The Top100 Future Leaders Awards take place every February and are a place for some of Australia’s top students and employers to come together, network, and learn. The process includes a combination of interviews and psychometric testing, all of which lead to an assessment centre and award ceremony in Sydney.
At this year’s 2023 Top100 Future Leaders Awards, we spoke to some of the employers to find out why it’s worth applying, and what the employers actually look for during the individual interviews and the assessment centre.
As a student, applying for the Top100 Awards is your chance to familiarise yourself with the grad job application process, so that when you do apply for the real thing you come prepared!
Jean Koukvangelis, Talent Acquisition Partner: Early Careers Lead at Jacobs agreed that applying makes great practice for other recruitment processes.
“It’s just fantastic experience, you know you get to go through a recruitment process essentially so you get that advantage of knowing what it’s like when you apply for a grad role, what to expect, and so i think it’s just a good experience - why not?”
She added that it’s a great way to gain recognition, as the Top100 Future Leaders are featured in The Australian Financial Review pullout!
Annie Lucchitti, Marketing Manager Home Care at Unilever also said that it’s a great way to network and learn.
“Students should apply for this simply for the life experience that you get out of it, the interesting colleagues you’re going to meet, the interesting companies you’ll get to interact with”
“But in general, just going through this whole process, putting yourself in a new situation, you might even learn something about yourself.”
Emerson Nugent, the 2023 winner of the Goodman Fielder FMCG Top100 Future Leader Award, said that the networking opportunities were a great takeaway from the experience.
“I’ve made some amazing friends and I think they’ll be lifelong friends, from just one day, really.”
Anthony Takyi, Head of Careers Engagement at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, encourages all uni students to apply, also emphasising that it’s a great opportunity to meet future mentors, network, and opens the doors for other opportunities you might not have considered.
“It gives you such great early exposure to a really rigorous assessment process, and that ability to really gain that feedback through the process, but also it’s your opportunity to go and shine in front of future employers,” he said.
“The beautiful thing is, by being recognised as a Top100 Leader, it just opens up so many doors to you, and every employer wants to come and have a conversation with you and see what you’ve done, where you’re going, it increases that attractiveness.”
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For Emaan Gohar, 2023 finalist for the Coles IT Top100 Future Leader Award, applying for the Top100 looked like a great way to connect with people after the pandemic.
“There’s a chance for networking, building connections, talk about your experience with other people, which was something we missed out on during COVID-19. So luckily, we did get in, and I think I’m having a really good time with these girls, so it’s been an amazing time so far,” she said as she waited for the group task section of the assessment centre.
Similarly, Isabella Andrews, another Coles IT Top100 Future Leader Award finalist, also cited networking as one of the reasons she applied for the Top100.
“I’d like to foster some new connections, both through LinkedIn and in person, which I think I’ve already accomplished,” she said, sitting with a group of other candidates.
“I think just putting yourself out there and putting yourself through the experience of interviewing and talking to people, talk to companies that you want to one day work for. I think it is really valuable for building confidence and also reveals opportunities you might not have thought of.”
Saraa Al-Saddik, the winner of the Transition Hub First in Family Top100 Future Leader Award, also spoke about how she thought the competition was a great way to gain insights into the application process, too, as well as see what career options she might have.
“I kind of wanted to see what the interview process was like…I didn’t want to just go straight into a psych clinic, I wanted to see what opportunities were available to me, especially since I’ll be graduating soon, and I got to meet a couple of amazing people.”