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Curtin produces leaders of the future

December 7, 2017 by Storm Crow

Curtin produces leaders of the future

We’re super proud to announce that six incredible Curtin University students placed in the finals for GradConnection’s Top 100 Future Leaders Awards for 2018 – rising in the ranks from last year.

GradConnection confirmed Joycelyn Tang, Adam Engku, Samuel Gibson, Amy De Groot and Jeffrey Lai will be flying over to Sydney next year to compete in the event, with Troy Burgess also earning a spot at the finals for the second year in a row.

All finalists gained an insight into the graduate recruitment process that most large organisations now use; they were required to complete a rigorous application process involving online assessments using psychometric testing, an online interview, group assessment centres and presentations to reach the finals.

We heard from the six finalists about their experience with the competition and their advice to other students looking to engage with the competition next year.

Joycelyn Tang | Faculty of Law
Finalist: Ashurt Law Award

I had no idea what to expect, but it was a great reflective experience that allowed me to learn a lot about myself in the process – such as the qualities I saw in good leaders and how I could improve to embody those qualities in the future.

My advice to others would be: when things start getting competitive, such as recruitment for vacation work, clerkships, internships or graduate positions, it’s so easy to compare yourself with others, lose confidence and/or sell yourself short; but you shouldn’t underestimate yourself. Believe in yourself, take every opportunity and make the most of it, as you never know what might eventuate from it.

Troy Burgess | Faculty of Science and Engineering
Finalist: Deloitte Software Engineering Award

Just like in a professional environment, this competition focused heavily on your personal brand. My advice is take control of your personal brand; this is your opportunity to shape how you wish to be perceived and known by others.

My advice to others would be: become an active student; utilise the semester breaks and be active within the community. With every opportunity I have taken, it has always opened a door somewhere else, often where I never imagined I would be working.

Also, use this platform to demonstrate your public speaking skills and leadership qualities, and express what’s important to you as a person. I enjoy advocating the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with the wider community and the competition only serves to strengthen how my personal brand reflects this. I wish all future students the best of luck and remind them to participate and be an active student!

Jeffrey Lai | Faculty of Science and Engineering
Finalist: Jacobs Engineering Award

I really enjoyed practising video interview skills and presenting my own unique brand to the judges; it was also a great opportunity to experience a mock graduate recruitment process. Prior to submitting my initial online application, I arranged an appointment with a Curtin Careers Consultant to review my resume; I found this really useful and would highly recommend it to others.

I’m most looking forward to the next stage of the competition in February, where I will be travelling to Sydney to attend an assessment centre and black-tie dinner with a range of employer and university representatives.

My advice to others would be: work hard at becoming a well-rounded student. I believe that working, volunteering and taking on extracurricular roles whilst maintaining respectable marks throughout university will help differentiate yourself from others.

Samuel Gibson | Faculty of Science and Engineering
Finalist: Hilti Engineering Award

A friend encouraged me to apply after he won an award in the competition the year before. He told me it was a great experience and would highly recommend it. Completing these applications has been truly invaluable; I learnt that you have to be in it to win it. I wasn’t expecting to be accepted as a finalist as there are plenty of people with more experience than myself, but I made it.

My advice to others would be: just apply. You will never know whether you’ll be accepted if you don’t at least try. Something that helped me stand out in the competition was getting out and helping the community; while we are young and energetic we should use our skills and give as much as we can. It not only gives you a different perspective, but also provides unique experiences which you can’t learn from lectures at university.

Adam Engku | Faculty of Accounting and Finance

Finalist: KPMG Accounting Award

This competition was the first time I had participated in an innovative way to identify my strengths and weaknesses through both my IQ and EQ, and although in the back of my mind I knew I was being profiled, it was refreshing to better understand myself for who I really am.

My advice to others would be: If I can do it, then you can too. The unknown may be scary, but you are more than capable. Whether it be for this competition or any other endeavours, give it your all. 

Amy De Groot | Faculty of Engineering

Finalist: Jacobs Engineering Consulting Awards

The competition was an interesting insight into the recruitment process and it’s offered me a great opportunity to reflect on what I have learnt so far at university. It’s also helped me figure out which way I would like to steer my career in the future.

I think you’ve got to be in it to win it, so take the leap and apply! In terms of answering the questions in the initial application and video interview, have a think about what makes you different from the other applicants in your area of study and how you can use this to your advantage in your future career.


Curtin Careers, Employment & Leadership wishes all six of our finalists the very best of luck in February! 

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