With the Top100 Future Leaders awards rapidly drawing to an end , I found myself wondering where all these amazing graduates from around the country came from. Like a graduate program, the finalists who had descended upon UTS for their final assessment centre alongside some Australia’s largest employers had managed to navigate their way through multiple tasks and assessments over the last 5 months (our time to offer would be atrocious!) to earn their place amongst some of the most employable students in Australia.
The Assessment Center
Split across two days due to having almost 100 high calibre students to assess, the students began to gather outside in anticipation. Striking up casual conversation I quickly began to feel inadequate as many of these graduates had already achieved so much and had their eyes set upon a lot more. Despite their confidence, there was a slight nervousness in the air as the majority had not been through an assessment center which is something we are glad we could help with heading into peak graduate recruitment season. As the day got under way - everybody took things quickly in their stride.
Groups quickly divided based on their own core competencies to try and form the most comprehensive teams as quickly as possible. Clear leaders who tended to have a more extroverted personality emerged whilst the shyer team members quickly got to work and were chipping in key pieces of information at crucial times - I think we could actually learn a lot from how these groups of students got to work and got things done!
With group presentations trying to adhere to Fusion’s ruthless time limits some convincing arguments were made for Apple’s decision in replacing the standard headphone jack and the plan of attack to help me see things their way!
The only thing left to do was for employers to narrow down to a single winner which was no easy task when they had 3 or 4 students who clearly stood out!
The Awards Night
With the hard work over and many students knowing they had given it their all and there was nothing left they could do - the atmosphere definitely lifted to a more relaxed pace. Glancing around the Ivy Ballroom I could see once nervous graduates from the assessment sharing a beer and a laugh with employers as they quickly realised there was more to them other than being a graduate recruitment blackbox! Universities looked on proudly at their students
As the awards progressed some of that tension came back from many of these ambitious graduates who were hopeful in taking out a category. Whilst everyone wasn’t able to win it was easy to remind students in attendance that they were now recognised as some of the best across Australia which was quickly reinforced by such surprise occurrences as Dave Curran, the CIO of Westpac who was quick to make offers to all 10 of his category finalists alongside many other employers looking to secure students who they’d identified as being a great fit for their company.
All in all, It was a privilege to take part in this event and see the 3 main parts of our graduate ecosystem - the students, the universities and the employers get together over a few drinks and kick off graduate recruitment season in style.