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Have a Virtual Coffee With a Colleague

Having a Virtual Coffee With A Colleague

Week 3: Exceed Your Host Company's Expectations

The importance of Coffee Meetings

Going for a coffee or a drink with a colleague is a great way to build your professional network in Australia. Getting to know your teammates on a personal level, outside of the workplace, is how we build strong business relationships.

All relationships, business or otherwise, grow stronger when a personal connection is developed and nurtured. Personal connections at work build trust and enable greater productivity within the organisation.

Another thing to remember is that many people in Australia have been introduced to new clients, suppliers and even offered new jobs over coffee meetings!

A Valuable Learning Experience

Coffee meetings are a great way to start a conversation with your colleague or supervisor about their career, their professional background and how they got to where they are today. You might also learn some of the tips and trick they learned along the way, which might also help you in your own career.

The person you’re having coffee with may also ask you about yourself and your hopes and dreams for your career. Keep your answers work-appropriate and be prepared to ask follow-up questions for advise about the things you can do to get ahead.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a referral! By this, we mean asking your supervisor if there is anyone they could introduce you to who might be worth catching up with to explore different aspects of your industry, look to as a mentor or maybe even employment opportunities that someone in their network might have.

Virtual Coffee Meetings

Sometimes, in-person coffee meetings aren’t always possible – especially in the current COVID-19 lockdown situation! Don’t let that deter you. Send one of your colleagues an email or instant message over your workplace Slack to invite them to have coffee with you virtually.

You can both grab a drink and connect via a video conference meeting to have a conversation. Not only will you likely get some great advice, but it breaks up your routine and can give you a nice break if you are interning remotely. It will also make you feel like you are part of the team and help you to not feel lonely!

Remember, you don’t have to drink coffee to ask for or accept a coffee invitation. Your colleague won’t care if you don’t drink coffee (plus, they probably won’t even be able to see what you’re drinking! Coffee meetings are just a great way to get to know more about your host company, your colleagues and your network connections, so don’t be afraid to extend an invitation or two during your internship.

If you have any questions...

The Outcome.Life team are always here to answer any questions or help with any problems you might encounter during your internship.

You can contact us between 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday at:

Phone: 03 8899 7424

Email: hello@outcome.life

Or get in touch with us directly via the form below!

How to Handle Issues During Your Internship

How to Handle Issues During Your Internship

Week 3: Exceed Your Host Company's Expectations

Sometimes, issues occur...

Sometimes issues in the workplace arise and we’re not always sure who to speak to or what to do. This may be an issue with a colleague, your supervisor or maybe even another intern!

Don’t just expect it to resolve by itself or ignore it. This is the worst thing you can do, because communication within the workplace is paramount to developing and keeping lasting professional relationships. Often, when you’re at the beginning of your career, you may not be equipped with the skills needed to handle conflict in a professional manner and that’s okay! It’s all part of the learning experience.

Our number one tip: If anything makes you sad, angry, or uncomfortable, don’t lash out within the workplace and NEVER post about the business or any problems you are having on social media. This will definitely come back to haunt you during your career.

Instead, write down how you’re feeling, what happened to make you feel that way and how you responded to the situation at the time. If you feel comfortable enough, speak to your supervisor about the situation using “I” language (e.g. I felt uncomfortable when this happened…) and make sure you get in contact with us at Outcome.Life immediately.

Reach out to us

It’s completely normal to feel slightly overwhelmed or uncomfortable in the first few weeks of your internship. Our expectation is that your host company is doing everything they can to onboard you as part of their team, but sometimes cultural differences or personal expectations may not match with an intern and their host company. The sooner you communicate your requirements with either your host company or with Outcome.Life, the better!

In any case of discomfort or for any issues throughout your internship, you should reach out to our team at Outcome.Life. We’re here to ensure that you have the most positive experience possible at your internship and, if there is a way we can hekp to communicate any issues or clear up any problems, our experienced team of Placement Consultants will help you reach that positive outcome.

Our team will contact you on a minimum of three occasions throughout your internship. You’ll receive a call from our team in your first week, around the halfway point and in the final week. We ask you to be as honest as possible during these calls because, if you are having any issues, we can work with you and your host company to fix them.

A female international student and a male international student talking while sitting at a desk
A male international intern speaking with his Australian female mentor

The sooner, the better!

Please do not wait until your final week to tell us about problems as we may not be able to solve it at that point and we want you to have the best experience you can! Remember, you won’t get in trouble for telling us about anything you think is not quite right or unpleasant during your internship. Our team are very experienced in dealing with uncomfortable situations and we always look to put our student’s interests first when we are assessing the situation.

Lastly, please make sure you save the Outcome.Life contact details, and the details of your assigned Placement Coordinator somewhere you will be able to easily access them during your internship. This might be in your phone, your diary or on your computer. That way, if you do need to talk to us, you have the information available straight away.

If you have any questions...

The Outcome.Life team are always here to answer any questions or help with any problems you might encounter during your internship.

You can contact us between 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday at:

Phone: 03 8899 7424

Email: hello@outcome.life

Or get in touch with us via the form below!

Updating Your LinkedIn

Updating Your LinkedIn

Week 3: Exceeding Your Host Company's Expectations

The First Thing You Should Do

Remember, everything you do in your internship should be documented in your resume and, more importantly, your LinkedIn.

There are over 9 million* professionals in Australia utilising the networking capabilities of LinkedIn. It is the number one trusted source for employment referrals, validation of the work you have done and the network you’ve cultivated.

Anyone can update their resume with the fabricated content, but it’s very hard to lie on LinkedIn. This is why it has become such a trusted source, so make sure you’re using LinkedIn like a pro!

Use LinkedIn Like A Pro!

Make your profile stand out: Set a professional profile picture. This is a strong deciding factor as to whether recruiters and potential employers stay and look at your profile or leave immediately (or even whether they visit it at all). Ensure that your picture is of your head and shoulders, dress professionally, do your hair and makeup if you wear any and smile. The picture should be clear and on a professional background that is not distracting. Leave party photos or full-body shots for Facebook or Tinder!

Connect and interact with people: Now is an appropriate time to request connections with some of your team and workmates. Make sure you have had a conversation with them while at your internship before you send them a connection request. You should also write a quick note to remind them who you are and politely requesting to connect with them.

Include your internship experience: You should absolutely add your internship as part of your professional experience, however you should not describe it as an internship, or yourself as an intern. If you are doing an IT internship in front-end development, your experience should read: “Front-end developer at Company Name”.

Post engaging content: The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more people will see and interact with your posts and notice your profile. You should be re-posting or creating your own content based around your career interests and learning. If your content is engaging, you’re more likely to gain interest from industry professionals and increase your own influence within the industry.

Follow influential accounts: If there are companies you’re striving to work for, or thought leaders in your industry that you respect, follow them! Interact with them by liking and commenting on their posts. This will encourage like-minded people to interact with you and help you build a network.

By using these tips and tricks, your LinkedIn will begin to gain interest from all sorts of people… and you might even attract a job offer!

 

*Source: Osman M, 2020. Mind-Blowing LinkedIn Statistics and Facts, Kinsta, https://kinsta.com/blog/linkedin-statistics/.

If you have any questions...

The Outcome.Life team are always here to answer any questions or help with any problems you might encounter during your internship.

You can contact us between 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday at:

Phone: 03 8899 7424

Email: hello@outcome.life

Or use the form below to send us a message!

Making Your Impact as an Intern

Making Your Impact

Week 3: Exceed Your Host Company's Expectations

Be memorable, be remarkable

Being a memorable and remarkable intern requires some work on your part. People who are serious about their careers go above and beyond when it comes to showing their worth in the workplace.

Some simple ways that you can be memorable and remarkable during your internship include:

  • Always be ready to start your day at your allocated start time (e.g. if you start at 9am, arrive at 8.50am and get prepared for the day)
  • Staying 5-10 mintues later than you “have to” shows dedication
  • Getting through your tasks without delay and requesting additional work shows engagement and enthusiasm
  • Offering to help a fellow teammate on their project or tasks
  • Requesting feedback from your supervisor

These tasks might seem easy, but they do make a big difference to your supervisor’s opinion of your performance.

You might still be thinking, “Okay, but what does going above and beyond really mean?”

It’s ultimately about doing things that may not be asked of your, but that you can see as a problem to be solved or a task to be completed.

"Be memorable, be remarkable."
Domenic Saporito
Co-Founder, Outcome.Life

A perfect example...

After joining the internship program with Outcome.Life, Argho was placed with a FinTech company that have designed a payroll service add-on for businesses that allow employees to access their earned wages before payday when they need. The product helps to provide staff with access to a financial wellness platform that improves employee well-being, reduces workplace stress and increases productivity.

As an intern, Argho was offered an internship in line with his studies in IT with a primary focus on Data Analysis. He received a Training Plan prior to starting his internship which included tasks, responsibilities and learning outcomes only related to data analytics.

In the second week of his internship, Argho overheard two of the company directors discussing a financial component called “Fringe Benefits Tax”. Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) is paid by an employer on certain benefits they provide to their employees, employee’s families or other associates. FBT applies even if the benefit is provided by a third party under an arrangement with the employer. Needless to say, this is something accountants usually deal with… and has nothing to do with IT or data analytics!

Argho made a very clear decision to go home and research this topic. He then proceeded to write a report on the impacts of FBT within the business and what options may be available for this particular FinTech business.

So what happened?

The next day, Argho sent an email with the report to his supervising director, explaining his research. Needless to say, the director was incredibly pleased.

From the director’s point of view, this intern, who had only been at the company for two weeks, was showing initiative a clear understanding of the business and a willingness to go above and beyond and even into a sector separate from his IT knowledge.

As you can imagine, this was very impressive and, by the third week of his internship, Argho had secured himself a full-time position with the company

Not every internship will allow you the chance to make a bold gesture like Argho but, in every workplace, you will find someone who is under-resourced or who may need a little extra support and would appreciate your help.

So give your internship the care and attention that it deserves and try to find ways that you can go the extra mile to show your supervisor and colleagues everything you can do!

If you have any questions...

The Outcome.Life team are always here to answer any questions or help with any problems you might encounter during your internship.

You can contact us between 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday at:

Phone: 03 8899 7424

Email: hello@outcome.life

How students can become more employable after COVID-19

How students can become more employable after COVID-19

Our Co-Founder, Domenic Saporito, explains the lockdown silver lining for international students

Coronavirus lockdown sucks... We get it!

But, at this time, it is necessary as it could literally save your life.

For international students in Australia, getting a job in your field of study was difficult before the crisis. Imagine how tough it will be after. There is no doubt that there will be an increased number of skilled and experienced applicants for every job after the layoffs that business owners have unfortunately had to make to keep their businesses going during this time.

So what can international students do during this enforced lockdown to make themselves more employable when Australia emerges from this crisis?

The answer… Self-learning!

The current lockdown is the perfect time to immerse yourself in the latest and greatest software tools in your industry. Graduate roles are all about running software, so knowing about (and being able to use!) the most contemporary software tools in your industry is a great way to differentiate yourself and make yourself more employable.

self learn graphic

Self-learning: how do You do it?

As ridiculous as it sounds, it is not the responsibility of your university or education provider to teach you the latest and greatest software tools in your industry. University curriculum changes every 5 years or so, but new software comes out nearly every day! It’s up to you, as an future industry professional, to keep up with the latest trends and technology. In doing so, you make yourself more employable than your peers whom rely solely on their course or professors.

Yes, your degree looks great on your resume. The reality is that no one gets a job with just their resume anymore. The resume is there to get you an interview and it’s your performance at the interview that will get you the job.

So if you are the applicant that can demonstrate knowledge of and skills in the most up-to-date technology that gets the job done better, cheaper or faster, and the other applicants can only show what they did in their university project, who do you think is likely to get the job? (Hint: it’s YOU!)

Let’s look at a great example of a profession with constantly changing technology: Front-end development.

For a front-end developer, finding new tools, languages and frameworks can be as simple as googling “latest front-end development tools”. This Google search will reveal a whole list of new, cutting-edge web tools that you have probably never heard of, but are being used by the most innovative and tech-forward developers in your industry all around the world.

For developers, Vue.js, Chrome Development Tools, Google Flutter, Node, Meteor and React (not React Native – it’s no good! But that’s just my opinion) are just some of the latest tools that are fast-replacing old-world languages such as PHP, .NET, Ruby, C, C++, Perl or even Python. Knowing that these new tools exist is great. Knowing how to use them is EVEN BETTER.

If I were a front-end developer, I would make sure I knew what tools were trending, why they were gaining traction and, better still, have a working example of what can be achieved with these new tools available at all times. In a world where 85% of jobs are found through your professional network, you never know just who you may meet post-COVID19 as Australia gets back to business.

It's not just for Technical Skills... Soft & Critical Skills matter too!

Ask any employer and they will say “Technical skills are easy to teach, it’s soft skills we are looking for”.

Soft skills are the greatest contributor to cultural fit. For example, how you integrate with the company’s values and mission statement, other staff members and, most importantly, their customers and clients.

The same goes for critical skills like time management, initiative, communication and teamwork with your colleagues and stakeholders, and generally “being a good person”.

Most companies know that they will need to teach you their processes, procedures and, as a graduate with less real-world experience, how to actually do your job and what it involves day-to-day. These kinds of things are really easy to teach. Cultural fit isn’t.

Luckily, soft and critical skills are also something that you can teach yourself or work on during lockdown. Really poor at managing your own time? Brush up on your time management skills by learning tips, tricks and strategies used by some of the most organised and successful people in the world and find what works for you, then put it into practice by planning your days out.

Likewise, almost all jobs these days require some level of customer support or service and, without training, many employees may not meet the level of customer service that their employers expect. Make yourself stand out by doing some customer service training by yourself to impress your next potential employer.

Where can you self-learn?

The good news is that there are plenty of free resources available for many different professions to learn the technical and soft skills they need. We’ve done the hard work for you and listed some of these fantastic resources below. Happy lockdown learning!

EdX
This website offers thousands of online courses, from computer science and engineering to art and history. Many of their courses are free to join (though you have to pay for certification).

LinkedIn Learning
While LinkedIn Learning is not strictly free, you can often get a subscription through your university or Alumni organisation, or take advantage of the free month trial while in lockdown! Their courses cover everything from graphic design, to customer service, to time management skills.

FutureLearn
Similar to EdX, FutureLearn provides heaps of short-course content for free from leading providers across the globe.

YouTube
While YouTube is great for entertainment, it’s actually also a great platform to access free learning content from all sorts of people all over the world.

Mobile Apps
There are many free and cheap apps available to learn things like coding languages and actual languages! All you need to do is search in your phone’s app store.

Domenic Saporito is the co-founder of Outcome.Life and GADA Technology. Dom has started, run and sold many businesses throughout his career, ranging in industry from property to tech, and even golf! As a business owner, product developer and chartered accountant with 15 years’ experience in the recruitment industry, Dom enjoys sharing his knowledge, insights and advice with international students looking to enter the job market in Australia.

If you have any questions...

The Outcome.Life team are always here to answer any questions about internships, employability or being an international in Australia!

You can contact us between 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday at:

Phone: 03 8899 7424

Email: hello@outcome.life

Software Testing Intern to Full-Time Employee

By Domenic Saporito

Are you one of many international students struggling to get a job in your field of study here in Australia?  

Well, instead of sending out 100’s of applications to ads on job boards for no reply, perhaps it is time to try something a little different. Let me explain…

Sid & Bindu were two Computer Science students in their final semester at Deakin University. Knowing that completing a degree is only a small part of building a successful career, come enrolment time, they chose to do a work placement as an elective.

Sid & Bindu joined a software development company as testers. But not just ordinary testers… Automated software testers! 

Sid & Bindu implemented the company’s very first ‘automated software testing framework’ and, in the process, made themselves valuable, sought-after graduates.

Their first responsibility was to research and recommend the latest and greatest in automated testing frameworks. They looked for frameworks that suited the software applications being built. For this, they chose Puppeteer. Not just because the applications were being built in JavaScript, but because of a unique feature that allows multiple User Sessions to be tested at once – something not many other frameworks can do.

Throughout their 12-week internship, Sid & Bindu successfully built and implemented a comprehensive library of tests that they then integrated into the company’s automated build process called Jenkins.

Sounds amazing? It was! But not as hard as it sounds.

Both Sid & Bindu now have full-time jobs as Automated Software Testers in separate companies, applying the skills they acquired during their internship.

The stark reality is that in a competitive graduate market, today’s employers want more than just a qualification. They want graduates with real-world experience! Whilst a university can provide a degree, an internship will get you a job.

So, if you are here over summer and think that an internship may make you more employable after graduation, give us a call.  It may be the catalyst that kick starts your career. 

Internships are available in a wide variety of disciplines including Engineering, IT, Accounting, Marketing & Social Media.

Domenic Saporito is the co-founder of Outcome.Life and GADA Technology. Dom has started, run and sold many businesses throughout his career, ranging in industry from property to tech, and even golf! As a business owner, product developer and chartered accountant with 15 years’ experience in the recruitment industry, Dom enjoys sharing his knowledge, insights and advice with international students looking to enter the job market in Australia.

How To Complete Your Internship Logbook

How to Complete your Internship Logbook

Week 1: Getting to know the business and where you fit in

Your internship logbook

While your internship is a great chance to experience Australian work culture and get a feel for real hands-on work in your chosen industry, it’s important to remember that it’s also a learning experience for you.

To meet your required learning outcomes for the internship, and for your own valuable personal reflection on the experience you’ve gained, you are required to complete logbook for every day that you attend your internship.

Your logbook should contain all the key information needed to verify your learning and should include a summary of your experiences, learning and tasks completed each day.

The team at Outcome.Life will provide you with access to our easy-to-use logbook app, InternMatch. Downloaded to your phone, the InternMatch logbook app is an accessible and simple way to enter your logbooks each day.

What to include in your logbook

Your logbook should include information for each day that you attend your internship, along with the date and the number of hours that you attended the internship. This information is essential for your logbook to be accepted for credits.

Your logbook should include details of what you did during the hours of your internship. These could include:

  • Meetings you attended and any contribution you made to the meeting
  • Completed tasks or projects
  • Discussions with teammates
  • Programs or sofware you used to complete your tasks
  • Research you conducted and where/what you researched
You will also be required to write about your learning outcomes for the day. These should match or be directly related to the learning outcomes in your Training Plan.

Remember, your supervisor will be asked to check your logbook and sign it off to make sure it’s accurate, so you should ensure that you have included everything you’ve done that day (and don’t make it up!)
logbook entry internmatch

If you have any questions...

The Outcome.Life team are always here to answer any questions or help with any problems you might encounter during your internship.

You can contact us between 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday at:

Phone: 03 8899 7424

Email: hello@outcome.life

Or fill in the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Asking Questions During Your Internship

Asking Questions During your Internship

Week 1: Getting to know the business and where you fit in

jack sarah nathalia 1 small

It's important to ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s very acceptable, and even encouraged, in Australian workplaces to ask questions throughout your internship. You can ask questions to clarify requirements or tasks assigned to you and about the expectations about your work that your supervisor has set.

Asking questions shows engagement and enthusiasm towards your internship and will often lead to key insights which will improve the overall impact you make to your host company.

For example, closed questions are questions that only require a yes/no answer. They don’t provide a lot of information, so you should be mindful of using them too much during your internship. Remember, you are there to learn! How do you learn if you don’t ask good questions to find out things that you don’t know?

You will probably find open questions more helpful because they provide more information about the topic, allow you to dig deeper into the purpose of the tasks and give you the opportunity to learn a lot more.

Types of Open Questions

Clarifying questions help you understand what has been said or instructed more clearly. They help people understand each other more easily and can be very useful when you’ve been given a task by your supervisor or colleague but aren’t sure that you completely understand what they require you to do.

Examples of clarifying questions could be:

“Could you tell me more about this project?” “What’s the purpose of this task?”

Adjoining questions are used to explore parts of a task or problem that might not be discussed during an initial conversation and can help you to understand the purpose and impact of the task or project in a wider context.

Examples of adjoining questions could be:

What impact will it make the the project/business?” “How could this project apply to other industries?”

Outcome.Life founder speaking to international students about employment and employability
Two international internship students talking and looking at their laptops

Funnelling questions are used to challenge assumptions, examine a problem further or understand cause and effect better. They help a person or team to improve their methods or strategies by asking why something was done a certain way, or if it could be done another way the next time.

Examples of funnelling questions could be:

“How did you complete the analysis of this data?”
“Why did you complete that step the way you did?”

Elevating questions provide a wider view of the problem or project. Sometimes, it is easy to get stuck in the small details of a project and forget the bigger picture – the actual purpose of the work that you or the business are doing. By asking elevating questions, you can re-focus your attention to the larger issues and spend your time on the parts of the task that will really make an impact.

Examples of elevating questions could be:

What is this project trying to achieve overall?”
“How do each of these tasks tie together to meet our larger goal?”

Source: Harvard Business Review 2015, Relearning the Art of Asking Questions, https://hbr.org/2015/03/relearning-the-art-of-asking-questions

If you have any questions...

The Outcome.Life team are always here to answer any questions or help with any problems you might encounter during your internship.

You can contact us between 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday at:

Phone: 03 8899 7424

Email: hello@outcome.life

Or fill in the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

If You’re Sick Or Late To Your Internship

If you're unwell during your internship

Week 1: Getting to know the business and where you fit in

When you are unwell or Late

Each organisation and/or supervisor may have different expectations about how you should communicate an absence from work or if you’re running late, so this is something that you should ask them how they would like this communicated during your orientation to the internship.

However, there are some generally accepted rules about how to communicate with your supervisor about your illness or running late:

  • It is not acceptable to call in sick or late after your start time

     

  • Most supervisors will expect to receive a phone call if you are unwell or running late – a text message or email is not acceptable unless you have explicit instruction from your supervisor to notify them this way

     

  • Email our team at hello@outcome.life to let us know if you are sick

     

  • Make a note of your lateness/sickness in your logbook, who you have contacted and how you told them (e.g. phone, email, etc)

     

  • If you are sick, make sure you get an official medical certificate from your doctor and send a copy to your supervisor and our team at Outcome.Life as soon as possible.

Plan your travel carefully

Whether you are attending your first day of work or your 900th, or even just an interview, being on time is expected and required in Australia.

There are very few good excuses for arriving late, especially for an interview or in the first few weeks of your internship. While we understand that the circumstances for your lateness will be out of your control sometimes, you should always plan your travel time carefully to ensure that you have plenty of time if something were to go wrong, or your transport was delayed.

If you know that the public transport to your area is often late or delayed, or if the traffic is usually bad, make sure to leave plenty of travel time just in case your travel takes longer than expected.

We suggest planning your time to arrive at least 10 minutes earlier than the agreed daily start time for your internship. Arriving a little early helps you prepare for the day, grab a tea or coffee and maybe have a chat with your new colleagues. Remember, getting to know your new work environment and your workmates can be extremely valuable for your future employment in Australia!

If you have any questions...

The Outcome.Life team are always here to answer any questions or help with any problems you might encounter during your internship.

You can contact us between 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday at:

Phone: 03 8899 7424

Email: hello@outcome.life

Or fill in the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.