top of page

An Insecure International Student turned Marketing Coordinator in a Global Company

How guidance boosted Karine’s confidence in landing a Full-time marketing job


“Time doesn’t wait for you. I sense an urgency to advance myself as early as possible, not only in my study but also gain more experience to pursue my dream as a marketer. I need to take the move now.“

Learn how this former MARKCubator’s student landed her full-time Marketing role by implementing these strategies.

Being an international student is never easy, especially when you are pursuing marketing as your career in such a competitive market in Australia. But it is possible if YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

Driven by a passion for Marketing, Karine Lo, an international student has successfully landed her first job as an INCA Coordinator (Influencer Marketing Agency) at the global company GroupM. She works closely with creative media agencies within GroupM to deliver the best brand-safe influencer and content marketing campaigns for clients including Doordash, Bumble, and Kimberly Clark.

As a representative of a big international students cohort, Karine was the guest speaker at MARKCubator’s ‘Strategies To Break Into The Aussie Job Market’ event. She shared her unique tips on how she discovered her strengths and successfully gained her dream job in Australia, despite having a lack of confidence in spoken English and zero working experience!

Karine overcame her strong sense of insecurity and lack of self-confidence in her spoken English by putting these 3 strategies into practice:

Strategy 1: Trial and Error with Right Guidance is Key To Grow Professionally

Karine used to be extremely insecure and didn’t believe in herself. How did she pull through and make it to today’s success?

With the lack of confidence and limitation in English speaking skills, she knew she had to overcome her weaknesses. She highlighted that having the right mentor Dr Theresa Teo has helped her immensely in accomplishing her career as well as personal goals in Australia.

To bring a self-change, Karine decided to join a professional skills program offered by MARKCubator. This program helped her to develop her practical skills in Marketing including Event Planning and Management, Digital Marketing, Content Creation, and Website and Social Media Management. This nurturing environment gave her the opportunity to create a website, brochures and design social media posts. She also got a chance to take charge of an event as an Event Coordinator in MARKCubator’s Industry Networking Event in 2021.

“Dr Theresa is a patient and friendly instructor. She always listened to me patiently although I didn't have good English speaking skills. She would endorse my ideas and correct me when I misunderstood anything.”

“Usually our team of international students would brainstorm with Dr Theresa on the marketing strategies. Discussed what were the best ways to market a product to the right target audience. And this is the way we learned how to implement an integrated marketing campaign, specifically using different digital marketing tools.”

In the process of trying different roles, with the right guidance and training from MARKCubator, Karine finally was able to get a clear vision of where she wanted to go. She discovered her hidden talent and interests in Digital Marketing and successfully moved closer to her dream job in the global company GroupM.

A tip from Karine:

“Don’t ever miss any skill-building opportunities even though you are still in university or college. Do not wait until your degree ends as skill building takes time and patience.”

Getting the right mentor to help discover your strengths and weaknesses. Taking opportunities to develop skills plays an important role in preparing yourself to be job ready upon graduation.

You do nothing, you get nothing. Therefore, think ahead and start planning today if you want to get your dream job in Australia. Ask MARKCubator to help you clarify your career path.

Strategy 2: How to Ace in Interviews

English skill isn’t the only thing that most international students are insecure about. Interviews can also be an intimidating experience, especially for those who aren’t confident in their English speaking ability. It is common among many international non-native English speaking students. They try to give their best in interviews by preparing for every possible question and scenario through a script. But this often backfires as they feel stressed, which is counter-productive and affects their performance during the interview.

“In the beginning, I placed so much pressure on myself that I ended up over-preparing as I created scripts for all my interviews. I also had stomach aches and I couldn't sleep because of the stress.”

“My interviewers told me that I lacked energy and my response to their questions sounded like a script.”

“My best performing interview was when the interviewer asked questions I was not prepared for or those that I had never thought of. Although I didn’t get an offer for this job, I received positive feedback and got a referral to my current job instead.”

So what do you do?

Like Karine, do you experience similar struggles due to stress such as lack of sleep or physical pains that eventually affects your interview?

To overcome this, don’t prepare a script beforehand nor memorise your answers for interview questions. Instead, work on your English speaking skills, focus on your keywords and express them in your own words during your interview.

Also, attempt to understand the job description, align your skills and experience with their requirements and highlight them to the interviewer by mentioning how your skills can be beneficial to their company.

Finally, ask for feedback and comments from the recruiters after a job interview. These feedbacks give you a brief idea about how you can improve and prepare yourself for future interviews.

Strategy 3: Proactivity is Productivity

Productivity is not enough. Be Proactive! Be Progressive!

Many international students are keen but passive learners. They work hard and are productive workers. However, is this enough? They would like to work in Australia but their fear of speaking in English or asking questions prevents them from progressing forward. Such a knowledge gap causes them to lag behind their peers as they fear being criticised or saying the wrong thing.

Even if they feel lost in their career direction, they do not seek help. Failing to step out of their comfort zone and asking for help when having questions or concerns can impact their studies and career direction. Are you one of them? If so, it is time to shift your thinking. Do not waste your precious time. Step out. Be bold. Be Proactive. Ask and progress.

How does Karine manage to be Proactive to improve her Productivity?

Karine always sought feedback and advice from Dr Theresa while working with MARKCubator as a team on different projects. This helped Karine overcome her mistakes. Dr Theresa also helped enhance her ideas and marketing strategies before launching a campaign. This taught her the importance of double-checking and reviewing the work which improved her working style.

She has now become a more confident person in working on different projects, keeping herself productive and motivated, as well as knowing exactly what she needs to accomplish in everyday tasks.

“Now, after 6 months working with Dr Theresa, I can confidently say that I wouldn’t have gained many different marketing skills and practical experience in university. It trains my ‘sense’ to be a good marketer. ”

“Time doesn’t wait, I sense an urgency (in the 2nd year of university) to advance myself as early as possible, not only while studying but also gain the appropriate skills to pursue my dream as a marketer. Take the move now.”

After learning from Karine, what should you do then?

The answer is to be proactive.

  • Be proactive in looking for the right mentor

  • Be proactive in seeking advice

  • Be proactive in self-learning

Getting feedback is one of the most effective learning techniques in the learning process. Besides asking for feedback from the recruiters, you can also ask for advice from your mentors and trainers who will give you the most honest and truly valuable guidance and identify your areas of improvement.

Be proactive and start working on yourself in developing the desired skills for your dream job while in the university. Proactiveness saves you time which propels you forward to see things before you graduate, giving you time to trial and error and discover your potential.

But first, learn to ask for help and be willing to listen and keep in touch with your mentor(s).

International Students Like You Can Land Full-Time Jobs In Australia Too

In summary, Karine landed her full-time job because she started preparing herself for the future goals that she wanted to accomplish. The pandemic didn't stop her from learning and gaining practical skills. During her 2nd year of university, she joined MARKCubator’s professional skills program which helped to identify her potential and develop the skills for her marketing career.

The journey to breaking into the Australian job market for international students can be difficult but not impossible. Karine’s example shows that a strategy backed by meeting the right mentor, at the right time, to gain the right skills can land your first full-time job!

You want a job and the company wants talent. This is a balanced mutual criterion when it comes to job searching. When looking for a job, we often read briefly through the position requirements, the company and its work culture, trying to analyse how these aspects align with your career goals. Similarly, the company is looking for candidates (talents) who could contribute to the growth of their company. You can be the talent that the company is looking for!

Karine makes plans for her future in Australia, how about you? Have you started thinking about it?

Fail to plan, Plan to fail!

Start by applying the strategies from this article which helped Karine land her current Influencer Marketing role. It may be just what you need to achieve your dream of working in Australia.

If you are stuck, we’d love to help you craft a strategic career pathway specially designed to help you land your first marketing job in Australia.

Feel free to contact us or register for a consultation session!


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 is passionate about 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!



bottom of page