How Opportunities Helped Vietnamese International Student Vy Land her Full-time Job
“Even though I don’t have 1-2 years’ experience, the recruiters were impressed by the way that I confidently presented myself and all the real-life work experiences that I gained.” - Vy Huyen Le, Media Executive at Group M.
Meet Vy Huyen Le, Media Executive at Group M, a former MARKCubator member, and a speaker for “Strategies to break into Aussie Job Market”. She worked with her team in planning and managing end-to-end integrated media campaigns, and ensuring excellent clients’ experience across Digital/Social and Traditional Media. The client portfolio is various, including:
Jewellery brands (E.g. Bulgari and Chaumet);
Watch brands (E.g. Hublot);
Beauty brands (E.g. Dior, Fenty Beauty, and Make Up For Ever);
Retails (E.g. Sephora); and
Fashion brands (E.g. Celine, Fendi and Loewe).
After executing her marketing skills in Group M as a Media Executive for one year, she was invited by another global marketing firm, OMD Australia. Now she has successfully landed her new role as an Account Executive at OMD Australia.
During the “Strategies to Break into Aussie Job Market”, MARKCubator was honoured to invite our former team member, Vy, back to the stage and share her 1-year job hunting journey with other international students. But it wasn’t an easy journey. Vy graduated when Covid first hit Australia. While all companies were slowing down the recruitment process, she struggled with her career path. With no hard skills on hand, she was so lost until she met a mentor, Dr Theresa Teo. Eventually, she overcame the obstacles through the following strategies:
Strategy 1: Do Not Refuse Any Work Opportunity, Even if It’s a Contract Job
“At first, I wasn’t sure how to gain my first full-time job without the necessary skills needed by the recruiters. My goal at that time was to land my full-time job straight after my graduation, but unfortunately, COVID hit, and I was lost.”
Every fresh graduate’s dream is to get a full-time job right after graduation, yet with unclear career direction and no practical skills on hand, it seems impossible. What should we do?
“Indeed, it’s hard to get a full-time job right now, but a contract job is a job as well. Combining multiple contract jobs together will become a full-time job. You can gain practical marketing experience through these contract jobs as well.” Vy kept Dr Theresa‘s words in mind. While trying different in-house marketing operations in MARKCubator, such as event management, digital marketing, and direct marketing, Dr Theresa also referred her to an external client, Vivify Textile (Berlin) to gain more experience as a marketing agency. Many a little makes a mickle. With a 1-year intensive training, Vy gradually figured out her marketing career direction and her cumulative varied experiences impressed the recruiters in Group M.
Although many people tend to standstill during Covid due to the slow progress of businesses, this should not be an excuse for you to stop building yourself. Vy never stopped working. She was actively involved in building herself professionally, taking up as many jobs (even contract jobs) as possible to gain practical marketing experience and position herself as a digital marketer. Her efforts finally paid off. She successfully rode over the Covid period.
“With Dr Theresa’s dedicated guidance, I got a chance to learn more about the marketing world and enhanced my skill sets. She also got me to work with her partner, which helped me to gain much more experience. This hugely helped me to impress the recruiters.”
Strategy 2: Build a Portfolio to Showcase Your Skills
“You have to be active in building your portfolio, which has helped me to land my dream job. Once you have the desired skills, the recruiters will find you. That’s how I landed my full-time role.”
While working with MARKCubator and Dr Theresa’s clients, Vy continuously accumulated professional marketing experience and built her professional portfolio. As a result, recruiters approached her and offered her job opportunities.
Many graduates want a full-time job but their resumes lack lustre. They do not have the relevant experience or no experience to showcase their practical marketing skill. Such a resume could not win the eyes of recruiters.
On the other hand, creating an informative resume seems to be a piece of common knowledge for each graduate. It presents your work history and experience, skills and abilities to prove your qualification for the role you are applying for. Is that sufficient enough?
Of course, you can elaborate more on your previous work and your interpersonal skills during interviews. However, having a portfolio gives recruiters a more detailed look at the work that you’ve done.
A portfolio is a compilation of work samples (visualised or written form) and documents that provides evidence of the accomplishments of your previous work. Nowadays, this is an important tool to assist you in impressing recruiters and prospective employers as you pursue your career. Besides listing your skills on a resume, creating a portfolio allows you to demonstrate and showcase your relevant skills and abilities to recruiters.
Usually, a portfolio can be created in two ways: physically (a binder or booklet) and virtually (personal web page). While businesses have turned digital due to the pandemic, building an online portfolio is a great way to showcase your competencies and personal brand. It’s never too late to start building your professional portfolio! Ask MARKCubator how you can best showcase your skills through this strategy.
Strategy 3: Reflect on Past Interviews
“After every interview, I always ask for feedback. I looked back at my resume each time I submitted it and took the interviews’ feedback to improve my soft skills. This has not only helped me to improve but also got more confidence in my interviews. ”
Do you know how many candidates are usually interviewed for one position in Australia? Some statistics show an average of 15 applicants per job. Then, how can you be sure that you can get the job you want in one shot? Many people may apply for multiple jobs and go for multiple interviews concurrently in order to maximise the chance to be hired.
Before attending an interview, you probably take a long time to prepare the answers for the possible questions from recruiters. But once the interview is over, your process should not stop here. It is important to review your interview each time and ask for feedback. This was Vy’s strategy to reinforce the connection with her desired companies. Reviewing an interview helped her reflect on what went well and what she could do better in the upcoming interviews. As a result, she could keep improving her interview skills and being confident for the upcoming interviews.
Moreover, asking for feedback allows you to grow your network. It’s never harmful to add one more person (especially a hiring manager) to your network. Even if they don’t have any jobs for you at the moment, they might be able to connect you with someone in other departments.
Vy showed her humble attitude to her recruiters during interviews and finally received her first full-time job in a global marketing firm. As an international student, if you feel unsure about how to express and pitch yourself effectively and confidently, try out MARKCubator’s “Ace The Interview” course to master your interview skills for the marketing industry.
International Students Can Land Full-Time Jobs In Australia Too
Here is a summary of Vy’s strategies in landing her first full-time marketing role in the Australian job market. First, do not hesitate to grab any work opportunities in front of you, even if it’s a part-time contract job. The skills and experience you accumulate in these part-time roles will eventually lead you to a full-time job. Second, while gaining skills and experience through your current job(s), do not forget to constantly build your professional portfolio to showcase your competencies. Finally, after attending an interview, look back at your resume and performance and ask recruiters for feedback to improve your future interviews.
The journey to breaking into the Australian job market for international students can be difficult but not impossible. Vy’s example shows that with a strategy backed by the right things, you too can kickstart your first full-time job!
If you are currently in Vy’s previous situation, don’t worry! Try out the methods in this article that helped Vy land her Media Executive and Account Executive roles. It may be just what you need to achieve your dream of working in Australia.
Problems will always be there. Are you overcome by problems or Do you overcome the problems? Be proactive! Ask MARKCubator how you can overcome your challenges in your job hunt process in Australia.
Starting from September 2022, we are launching a monthly student networking event on the 1st Friday of the month at 3 pm. Join our community to improve your skills in networking and gain confidence in English speaking. This platform is specially for anyone who has a passion in Marketing and wishes to have an in-depth understanding of the Australian job market and how to get their marketing dream job. Look out for our upcoming announcements!
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