With our recent focus on grad programs, it felt like a good time to check in with a recent Curtin graduate. Christopher Ho secured a place in Capegemini’s graduate program in August last year. Chris was also part of our Earn While You Learn initiative, becoming a valued part of the Curtin Careers team.
Tell us what you studied and when you graduated
I graduated in July 2021 with a Master of Commerce majoring in Information Technology and Systems. My undergraduate degree was in Marketing and Management. I decided to pursue post-graduate studies as I initially didn’t know what I was going to do after I graduated. After exploring my options and speaking with friends and colleagues, I decided to do something in a complimentary but different field, to broaden my skills set, which is what put me into IT. The Masters was a great experience, but even more so, the students I studied with. A lot of them were mature age so they brought a different perspective with their insights and workplace experiences, which helped broaden my perspective on where I could go.
How did you decide what graduate programs to apply for?
I didn’t know a lot about graduate programs until my final year. I started looking on UniHub and GradConnection for possible roles, but it was ultimately through word of mouth that led me to apply to Capgemini. A friend had started in their graduate program earlier in the year, which had taken her interstate. She encouraged me to apply so I decided to give it a go.
Can you tell us about the recruitment process for Capgemini?
It was an online application process which firstly involved psychometric testing. This involved things like pattern recognition, basic arithmetic and was kind of like the fun IQ test you had as a kid. This led me to gaining an interview, which in my case was an online group interview, along with other applicants from all over Australia. We were given a case study with a time limit, had to come up with a solution and present our case to the assessors. The people I was grouped with were from lots of different discipline backgrounds, not just IT, so the topic was quite broad. Ultimately the assessors want to gauge how well you work in a team, which in this case was a bunch of complete strangers!
Do you have any advice to others around group interviews?
My main advice would be to try to help facilitate conversations. Try to focus on how to negotiate and prioritise without stepping on other people’s boundaries. This means trying to understand other people’s perspectives and being respectful of others’ opinions. I know there’s a lot of advice out there about trying to show your leadership qualities, but not everyone needs to be a leader in this aspect. If you’re a great team player, that’s more than enough in this environment.
How has your experience been so far with Capgemini?
It’s been quite an adventure, moving away from Perth to Melbourne. It’s been a bit more difficult moving interstate during COVID as I was in lock-down for the first three months. I wasn’t able to meet everyone in person, but the company was really good with doing online check-ins and making sure everyone in the grad program got to know each other and felt supported. There’s definitely a culture of being there for each other, having an online presence and not being afraid to reach out. I also have a mentor, who has been really helpful and supportive. As a consultant, I have the flexibility of being able to work remotely, but it’s also been good to be in the office sometimes now that we can move around freely again in Melbourne. I’ve had the opportunity to work on a number of different projects, which has been a great way to get to know the broader team and various stakeholders.
What advice do you have for final year students who may be applying for graduate positions?
Apply for them all! There’s no harm in having options. I know it may be daunting at first having to go through the interview process, but these are skills for life that will help you throughout your career and within the workplace. Draw on your existing networks as there’s no harm in asking if anyone knows of any openings or positions. LinkedIn can also be a great way to reach out to contacts and let others know you’re looking for opportunities.
We wish Chris all the best in what promises to be an exciting future with Capgemini.