By Rebecca Im

According to a recent news article published by The Sydney Morning Herald, up to 65,000 university students (roughly 30% of grads) will be jobless after finishing their studies. The continuous increase in unemployment rates is mainly due to the increasingly competitive job market today. With these intimidating and large statistical figures and data, there is no doubt as to the endless concerns and stress that university students face as they try to make the next major transition in their lives.

Just as we are exposed to a wide range of brands through advertisements, it is a student’s duty to construct their own personal brand and promote it to their employers.  This is easier said that done, as building a personal brand takes time and effort. Essentially, you have to market and ‘sell’ yourself, and success comes from your ‘self-packaging’.

So how would you ‘self-package yourself’ and create a personal brand that helps you stand out in the crowd? Here are 6 steps to establishing a personal brand. 

  • What makes you different from others?
  • What are your passions and strengths?
  • If you left your position as a student today, what would your friends and teachers miss?
  • Know who you are AND who you aren’t
  • Identify these strengths and talents and perfect them

  • Have a clear picture of your personal and professional goals
  • Set your priorities and persevere to achieve and maintain these
  • Use your values and priorities when making decisions
  • Amongst others, be loyal to yourself, first
  • Consider: where would you like to be in 6 months? 5 years?

  • Your personal brand will be strengthened by your connection to other strong brands/people – this is where the importance of networking with others comes in.

  •  Know to whom you want to send your message
  • This will help you deliver your message to the right places

  •  Remember that everything you do ultimately contributes to your personal brand
  • Make sure the way you dress, your body language and how you behave with others are consistent with your brand image


  • Update people about what you are doing
  • Word of Mouth is a powerful marketing tool and what the people in your network say about you will ultimately have an effect on your brand

And if all else fails, remember:


By Catherine Verge

Image: http://dcinno.streetwise.co/2012/04/10/10-things-you-need-to-know-before-interning-at-a-startup/

For aspiring marketers in today’s job market, internships are no longer optional. Many graduate positions can require up to a years experience. But how do you go about actually getting an internship in the first place? SMS sat down with some ambitious student interns to figure out the answer.

Before you start searching for opportunities research what kind of company and role you would like to undertake. Take advantage of the resources available at Usyd like the Sydney Marketing Society, and the business school careers services.

Connecting with professionals in industry can be a great way to get work experience, or get advice. Creating a Linked in profile and attending networking events like the SMS careers fair are great ways to demonstrate that you’re open to opportunities.

Network with friends, family, co-workers, faculty and alumni (both high school and university). Ask around. You’d be surprised who’d know someone. See: How to make networking less awkward. 

SMS President Amy, was accepted into the Coca Cola Amatil grad program, and interned with Group M. She recommends subscribing to job alerts from websites such as Pedestrian TV and GradConnection.

For applicants with little or no industry experience she says to promote your academic, social or sporting activities. These can translate into relevant business skills like leadership, communication, and the ability to work strategically towards a goal. “Apply for everything.” She says. “There are lots of jobs out there that aren’t highly advertised, and are less competitive. Keep your ears open to possibilities - don’t be afraid of being pleasantly surprised”.

Be flexible and open to all opportunities. Although it would be amazing to be working at an established, multi-national company, sometimes it is the smaller organizations that provide opportunities for genuine mentorship and hands-on coaching.

KPMG intern Marco says that although the big four firms all have similar application processes, you should still write an original one for every company. “Get in early. Apply the day applications open because there’s a chance you could get accepted early.”

Be vocal about your strengths. “Show your skills and achievements but don’t be arrogant” warns Marco. Understand the work the company does, and detail how your skills could contribute. Contextualizing yourself within the company makes you seem like natural fit to the organisation, which is exactly what employers look for.

Marie Claire marketing intern Vanessa says your cover letter should be personable but professional. An impressive resume can sometimes come down to layout - have a clean design that’s professional but not boring; and be succinct - try to keep it under a page. “Ultimately, getting an internship comes down to perseverance. So don’t forget to follow up”.

After a week, either call or email the company to see if they have considered your application.

It may be that they have gone with another applicant, but sometimes they could be caught up in deciding between candidates, and reaching out makes you seem keen, committed, and driven - all things employers want in an intern!

While following up makes a great impression, don’t forget to be respectful of that person’s time, especially if you are cold calling.

So youve been invited for an interview? Its one thing to sound good on paper, but how do you convince someone to give you the position, especially in competition with other candidates?

Don’t turn up empty handed! Re-visit the organisation’s website and make note of their values and  examples of their work that interests you. These can be great talking points in an interview.

“Be authentic and let your personality shine” says Vanessa. “They already have your resume” which should be a detailed list of your skills and competencies, “so show them your personality. Remember that they are people too! Have a conversation”.

SMS president Amy recommends the S.T.A.R. framework for responding to tricky questions: “Explain the Situation, what Tasks were involved, your specific Actions, and the Results of those actions. And don’t forget to say thank you at the end of the interview. They’re giving up their time.”

Have questions prepared beforehand to ask at the end. This will make you look switched on, and ready for the job.

Congrats! You got the internship. But remember that whilst you may be exposed to projects, learn skills, you will no doubt be required to make copies and get the occasional coffee. Internships should be mutually beneficial - it’s all part of the experience. Remember that these people are giving up some of their time to train you and teach you valuable skills you might not get elsewhere.

Don’t turn up on day one expecting to be working side-by-side with the CEO. Contribute what you can, and work hard, and in no time, your contributions will be recognised. Proving you fit into the company culture comes with maintaining a good attitude through even the mundane tasks. Every task is an opportunity to shine.

Top 5 Apps for Marketing Students

By Angel Huang

A collaborative and file-sharing tool that allows you to upload files and share them easily. It makes transferring files between people and devices super simple. Best part is – free sign up. 

2. Evernote

Another free app for all the day-dreamers and travellers out there. Evernote takes in all your notes, photos, to-do lists, recorded voices and ideas in one place and help you to sync the across multiple devices. You can create your life story there!

Flipboard is what you need to keep up with the rapidly changing marketing industry. It keeps you up to date on current news, the latest technology, marketing tips and popular stories. Even better, it allows YOU to pick the genre and categories of information you want for a customised experience.

An all-time favourite for all marketing students to familiarise themselves with- HootSuite is a powerful social media management tool that organises all your social networks. It allows you to analyse social media traffic, track brand mentions and schedule your social media messages across Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook.

This is a gem for teamwork, and we all know how much of a pain that can be. Trello allows you to assign ‘boards’ to different members and create tasks lists under that. It is available on both laptop and mobile, making it super user friendly.