in and leave out the rest that would only add words to your letter and put them in the right paragraphs to make it look organised
    • Paragraph #1
    • This is the opening paragraph after your greeting. This is where you give the reason to why you’re writing the cover letter; what and how you came to know about the organisation or position, basic information of yourself including your current title and experience
    • Paragraph #2
    • This paragraph explains in brief detail why you’re interested in the employer and type of work that you’re applying for. This is where you try to persuade the employer into why you’re the right candidate for job by communication your understanding, relating your experience and education, and state what you can bring to the table that differs from others. You may be able to add bullets of the highlighted skills that are useful for the position, however do not repeat what you have written in your resume
    • Paragraph #3
    • This is where you close your letter and indicate that you’d like to have an opportunity to talk with the employer about the position or other possible opportunities for you. You can also offer to provide addition information (portfolio, auditions, and referrals) and lastly thank them for their consideration in reading the cover letter and to contact you in the future

 

The format of the cover letter can apply to most cover letters as there is more than one type. Knowing the different type of cover letters would be easier for you to know what kind of cover letter you want to write to deliver your message through to the employer. There are generally 5 different types of cover letters, including the application letter, networking letter, prospecting letter, referral letter and value proposition letter2.

  • Application: A cover letter written as a response to apply for a specific job opening that was advertised or recommended, stating why you meet their requirements and be fit for the job
  • Networking: This is a cover letter that you send to a contact you were given for advice and assistance on job seeking in hopes that they may be able to recommend you to a company based on your past experience
  • Prospecting: A prospecting cover letter is also known as a letter of interest or cold contact cover letter. This cover letter allows you to inquire about possible job openings at a company that you may qualify in and meet requirements to
  • Referral: If a person, whether it be a family member, friend or acquaintance were to recommend you to work with them, a referral cover letter can be advantageous as it mentions the name of the person who referred the job to you usually before a job has opened
  • Value Proposition: This cover letter is a brief statement of roughly 100-150 words to prove what makes you a unique candidate

 

Knowing these different types of cover letters may be able to help you when you’re looking and applying for jobs to focus on what needs to be written and also ideas on how to write cover letters in other forms.


1 careerthinker.com, 2016, The Cover Letter, http://www.careerthinker.com/resume-services/resume-advice-tips/cover-letter/
2 Doyle, A. 2015, 5 Types of Cover Letters for Jobs, http://jobsearch.about.com/od/coverletters/a/types-of-cover-letters.htm
Doyle, A. 2015, What is the Difference Between a Cover Letter?, http://jobsearch.about.com/od/cover-letter-faqs/fl/difference-between-resume-cover-letter.htm
Micah. 2010, 5 Types of Cover Letters, http://www.everydayinterviewtips.com/5-types-of-cover-letters/

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April 10th, 2016

Inclusion and diversity have always been fundamental to Accenture’s culture and core values, and a powerful catalyst for success. As such, Accenture is committed to a workplace that recognizes and embraces the unique strengths of different and diverse individuals that bring about exceptional performance - women included.  

Last month, Accenture celebrated diversity, and the importance of encouraging a culture that empowers women on International Women’s Day (IWD) by hosting and live broadcasting a series of discussions around gender equality and advancing opportunities for women.

Accenture has recognized IWD since 2001, and their partnership with IWD this year attests to their long-running involvement with, and commitment to supporting and encouraging women to make the most out of a career in Technology.

More recently, Accenture has set a new goal on their mission of inclusion, diversity and equality by pledging to grow the percentage of their new women hires to 40% by 2017, a concrete effort to increase the number of women in the workforce and the amount of female role models in STEM.

Initiatives in Supporting Women

Access to support in the workplace is paramount in balancing out the gender disparity and helping women in their professional development. The following are a list of Accenture’s existing range of initiatives and programs that help empower women.

  • Women’s mentoring
  • Accenture’s Women’s Network
  • Women’s Local Community
  • Maternity Returners Program
  • Defining Success Forums
  • Employee Resource Groups

“Today, there are more resources, sponsors and supporters of women in the workplace than ever before and these challenges are no longer insurmountable,” says Jane Livesey (Managing Director of Accenture Technology in Australia & New Zealand).

Jane Livesey is just one amongst a larger cohort of women at Accenture who have encouraging stories, and inspirational life lessons to share. 

‘Women in Technology’ series - Graduate Opportunities!

Each year Accenture hosts a ‘Women in Technology’ series, travelling coast to coast around the country hosting a range of events bringing forth inspirational stories from women in the tech industry and from students and graduates.

A recent initiative from the series includes: Women in Tech Insight Day, a day featuring presentations from Software Engineers and attendees, with opportunities for attendees to apply for Accenture’s Graduate Program in Software Engineering. 

Find out more about the Women in Technology events here

Benefits of Workplace Diversity 

Thus far, Accenture has visibly benefitted from their commitment to and implementation of inclusion and diversity, one such benefit being better performance. Marge Magner, Lead Director in Accenture’s Board of Directors comments in her online piece, Performance Improves with Diversity, the importance of having different voices and thinking in an organization.

“Women, when they lead, have a tendency or inclination to be more inclusive. So leading allows for more discussion and more input and more variability of what’s going on in the discussion.”

“Women need to have a place at the table because having people who have different experiences and think differently creates a better result. I do speak with authority on that because I’ve lived it and seen it.”

To find out more about Accenture or opportunities to join their diverse workforce as an intern or graduate, click here.

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QUT IT Society Networking Night

Posted by Andrew Purchas

April 4th, 2016

QUT IT Club and Networking

QUT IT Club & Networking Events

QUT IT Club is a QUT affiliated club that aims to provide members with valuable experiences and social aspects that allow them to network with students, potential employees and industry experts. We host several events each semester for our students. We’re also considered the largest IT Club ran at QUT with an active paying member base of approximately 350 students that study not only IT, but Engineering, Law, Maths and Business disciplines. We have an ever increasing number of female members which is great not only for the IT Industry, but for our club’s diversity and club focus. Students who join our club are usually attracted by the casual networking/social aspect or the experiences and official networking nights that we offer!

This semester so far we have had a very successful PC Building Workshop (sponsored by MSY) and a Social Event which overflowed the two rooms we had booked and a Bar Networking Night which allowed members to network in a more casual, relaxed manner (without getting out of control!). We have an upcoming Networking Event for IT orientated companies offering graduate programs with companies such as Deloitte, Halfbrick, REA and Suncorp expressing interest in attendance!

Regardless of this, we are always looking for companies willing to support us in a variety of ways so that QUT IT can expand and provide more valuable experiences for our students via collaboration. This not only increases awareness of your company to potential graduates but also allows your company direct engagement with our members be it by sponsoring our club, attending Networking Events and collaborating on events that provide experience to our students or even challenge them to hone their abilities. This not only gives companies access to our students, but to a pool of graduates who are extremely interested in IT and motivated enough to gain experience, skills and knowledge that isn’t compulsory to their course, by being an active member of our club. If you’d also like to take a further look at our student reach, feel free to look at our two facebook groups (https://www.facebook.com/groups/qutit/ & https://www.facebook.com/groups/qutitsa/) with over 2,800 members and growing.

We are primarily looking for companies and organisations that have a strong investment in the IT Industry that offer graduate programs or hire graduate students. However, we implore all companies interested to contact us regardless. We’re also still looking for a few more companies to attend this semester’s Networking event, ran on the 29th of April at 5pm.

If you are interested in attending our Networking Event, discussing collaboration, sponsorship or have any general enquiries please don’t hesitate to contact me! You can reach me (Jack Buckman) at our club email: [email protected]

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Top100 2017 – Expressions of Interest

Posted by Reshan Perera

March 31st, 2016

Top100

The team at GradConnection would like to extend our thanks to those who participated, sponsored and were nominated in the Top100 Awards recently held at The Ivy Ballroom in Sydney. It was a great night and we are excited for 2017!

This brings us to opening the award sponsorships for expressions of interest much earlier than anticipated, due to a high number of enquiries. Further, we have decided to directly involve you in the awards that we will have available for sponsorship.

You asked - we listened!  Now we’d like you to let us know what award – based on the students you are trying to reach – you would like to sponsor.  Or, let us know the students you would like to target.

Email [email protected] by Wednesday 27th April with your award preferences/interests and we will come back to you all with the categories we will be going ahead with.

We will then be opening the confirmed awards to those of you who show interest in this initial stage before going out to anyone else. If you would like to proceed, we will be seeking confirmation by May 31st.

You will be guaranteed 5 finalists per award and each award will be offered at sponsorship rate of $7,995 (ex GST).  Once your award is locked in, a sponsor pack will be sent to you outlining what is required from you. If you would like an idea ahead of time, please let Rita know using the email above and she will come back to you.

Look forward to hearing from you! 

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GradConnection at Careers Fairs!

Posted by Reshan Perera

March 31st, 2016

Careers Fairs

Graduate careers fair season is finally coming to close which means that majority of us can stop flying around the country and stop living out of suitcases!

2016 saw the trend of employers being increasingly more strategic with the careers fairs they attended continue. Gone are the days where we need to attend 40 fairs in March! This was particularly relevant in Melbourne where the vast majority of universities chose not to host their own careers fairs this year, opting to funnel students into the Melbourne Big Meet at the Crown.

As a result, the Melbourne Big Meet saw a record turnout of students and from the feedback from employers who attended this was the most valuable Big Meet of the season.

Maybe unsurprisingly, the general consensus at many of the careers fairs this year was that there is still an increasing amount of international students attending despite the knowledge that the domestic opportunities available to them are few. As always many of these students approached the GradConnection stand hoping that we could assist.

While we were able to provide advice to many, it was the students who attended the universities who have taken on our International Student Job Portal, GradConnection Campus, that we were able to provide real support to. We’re hoping that GradConnection Campus will be able to provide a real solution to the pressing issue of international student employability.

Finally, our advice to employers is to make sure that each careers fair that you attend is providing you with a strong return. Each careers fair is going to cost you in registration and logistics fees, time and all the additional assistance of past graduates and ambassadors.

Be strategic, select key university fairs and Big Meets to provide bang for your buck. But above all have fun, in the end this is a branding piece more than anything, students will judge an organisation on the representatives that are present!

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GradConnection March Traffic Update

Posted by Julia Zhu Wei

March 30th, 2016

Graduate season is approaching its peak, and GradConnection has topped its previous year records. With over 200 000 unique users stopping by to use our website this month, we totalled a record-breaking 2.6 million page views in March.

2016 marks the peak of student engagement with the GradConnection site with a 7.17% increase in page views and a 14.43% rise in the amount of unique users since 2015.

This year, employers have also garnered a total of more than 88 000 unique apply clicks, a 7.34% increase from 2015. These increases mark the growing engagement students have with GradConnection and the employer profiles.

March Traffic

We wish all employers the best of luck in their recruitment. If you are yet to open your application on GradConnection please don’t forget to get in contact with Rita ([email protected]) or your Account Manager.

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March 22nd, 2016

hiring millennials

Other than the usual career fairs and internship programs, there are many other ways to attract talented students, grab their attention and be interested in your company. Hiring and finding applicants is an important process, especially for students in their final year. However, there have been problems for many employers in which they aren’t able to find the talent that they need and this could be because of the lack of broadening your search as an employer.

If you haven’t considered other options, these are a few tips that could help you in finding the right students. Also make sure that you know your target audience and focus on helping them reach their best potential that could help with the future of your company and their career.

  1. Know Who You Are
  2. Just as students would have to introduce themselves during career fairs in a limited time and space, you should also be able to identify your company that would differentiate yourself from others without making it sound like you are selling yourself in a marketing campaign. Having a solid identity that sets you apart from others is a creative way to stand out and attract the right audience for you.
  1. Bring Peers to Interact with Students
  2. Whether your company is fairly known or not, one way to pique the interest of potential hires is to bring recent hires to share their experience and also to showcase the work and responsibilities students can get themselves into if they were to work there. Bringing your best people that are able to communicate and capture one’s attention would be a great way to show potential employees about the job.
    Most students would like to know what they’ll be getting into if they were to work for you. Having your people talk about their experiences and what it’s like to work at your company and the responsibilities would allow students to get an insight and see if they’re interested in that kind of work.
  1. Go Where Students Are
  2. Although you may be able to recruit students during career fairs, you are most likely to find students on the internet. The internet has become a great, efficient platform to communicate and interact with students that are seeking for a job. A lot of companies have invested their time in going online to showcase and deliver their message that could attract potential new employees.
    Using social media is another platform that is frequently used for fast and real-time interactions with potential students and employers. Through social media, you are able to target students based on what they’re interested in, what they are searching for and also what they talk about in real-time.
  1. Make Application Process Easy and Engaging
  2. Having a complicated and long application form is one way for Millennials to look away and find another job. Having an application form that is too heavy is not appealing and would rather having a process that is fast and easy. Another tip is that you shouldn’t wait for them to come to you, but you should also approach them back and encourage them to apply, especially after engaging and communicating with them online or after a career fair.
  1. Provide Opportunities for Growth and Security
  2. This mostly applies for start-up companies which may not be able to provide the long-term growth that students are looking for, discouraging students to apply. To attract students and graduates, focusing on the present can only go so far. These days, young people are more driven by opportunity to grow and learn more skills as well as find security for their future in the job that they’re applying for.  Focusing on the future of potential hires, how they can grow in your company and maintaining a positive work environment is what millennials find valuable in their future career.
  1. Host or Sponsor Students Events
  2. There are many ways to stand out to students and hosting or sponsoring events is one of them as it has a great effect on grabbing the attention of students. By doing this you are able to work with the school and once the event takes place, you are also able to engage and interact with students. To come up with an event is not only beneficial for you to reach out to students but it can stimulate and encourage talented students to find their potential. Hosting or sponsoring events would also help with attracting and finding the right target audience for your company.
  1. Showcase Diversity
  2. Showing diversity and multiculturalism is quite a hot topic between Millennials. As an employer, it is important for you to showcase the diverse culture in the workplace as having a diverse and welcoming population is something students may take notice of when it comes to events and engagement. With many potential students coming from diverse backgrounds, it is important that you know how to reach out to them.
  1. Be Patient and Present
  2. Sometimes students need guidance during application process and you shouldn’t wait for them to come to you, but you could also go to them to give encouragement. Having an on-campus image can be a powerful tool in building relationships with others and giving interns and new hires experience that they feel familiar with. Being ever present on-campus can also lead to secondary publicity resulting from word of mouth by those that take interest in your company and know what you’re willing to provide for potential hires. Although this might take time, in the long run it may pay off during peak season of recruitment.
  1. Follow Up and Give Feedback
  2. Students have expressed that unresponsive employers is at the top of what frustrates them during recruiting process. Although it is quite impossible to respond to each applicant and give feedback, there are ways around it to let applicants feel appreciated and acknowledged by your team.

 


Experience, Inc. 10 Tips from College Career Services for Employers
Agrawal, S. 2014, How Companies Can Attract the Best College Talent
Huhman, H.R., 2014. 5 Surefire Ways to Attract College Talent
Pride, S. 2014, How to Recruit and Attract Savvy Students – Five Tips

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March 8th, 2016

Metrics & Measurements for real world events

With application windows wide open many employers have been frantically sorting out a variety of channels to attract students such as sites like GradConnection, University Job Boards, Careers Fairs and other on campus events before they start screening potentially thousands of applications. 

With multiple channels but only limited budgets it's important to be able to measure where the applications are coming from but more importantly the hires.

Digital Platforms

With online platforms and other channels it's quite easy to get such reporting metrics back such as:

  • Page Views
  • Number of Unique Visitors
  • Application Clicks

And in GradConnection's case drill down even deeper into things like the following demographics from your application pool:

  • University Breakdown
  • Discipline Breakdown
  • Visa, Workrights and Citizenship Breakdown
  • Gender
  • Competitor Analysis (where else your application pool is applying to)
  • An individual applicant level

Careers Fairs and other real world events

Careers fairs is a bit more difficult on the other hand as unfortunately we do not have digital analytics, tracking codes and whatever else readily at our disposal and in a lot of cases we still see exhibitors recording things by pen and paper or not at all! With careers fairs attendance in decline, it's important to measure and understand your results beyond brand exposure and tie back these time intensive events to your final hires.

There are free tools out there which collect and record interested potential applicants at careers fairs which will allow to measure interest and results. By recording these interactions you can see:

  • How many students you interacted with at each uni
  • What individual students registered an interest
  • Build your own contact database for future recruitment 
  • What students were successful in the hiring process

As GradConnection has been attending careers fairs over the last 8 years now and with our focus on technoclogy we built ourselves a lightweight application called graduate@ which allows anyone to record this information and use how they see fit. On the request of some of our partner employers this has been opened up at no extra cost so if this is something that has been on your mind get in touch or set up your own free custom stand here.

Good luck with all the upcoming fairs!

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GradConnection February Traffic Update

Posted by Reshan Perera

March 7th, 2016

One month through the graduate peak season and we’re excited to say that we are already breaking some of our benchmarks from last year. This is the first time that we’ve cracked over 1 million unique pageviews in February!

This means that more students are engaging with GradConnection and using it to view more employer profiles. This February we also had students make close to 60,000 different searches on our site, that’s over 2,000 searches a day!

More importantly from all the searches and pageviews students made over 40,000 applications in February and we expect this is to be much higher in March, with majority of graduate program applications coming close to an end.

If you are yet to open your application on GradConnection please don’t forget to get in contact with Rita ([email protected]) or your Account Manager.

We’re excited for March and wish everyone who is in the midst of their graduate recruitment the best of luck!

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