6 Tips to Get the Most Out of a Grad Program

February 24, 2016 by Curtin CEL Team

6 Tips to Get the Most Out of a Grad Program

Considering a grad program? Applications are opening now for 2017 grad programs so it’s important to start exploring what’s right for you and how to get the most out of a grad program, should that be the direction you choose. We’ve been lucky enough to have Wood Group Graduate Recruiter, Sandro Tozzi share his advice.

Is Graduate a dirty word? I’ve heard lots of employers and graduates complaining about one another over the years. The problem I find stands on both ends, and it’s usually about understanding one another and being open to the opportunities that lie ahead.

So, here are my top 6 tips to empower your graduate journey, and make sure your employer gets you:

  1. Step outside your interest area
    For example, if you’re an engineering grad and you’re asked to help out in HR or Finance, see this as an opportunity to learn about the corporate side of the business. Expanding your knowledge base beyond technical is critical, especially if you aspire for roles in project management/project delivery.
  2. Boring stuff is important too
    Initially you may be allocated boring and repetitive tasks. Although doing calculations on bending moments all day long may seem tedious, it is creating a cumulative effect and building your knowledge base. You need to crawl before you can walk.
  3. Have a sense of gratitude, not entitlement
    Your employer has invested in you so it’s now time show them that they’ve made the right decision. Get involved, chase interesting projects and be humble.
  4. Extra-curricular doesn’t stop at uni
    Many graduate employers, and Wood Group is one of them, have a graduate forum or graduate council. We at Wood Group call ours ‘Engineer Your Future.’ These types of forums usually comprise of graduate and management representatives where they look at ways of improving the graduate program. Get involved in these forums and show management that you are willing to put something back in.
  5. Zero to hero doesn’t work in industry
    Having career goals is both admirable and necessary, however, don’t set yourself unreal expectations. It’s unlikely you’ll walk into a Project Manager’s role in your first gig straight out of university. Understand that, and roll up your sleeves and do the grunt work. Employers look positively upon those that aren’t afraid of hard work and happy to do what may be considered by others as ‘not sexy.’
  6. Move it!
    If an opportunity presents itself to relocate interstate or overseas, and your personal circumstances allow you to do so, grab it with both hands. Mobility is an important ability to possess especially in today’s shrinking markets and limited resources. Management see the ability to relocate as a sign of engagement by the graduate.

Finally, embrace change, accept responsibility, continuously learn and have a sense of gratitude.

 

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