Why student competitions will make you stand out to employers

August 29, 2017 by Chris Ruffler

Why student competitions will make you stand out to employers

Everyone loves a competition or contest. There’s no better endorsement of your talents than earning the title of “Best in the Country” or “Top of the League” in a specialised field, and the rewards for achieving this in a course-related or career-related area are immeasurable. And then of course, there’s the added bonus that you might just win yourself a prize for all your hard work!

There are lots of competitions run throughout the academic year you can participate in to showcase your abilities. Many of them will have application and nomination procedures just as gruelling as any graduate job you will apply for. The rewards however can definitely be worth it.

Just ask the five Curtin students that were successful at the annual GradConnection Australian Top 100 Future Leaders Awards earlier this year. Petroleum Engineering student, and now graduate, Michael Song even took out the very top honour – winner of the Mining, Oil and Gas Award.

Many competitions are either run by, or in conjunction with, graduate employers looking to unearth the next star recruit, so they are a great opportunity to give your personal brand a boost and get something out of the ordinary on your resume. In many cases the prize might even include a guaranteed job or internship in the sponsoring company – so check whether your favoured employer offers anything.

Danika Wellington from Curtin Business School, who was shortlisted for the Top 100 Nestle Marketing Award, recognises the need for students to expand their professional development beyond their studies. Competing in the Future Leaders Award extended her networks and helped shape her own goals and ambitions. “I would encourage other grads to look for every opportunity, even if it seems out of reach. You can’t sit back and wait for them to land in your lap because you’ll miss the boat. It can be scary, but taking a few risks can pay off in the long run.”

Applications for the GradConnection Top 100 Future Leaders Awards and Kelly Services Future Scientist Award are open right now.

For details of other annual competitions, such as KPMG’s International Case Competition (KICC) or EY’s Survive the Panel or Young Tax Professional of the Year Competition, check out our online resource (Curtin login required) with links to just some of the contests you might be eligible to enter.

There is no “i” in “team”, but there is in “winner”!

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