Networking for Graduates – Q&A with ConsultANZ’s Talent Scout Ya Chi (Claire) Yang

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We are chatting with our Talent Scout Ya Chi (Claire) Yang about the importance of networking and her role as the Corporate Relationship and Sponsorship Manager with the University of Queensland Business School Postgraduate Association (UQBSPA). 

Q: What is the UQBSPA? 

The University of Queensland Business School Postgraduate Association (UQBSPA) is a student-run society that focuses on building an industry networking platform that organises​ career-related networking events for members.

Q: What is the purpose of UQBSPA?

The mission for UQBSPA is…

  1. Connecting like-minded talents and industry professionals
  2. Improving employability 
  3. Building a career mindset

Q: Who is the UQBSPA specifically for?

UQBSPA is all about YOU – Anyone interested in social and professional networking should join our society. UQBSPA will connect you to a large new circle of BSPA friends and industry professionals to improve your university experience beyond the ordinary.

Q: How did you get involved, and what is your role?

I got involved because of the president of UQBSPA, who encouraged me to join UQBSPA to network with like-minded students and build connections with industry professionals. I started as an ambassador with UQBSPA, mainly to promote our events and encourage students to join our society. Later on, I ran for the Corporate Relationship and Sponsorship Manager (CRS manager) and have been in this role for one year. My responsibility includes approaching potential sponsorships, inviting company representatives to attend our events, maintaining relationships with existing sponsors and continuing promoting for UQBSPA events and missions.

Q: How often do the networking events take place? Who can participate? Are they free/paid?

We host several different networking events every semester. Usually, it’s a combination of social events, workshops, career employability events, and industry networking events. For example, the industry networking event(INN) is one of the highlight events in UQBSPA, where we invited big corporates to network with our student members. Other than that, we had previously held events such as the Internship mixer, alumni speaker event, how to pitch yourselves workshop, etc. 

Companies from start-ups to large corporations are welcome to participate in our events. Most events are free for non-sponsor companies to attend; however, we have additional benefits for our sponsors, such as four free tickets per event, promotion on our digital outlet, access to our student members, etc. We are also open to discussing companies’ needs or ideas for co-hosting future events.

Q: How do these networking events improve employability?

These networking events lead to an exchange of ideas between student members and industry professionals. It is also beneficial for our members to build self-confidence and improve their communication skills. As postgraduate students, we want to secure a job after graduation. Still, most importantly, we believe the more we network with people, the more we will grow as individuals and succeed in making lasting connections.

Q: Do you think networking is important for students? Why?

Networking is significant for students as several surveys have shown that 85% of jobs are filled through networking. In fact, according to CNBC, 70% of jobs are never published publicly. Besides the end goal of getting a job, networking has many benefits that include true relationship building, finding like-minded professionals, and gaining insights into your career paths.

Q: What sort of organisations can benefit from attending this event? How can they get involved?

Any organisations that hire for all business fields will benefit from attending our events. Our students study different areas such as accounting, human resources management, information systems, finance, marketing, supply chain, international business, and others. You can get involved by emailing us at contact@uqbspa.org or our Facebook or Instagram

Q: Do you have any success stories you could share that resulted from running the networking night?

There are many success stories of running the networking night. One of the success stories being our student members secured jobs in the networking events. Networking experience is never one-sided but beneficial for companies and students as we all seek something in the networking event, whether for a job or to fill a role. In the end, networking events help to bring people together and build connections in a meaningful way.

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