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Meet Tom, Australia's Top Engineering & Science Student

Posted by Tom Perfrement

Visit Tom's GradConnection Profile 

It was an incredible honour to win the Arrium Engineering & Science Division of the Nationwide Top 100 Competition. Thank-you to the entire team at GradConnection for facilitating and organizing  a competition on this scale.  An event such as this presents a multitude of benefits to both students and indeed companies who are exposed to some of the most employable students in their field.

I first discovered the Top 100 Competition through your Facebook advertising strategy when a targeted ad appeared on my newsfeed. Since I believed I would be well placed to do well in this competition, coupled with my competitive drive, I started to complete the application required for stage 1 of the competition. As the selection process for the awards was designed to mirror the graduate recruitment process, participating in the competition provided an ideal method by which to experience and practice standard recruitment procedures such as online testing, interviews and assessment centre activities. In addition, I saw the competition as an excellent opportunity to showcase myself to a wide range of leading graduate employers.  Having never experienced an assessment centre or online testing stage previously, I found those components of the process to be the most valuable. Fusion also did a brilliant job in designing the experience to be one in which we could learn about the graduate recruitment process at the assessment centre. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the other finalists who were a diverse group of highly talented and motivated individuals. This is another less tangible benefit to the Top 100 finalists as I am sure that developing connections with these individuals will also lead to opportunities in the future, or at the very least a network of talented friends!

Ultimately, I would put my success in the competition down to ‘balance’. Throughout my life I have developed a multitude of skills through involvement in a number of endeavors be it academic, sporting, work-related or community orientated activities.  In a competitive work environment, skills such as inter-personal awareness, communication, leadership and teamwork are absolutely essential and are developed through the individuals who have been through a multitude of life experiences. In addition to this, industry experience and academic ability are important factors which I was able to demonstrate.

At the awards night I certainly felt privileged in that I had was able to meet graduate recruiters from a diverse range of industries. I spoke with representatives from a large proportion of the companies present and was able to gain insight into company procedures, work culture, and learn details about the graduate program of each company.  Through speaking with SMS consulting, I was encouraged to consider work in a consulting industry which I had previously not considered before. It was interesting to note at the awards night that companies were just as much wanting to promote their company to the students as the other way around.

Since winning the competition, to date, I have experienced a significant amount of media attention. I have been the focus of multiple facebook posts by UNSW, UNSW Engineering and Arrium Mining & Materials and have also been the focus of a number of posts on LinkedIn. My LinkedIn profile has been visited countless times since winning the awards – see attached image.

 

I have also been the focus of a number of news articles:

https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/students/engineering-student-‘australia’s-most-employable

https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/students/unsw-graduates-among-most-employable-australia

 

As I graduate at the end of 2016 and am working full time in 2015 for my two sponsor companies (UNSW Co-op Program) Evoqua Water Technologies and Veolia Water, I have not received any job offers at this stage. However, I have received expressions of interest from a number of companies should I wish to explore opportunities within their business.  I am also grateful for the prestige that this title will bring when I begin the graduate recruitment process, in search for a graduate program commencing work in 2017.

Once again, thank-you to GradConnection and Arrium for this opportunity. Participating in the competition was an invaluable experience and through winning this award I feel empowered to continue aspiring to be a leader of the future.


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