Entries for GradConnection’s Top 100 Future Leaders Competition have now closed for 2018; however, I wanted to share my experience with all QUT penultimate students who will have the opportunity to apply next year. It’s your time to shine in the competition that provides the ultimate practice run for graduate program applications before you encounter the real-deal in your final year.
Speaking from experience, I can honestly say the competition has been a key highlight in my university experience. In February this year, I was invited to Sydney for the final stage of the competition where I was honoured to be recognised as a Top 100 Future Leader for 2018 and a Top 10 National Finalist for the Nestlé Marketing Award. The entire competition was such an amazing opportunity and I 100% encourage all students to apply.
The perks: if you are successful in being selected within the Top 100 (which you will be) what are some of the fabulous opportunities the competition provides?
- Real graduate employers sponsor each award and are involved in the final stage assessment centre, interviews and awards ceremony, allowing you to network with Australia’s top graduate employers.
- You become one of 100 graduates who can proudly promote they are a Top 100 Future Leader for your graduating year. This is a huge achievement and signifies to future employers, particularly Australia’s top graduate employers, that you have what it takes.
- You meet so many talented and driven graduates who are passionate leaders and love their field of study. Within the cohort, I made friends from all across Australia. I was truly inspired, and motivated, by their achievements and aspirations, and I am excited to see what the future holds for each and every one of them.
- You have the opportunity to increase your profile through a feature in the Australian Financial Review.
- Ultimately, you have the chance to practice applying for graduate positions, and as a result, you feel very prepared for when it comes to the real-(nerve-racking)-deal of applying in your final year. Having already experienced every stage of a typical recruitment process my nerves were calmed and I felt confident when it came to application season.
The nitty-gritty: what do you actually have to do to be named a ‘Top 100 Future Leader’?
The competition involves everything you would encounter in a graduate recruitment.
- First up, an online application. The initial application is simple, requiring the essentials: study details, student society involvement, your employment and experience, your resume and academic transcript, as well as answering the question, ‘what makes you a potential Future Leader?’. (August – September)
- The next stage involves online psychometric testing. The format and method of testing can vary greatly (from animated games to worded questions and answers) however, no matter the format you will most likely encounter numerical, comprehension and pattern-based intelligence questions. You don’t need to ‘study’ or do any specific preparation, just ensure you’re in a quiet space where you can concentrate and try your best. (September).
- The third stage is a video interview – an excellent first practice as you are sure to encounter many more in your graduate applications. Don’t worry, there won’t be anyone on the other end and you can complete the interview anywhere you feel comfortable and confident. Questions will appear on the screen and you will have between 30 seconds – two minutes to read and prepare your answer. When you’re ready (or once preparation time is up) you will record your answer – generally within two minutes. (October).
- The fourth and final stage of the competition is the exciting part! If you are successful in making it into the Top 100 you will be flown to Sydney for an in-person assessment centre, interviews and the awards night. The assessment centre is where you will meet your award sponsors and be assessed during group activities. In the afternoon, individual interviews will take place, giving you the opportunity to meet one-on-one with your potential future employers and showcase why you deserve the top title. Finally, in the evening you attend the awards ceremony gala, a fabulous evening providing the chance to glam-up, network and celebrate your achievement! (February).
Whether you make it through to the second stage or the final stage, this competition provides an opportunity like no other. Get the practice, get familiar, and know how to nail the real-(now not so nerve-racking)-deal. GradConnection’s Top 100 Future Leaders competition is the ultimate experience, competition and preparation for penultimate students.