So it’s been well over a year since I graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Management) from the University of Technology Sydney.
How stoked I was to graduate.
A few months prior to my graduation, I remember walking from my class to the volunteering lounge being without a doubt, the quietest place I could find to study, to see the graduation banners being hung up. My friend at the time was graduating too from a Bachelor of Business (Accounting and Finance). I was so excited for her and where she was hoping to navigate her career path. Without a graduate job locked down, I remember her telling me, “Fauz, I have no idea what I want to do. If I want to get into the accounting field. We’ll have to see.”
At that moment I had no questions for my career path, how oblivious I was. To give you some backstory, I have always been passionate about business. The way businesses work, the way technology impacts businesses around the world and so on, and on, and on. I was set on my career as an events manager probably in the second year of my university degree. I was so sure of it that I gave up management units and took on event management-focused units instead - very floating around the bush they were looking back. What did I even learn from them? Should I have taken up these units? Or my degree? What?
I remember walking around one of Sydney’s largest festivals, VIVID, with my partner. Hand in hand, I vividly (excuse the pun) remember him saying “you’ll be organising VIVID soon enough.” Damn, bring it on. Let’s get through university, let’s get through these units, let’s just do it.
Prior to where I am now, I joined Receipt Bank’s graduate program as their only (and first) graduate events manager. Long story short, I resigned two weeks short of my probation period ending. The question I asked myself was, do I genuinely find joy in events management? What area of events management do I want to do? No idea.
I craved more of a challenge, that is for sure. I craved more tenacity, more drive and more hunger to do something within Business Development. And that brought me to sales at Deputy within their Sales Development team. My time at Deputy was incredible. Sales I realised was not just picking up the phone like a telemarketer. It is quite a consulting-type role where you essentially have a conversation with different levels of seniority from a variety of companies, in my case, small to medium businesses across Aus/New Zealand, to understand their business model, their challenges as a business and why they have come to us for a solution. Of course there are many more discovery questions to ask, but I’ll save it for another blog post!
I’m now 23 years old and having made a few jumps at the start of my career path I have finally settled into an area that I have always had a long term passion for: Business Development - at my dream company (and a fully fledged graduate program) SALESFORCE! Yes, you guessed it - what was I even thinking doing events as a career path? Similar to Deputy, I recently got promoted as an Associate to now a Small Business Representative. So I’m using my consultative skills on a daily basis to understand small businesses and how we can help support their business.
If I were still a student and knew I got accepted into Salesforce’s graduate program, I would have been jumping around the room. But, it’s okay. We eventually did - only through the long route.
So folks, let’s get this straight. You really do not know what you want to do until you graduate. Unfortunately, we’re accumulating a ridiculous student HECS debt behind us - definitely not a big deal - but if you’re someone like me who thought that university will give me a one-way street into my career path, then chances are, you may need to think outside the tunnel - or what we say, avoid going through university with a tunnel vision. Make your experience in some aspects unique from other students, in other words personalised to you and not what other students are doing around you.
A Tunnel Vision is a situation or drive rather, where you are looking at things from a narrow perspective.
There are so many options out there that sometimes as students, we can be focused on getting through university methodically as opposed to what we truly and realistically envision ourselves to be. And that is okay if you have little to no idea what you even want to do (in that case, check out our vision map here). I know I focused on getting good marks and staying within the zone at university that it was only until after graduation I realised: why am I not in business development? Why did I move away from it?
Even now, my career path does not stop. Whether I branch out into the technology consulting space or continue my endeavour without business development - there are so many career options out there. We should not just stick to what we think is ‘right’ or what we think is the ‘safest space’ to be in. Sometimes, you need to make that leap to get to where you want to be. If you don’t have leaps or bumps in your journey, how else will you learn?
For prospective and soon-to-be university graduates, open up your career path. Explore different career options and don’t just stick to a field.
How can you do that? We’ve got some top tips for you!
A great tip is to first start off with analysing your soft and hard skills: Understand what skills you are GOOD at and what skills you can DEVELOP on.
Think about your involvement outside of your university studies. What extracurricular activities did you enjoy doing? Why did you enjoy doing them?
Align step 1 and 2 to what may potentially be a career choice. Go ahead and map out 5-10 career options. This takes research and reaching out to your network. What interests you? How can you get there?
Create an action plan for yourself - set realistic goals for yourself on how you can navigate to where you want to be or close-to where you want to be. No one is 100% about what they want to do and chances are, what you map out in step 2 will continue evolving 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, etc. from now.
Author: Fauzia Hussein
Dec 19, 2020
A current Small Business Consultant at Salesforce and UTS Alumni, Fauzia is a driven individual and is passionate about helping others.
Speciality: Resumes (ALL) & Cover Letters (Excl. Law).
We hope you enjoyed this blog post of ours, stay tuned for more coming your way in the new year!
In the meantime, if you have any further tips, questions, a relevant interview experience that you want to share with us or blog posts that you want to see from our team, reach out to us by commenting it down below or send it through to email@example.com!