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Presence and Branding Workshop

 

On May 29th, Macquarie Group welcomed Capital W members at a ‘Presence & Branding’ Workshop. In an increasingly competitive job market, it has never been more important to give yourself the greatest opportunity to get the job by leaving interviewers and potential employers with the best impression of yourself. As a first year student, I jumped at the opportunity to take part in this workshop to help build my own personal brand and practice my networking skills.

The afternoon was hosted by two members of Macquarie Group’s internal Learning and Development team and focused on providing attendees with practical advice on how they can create their own personal brand, how to differentiate themselves from competitors in the job market and how to leave a lasting impression on potential employers. The afternoon’s session was very interactive and invited all in attendance to practice the skills they were acquiring in a relaxed environment. This was then followed by a networking session with HR representatives and employees of the 2017 Graduate Cohort.

I left the event with a wealth of knowledge about how I can best present myself to potential employers in networking and interview situations. In a stressful interview environment, it can be easy to miss answering crucial parts of a question. Besides that, some people may be more hesitant about assertively ‘selling’ themselves. Hence, I would like to share my three top tips for interview success that I learnt from the workshop;

1. Before a telephone or in-person interview, write a list of points you want to cover in response to potential questions. These could relate to prior experiences you have had and/or skills you may possess.

2. Do not write a speech for telephone interviews. You can come off as automated and you will not be giving the best answer to the questions you may be asked. It is better to go off a list of points (as referred to in tip 1).

3. In most interviews, you will be asked behavioural or situational questions. An example is, “Tell us about a challenge you have faced and how you overcame it.” To ensure you provide a complete and effective answer, structure you answer around the STAR model:

  • Situation- What was the situation you faced?
  • Task- What were you required to do?
  • Action- How did you face the challenge?
  • Result- What was the outcome? (This should always be positive)

This simple model ensures that you provide an excellent answer to even the most challenging and unexpected questions!

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1000 Cracks in the Ceiling

 

The term ‘privilege’ is quickly becoming the third rail of polite conversation. Don’t believe me? Try casually bringing it up the next time you’re in class or at a recruiting event. One of two scenarios will most likely unfold: either you’ll be met with silence and the topic will quickly change, or it will escalate into a heated debate.

So why do I raise this controversial topic when we’re celebrating Capital W’s tenth anniversary? When I was asked to write this article, I reflected on the key things that enabled Capital W to get off the ground – the tenacity and ingenuity of the founding team; the confidence our original sponsors had in us; and the support we received from UNSW. However, it also made me realise, with the benefit of hindsight, that the privileges that I enjoy in life had placed me in a great position to establish Capital W.

Privilege is an unearned advantage that’s given by society to some people but not all. Let’s unpack this definition. First, privilege arises from things we don’t control. Second, in everyday life, privilege is nuanced – in some circumstances we have it, but in others, we don’t. This might seem like a trivial distinction, but it can be incredibly empowering. In my more cynical moments, I dwell on the fact that I face a corporate ceiling made of both glass and bamboo, and I under-appreciate the privileges that have allowed me to influence my environment in some situations. For me, founding Capital W was one of those situations.

Thanks to my middle-class upbringing, I attended a private school targeted by the UNSW Co-op Program. Winning a Finance Co-op Scholarship meant that I could socialise with like-minded students, connect with key members of the business faculty, and form relationships with corporate sponsors. This helped me put forward a strong application for the exchange programme to The Wharton School, where I became inspired by the work of Wharton Women in Business. As a result, when I returned to UNSW with a plan to launch Capital W, I already had a close-knit group of peers to work with, access to university support, and a network of top tier sponsors to tap.

Let me be clear: the fact that Capital W benefitted from my privilege does not diminish all the hard work that many people contributed into making the organisation the success that it is today. Nor am I saying that privilege is something we should perpetuate or celebrate. The simple fact is that privilege exists – many of us must overcome undeserved disadvantages, but also enjoy unearned advantages.

My founding vision for Capital W was to encourage young women to pursue bolder challenges in the hope they would become future business leaders. A quick scan of the headlines and the statistics show that as a society, despite some progress, we still have a fair way to go. As we look forward, this is my challenge to you: be aware of your privileges so you can be opportunistic in the very best sense of the word. Look for circumstances where your privilege presents a chance to push the barrier for you and for others. Seize it. Add to the 1,000 cracks in the ceiling. Change the system.

Stephanie Pow

Founder and Former President of Capital W