Students learn the secrets to career success

22 February 2018

More than 150 students from The University of Queensland embarked on their journey towards career success at the first BEL SET Employability Conference for 2018.

Hosted by UQ’s award-winning Faculty of Business, Economics and Law Student Employability Team (BEL SET), the conference aimed to boost business, economics and law students’ employability and help them learn new skills to get ahead.

The one-day intensive conference was available to current BEL students and recent graduates.

This semester’s itinerary included special guest presentations from the Royal Flying Doctor Service Queensland and EY, a campus recruiters panel session on vacation/graduate programs and clerkships, networking time with recruitment agents, and a range of interactive workshops run by BEL employability specialists.

Director of BEL SET Rhea Jain said there were endless takeaways for students.

“As we heard from our keynote speakers, find what you are passionate about and be tenacious and genuine in your pursuit of it,” Ms Jain said.

“Everyone experiences setbacks in their journey; however, learning from them and seeking support can be instrumental to success.”

Top tips: recruiters

Jay Oei
Jay Oei, Regional Campus Advisor for PwC Australia

Jay Oei, Regional Campus Advisor for PwC Australia, said she had three basic tips for students looking to impress recruiters.

“Number one, show up to events like this one,” Ms Oei said.

“We receive 17,000 applications on average, so make yourself stand out by actually coming to meet us. If we can see your face and we know who you are, we’re far more likely to bring you on board.

“Number two, do your research on the firm and what we do. If you give us little tidbits like that in conversation, you’re really going to impress us.

“Number three, present yourself well. Make sure you brush your hair and iron your clothes. You don’t necessarily need to be full-blown corporate but just look presentable.”

Top takeaways and tips: BEL students

Benoit Martine
Benoit Martine

Master of Development Economics student Benoit Martine said he was grateful for the networking opportunities offered at the conference.

“There are a lot of people here from different backgrounds,” Mr Martine said.

“It was great to talk to recruiters and other students and make contacts.”

Mr Martine said he would advise students to start attending BEL SET events like the conference as early as possible.

“Some of the vacation programs that the big firms offer are for penultimate year students only,” he said.

“Don’t wait until your final year. Come as early as you can.”

Danielle Simkus
Danielle Simkus

Master of Commerce student Danielle Simkus said she found the guest presentations inspiring.

“For me, it was really interesting to hear from Trent from the Royal Flying Doctor Service,” Ms Simkus said.

“He has done so much with his career; it was amazing to learn about all of the different paths you can take and the places you can end up.”

Her number one tip for BEL students and conference attendees: get involved.

“I know that advice gets thrown around a lot, but you have to put your hand up, participate and speak up,” she said.

“Everyone else is in the same boat and just as nervous as you are: just go for it.”  

Maggie Cai
Maggie Cai

Fifth-year Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws (Honours) student Maggie Cai said she would advise future conference attendees to talk to as many people as possible, including recruiters.

“During conversation with recruiters, don’t just make small talk,” Ms Cai said.

“Go deeper and make it a little more personal; find out what you really want to know.”

Conference highlights

The networking with recruiters event ‘Accessing the Hidden Market – Alternative Routes to Graduate Success’ was a huge success. Multiple students signed on for temp opportunities across a range of recruiters, and one student secured the role of Adecco’s CEO For A Day. This opportunity opened exclusively to attendees on the day of the conference.

One lucky student was also the recipient of a Google Home Mini, the grand prize in the conference prize draw.

To learn more about the BEL Student Employability Team (or to book an appointment and get some top employability tips straight from the team), visit their website.

Contact: BEL Communications, Alysha Hilevuo,, 07) 3346 9349.