Home' Careers Magazine : March 2011 Educate Yourself Contents 22 NEWCASTLE HERALD Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The pick of the crop
Big-name employers favour graduates with high
results, writes Ann-Maree Moodie.
Monitor your grade
point average. This is
the total of all your final
marks divided by the
number of subjects. A
GPA of 65 per cent to
74 per cent is a credit
average; a GPA of
75 per cent to 84 per
cent is a distinction
A poor result in any one
subject will pull down
your GPA. For a high
GPA, you'll need
consistently high marks.
Employers like a ''well-
rounded'' person so play
sport, sing in a choir or
get involved in university
politics. Think about
volunteering and work
experience in your
Pursue a summer
internship at companies
you wish to work for to
find out whether the firm
and occupation are right
for you. It also shows
the employer how keen
you are to secure a
Competition for starting
roles is tough.
Companies use words
like ''passion'', ''energy''
and ''commitment'' to
describe the candidates
they're interested in.
Make sure your CV
shows this through your
academic results, as
well as your other
Ann-Maree Moodie is the managing director
of The Boardroom Consulting Group.
EDUCATE YOURSELF FOR A BRIGHTER CAREER
DURING your final year of high
school you worked hard to achieve the marks
necessary to admit you into the university
degree of your choice -- the first step to the
career of your dreams. But don't think you
can take it easy, miss classes, not study for
exams or submit assignments late (or not at
all) for the next three or four years.
If you do, your grade point average (GPA,
see panel) will drop and this may well cost
you opportunities when you graduate.
The most desirable brands to work for --
including the big banks and technology
companies -- often set minimum criteria for
candidates applying for graduate positions,
internships and even work experience during
the summer holiday break. Among the
expectations is a minimum average academic
result -- a credit or distinction average.
The Apple Australia website, for example,
states: ''If you're a university graduate and
have achieved an undergraduate degree with
a distinction or above, we'd love to hear from
you,'' for a ''store leader'' role in its retail
At ANZ Bank, to be eligible for the summer
intern program you'll need a minimum GPA
of 65 per cent or above -- a credit average.
Macquarie Bank wants graduates with
''excellent academic results'' among other
criteria; IBM's website states that candidates
are expected to have university results ''with
a credit average or above''.
An organisation that creates and
implements educational programs recently
rejected a candidate for a starting role
because she did not even have an
''All our staff have at least one degree and
many have a master's degree,'' the chief
executive officer said.
''We simply could not have someone
involved in education programs for clients
who are all necessarily well-educated
themselves when she had no experience of
higher education herself.''
ANZ group general manager for
organisational capability Jonathan Harvey
said that setting a minimum academic
standard of achievement was a relevant and
effective measure to determine whether a
third or fourth-year university student meets
the standards it expects of its employees.
''We're looking for high-calibre, talented
individuals to join the graduate program,'' Mr
Harvey said. ''We want individuals who have
demonstrated academic commitment and
aptitude. A simple way to determine this is by
looking at the results they've achieved over
the course of their studies. So we set a
minimum grade point average.''
Competition even for summer programs is
fierce, so academic achievement is a
necessary indicator of a candidate's potential
for a full-time role after graduating.
''The level of competition for graduate and
internship roles is, and always will be,
extremely high. Setting a minimum grade
point requirement allows us to focus on
individuals who are better placed to meet the
demands of the role.
''However, we have a very robust selection
process and academic achievement is only
one of the many components we are looking
for in our graduates.''
In order to stand apart from other
candidates, university students are advised to
focus both on their extracurricular activities
and academic results.
''We're looking for people who focus on
their studies. However, we also encourage
applicants to balance this with interests
outside of academia, so they are well rounded
and display emotional intelligence and
A partner at Sydney-based Johnson
Executive Search Amanda Williams said that
while solid academic results were important,
evidence that candidates are engaged in
other activities in which they strive to do well
is also considered seriously.
''While some organisations still focus very
heavily on grade averages, I think some are
starting to look more broadly to ensure they
attract a more rounded graduate intake,'' Ms
''It really depends on the business and the
nature of the work.''
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