12 Apr 2021

Securing an internship or graduate role to launch your career post university can be tricky. 

To help university students with this process, a group of eight panelists spoke at an AUT event via The AUT Investment Club in Auckland. 

One of the speakers, Veer Khanna, started his graduate role at Westpac NZ in January. He is an analyst in Institutional and Business Banking and is an executive member of the AUT Investment Club. 

He has shared the panelists’ top tips and tricks from the event. 


Tips & Tricks: 


Westpac's Veer Khanna 

1. Ask yourself why you’re studying a specific subject.

Are you moving towards a tangible goal for yourself or following someone else’s opinion of what you should do? Are you studying this subject because of a personal passion for it, or are you just trying to get a job at the end of it? In the long term, if you’re not passionate about what you do, that could negatively impact your career. 


2. Get exposure as soon as possible.

Sometimes studying a subject and working in that field can be very different from one another. Therefore, gaining exposure to that industry as soon as possible can help you work out whether it’s right for you or not. This could include speaking to people who work in that industry or requesting a short work experience stint. 


3. Get connected.

Create a LinkedIn profile if you don’t already have one and start connecting with people in your industry as soon as possible. Start building relationships with recruiters, go to career fairs and take up networking opportunities when they arise. 


4. Don’t get too caught up on your grades.

Grades do matter but they’re not everything. Companies want well-rounded people, which means you can stand out in other areas. Extra-curricular activities you’ve been involved in such as university groups, sporting activities and life experiences you’ve had could help your professional life. 


5. Research each company before applying for each role.

Each company’s values and how they align with your values are extremely important and will often determine how long you will stay in the company. Therefore, do your due diligence on each company. 


6. Tailor your CV to each application.

Don’t just copy and paste the same CV to every application – the recruiter will spot this straight away. Make sure it is relevant and tailored to the position you’re applying for, accompanied with a personal statement of four to five sentences. Address the cover letter to the recruiter’s name and state the reasons you want to work for the organisation and how you’ll add value. Your cover letter should be no longer than one page. 


7. Be yourself in the interview process.  

Don’t try to act how you think they would like you to act, just be yourself. Make sure to ask the interviewers questions too, this will show them that you’re engaged and are interested in the organisation. Send a thank you email to the interviewer afterwards.