5 Years, 5 Points and So Much More: My Professional Year Story

After migrating from India nearly a decade ago, my time in Australia started as an international student with big dreams and ideas of what success would look like in my life ‘down under’.

Full disclosure, I now work for Performance Education; but my journey was the same as every international student and I’m writing this piece today to provide insights from my own experience.

My main goal was to kick off my career in Australia, so I started studying a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Accounting. Throughout my degree I felt uncertain about what I’d do once I’d received my university qualifications – like many, I was studying to move forward but lacked direction about what was next and how I’d land a job.

University was fun, full of new friendships and life learning, and in turn, I was inherently laid back about life (perhaps reflective of the Australian way!). Upon graduating I started to realise that as an international student despite having learnt many technical skills in my studies, I lacked hands on skills, didn’t have a professional network or a solid grasp on the Australian workplace.

I soon came across Professional Year Programs (PYP) through a friend – at the start I was hesitant to apply as I didn’t see the bigger picture and wider benefits of completing a PY program.

Being frank, I only wanted to do the PYP for the ‘five points’ from a migration perspective (as I was already had a job within the industry) which I know now is a common thing. Little did I know there was a lot more in store for me beyond those points, and now looking back, I know it was a turning point in both my life and career:

What I learnt/didn’t expect:

  • Networking Opportunities
    I met literally 100s of professionals, many in the same boat as me in my PYP, and they became part of my immediate network. This group now works across a wide range of organizations and industries which was expanded my own network. Some are now close mates and we’ve been able to support each other’s professional journeys and career progression.
  • Guidance and Training
    My trainers became a source of immeasurable knowledge through their vast experiences in recruiting, hiring, leading, and training teams. They helped me revamp my resume, learn & practise interview skills, better understand the Australian workplace from a cultural perspective and acquire negotiation skills for my subsequent roles in the years to come. These skills have been invaluable and played an important role in having success in all of my jobs to date.
  • Personal and Professional Support
    No university had a set curriculum to help students succeed in the professional world – it was about technical skills, some practical yes, but there was a major gap. The PYP program served as personal development course to help me prepare mentally, gain experience, hone my soft skills – ultimately present as a professional – which paved the way for my future.
  • These key practical skills made a major difference in my career and helped me get to where I am today. To further showcase this, fast forward a few years, and I’ve found myself in a position where I had the ability to switch my career to move to a business/sales-based role within Performance Education.

I wasn’t looking for a job when the PE opportunity presented but a contact in my network reached out and pushed me to apply for the role – a week later I signed the contract. One of the big factors in achieving what I have to date is because of my network and learnings from my PYP.

In closing, I understand it’s daunting not knowing what the future holds and that the journey of international students is challenging. I encourage those who might be in this situation to keep pushing as there are people, programs and options, like PYP, to support you along the way.

Remember network hard, keep on learning, strive to grow and grab opportunities that come your way, it’s absolutely worked for me. I promise you the right doors and channels will open soon enough.

– Kartik Goradia

To learn more about Performance Education’s Professional Year Program, click here!

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