#27 On Finding and Thriving in Your Dream Graduate Role with Kerry Callenbach

#27 On Finding and Thriving in Your Dream Graduate Role with Kerry Callenbach

Good morning Graduates!

This is episode #27 of Graduate Theory. Rarely do we ever see behind the scenes of HR and what it takes to make it through competitive Graduate recruitment processes.

Today, your questions will be answered.

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Kerry Callenbach has worked in HR for over 18 years in professional services, banking, health , sports and tech. A former nurse and professional athlete, she is passionate about developing people to be their best.

👇 Episode Takeaways

Do Something Different

When applying for roles and creating your resume, a great way to stand out is to do something different to the masses.

there's so many incredible resume templates, you know, on, on places like Canva and they're all for free, right. And Microsoft in amazing templates, but guess what? They're also available to everyone else.

If you're really keen on a role, consider doing something different from the norm.

Use the company colours somewhere on the page, submit something a little different. It may be what you need to get to the next step.

Mistakes Graduates Make in Applications

Kerry had some great insights into what mistakes graduates commonly make during the recruitment process 👇

  1. not tailoring your application to the company
  2. not being prepared to have a conversation with a recruiter
  3. not contributing during group assessments
  4. not preparing for interviews

Weather Chat Is Important

Often when you're about to interview, there's some weather chat. It can be a little bit awkward.

Kerry says to embrace this and to understand that building rapport in these situations is a really important skill to have.

so that's really important that walk to the interview room or when you log on for a virtual interview. Be comfortable to have some of those icebreaker discussions, things like, you know, Hey, how's it going? How's your week been? What's been keeping you busy? What have you got planned for the Easter weekend?

All of those conversations points are actually relationship building conversation starters, right.
And that's really, really important whether you work in consulting, whether you work in a product company. The being able to converse and communicate with others and build rapport and relationships is really important.
So don't underestimate the importance and the impact that having weather chat conversation starters is in an intense

Be Kind To Yourself

As a Graduate, we want to do well. We want to jump right into the thick of things and impress.

Kerry says that it's important to be kind to yourself and understand that this level of intensity cannot continue forever.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself to succeed straight away, play the long game and don't stress yourself out if things aren't happening as quickly as you'd like.

What Makes a Successful Graduate

Kerry had these things to say about what makes a successful graduate

  1. Be Kind To Yourself
  2. Be curious
  3. Be open to feedback
  4. Be willing to collaborate
  5. Get the breadth, but don't forget the depth

🤝 Connect with Kerry


kerry.callenbach AT mantelgroup.com.au

📝 Content Timestamps

00:00 Kerry Callenbach

00:19 Intro

01:26 Kerry having 20,000+ applications at Deloitte

03:33 What does the application process typically look like?

06:48 How many people actually get to the final interview stage from the initial application process?

10:26 What steps can people take to improve their application?

14:47 Tailor Your Application

16:51 What Mistakes do Graduates make when applying for roles?

22:56 Traits of Successful Graduates

30:42 What would Kerry change about Graduate Programs?

34:38 Kerry's Advice for Graduates

38:24 Contact Kerry

39:24 Outro