Career Talk - Episode 7 transcript: Rosemary Zhou from Jardine Mattheson

Transcript of podcast episode with employer guest speaker, Rosemary Zhou from Jardine Mattheson

Podcast length: 45:02

Cate: Welcome to the latest edition of Career Talk, the University of Birmingham careers podcast. We are so delighted today, because we are joined by Rosemary Zhou, who is the Group Campus Relations Manager at Jardine Mattheson. Welcome, Rosemary.  

Rosemary: Thank you, Cate. Hello everybody, very happy to be here.  

Cate: We’re so excited to have you. Before we get stuck in today, we'll be talking about assessment centres and group exercises during the recruitment process, but I just wondered if you could give us a brief introduction to yourself? A little bit about Jardine Mattheson, what your role is and how you got to where you are today?  

Rosemary: Sure, no problem. So, I am currently the Campus Relations Manager for Jardine Mattheson Group. So, I basically look after anything that's related to universities, that said, so about campaigns recruitments, activities, engagements all those sorts. So, the common saying within our team is that anything that has a school in it, “better call Rosemary”. So that’s what I do basically.  

I’ve been with this company for 11 years at this moment. I joined as a Management Trainee and I did my fair share of rotations across different teams, functions and also worked on multiple different projects and operations, schemes etc. Then I joined the group HR team around I think at this point, around 3.5 years ago, and basically started at the very beginning of the construction of our international campus relations structure and employer branding team. After some development, this is where we are.  

About the company, Jardine Mattheson, I'm sure to a lot of you this is a very unfamiliar name, to say the least. We are commonly known as the “biggest company that you have never heard of”. The company originally was founded in Guangzhou, China by two Scottish gentlemen. They started nearly 200 years ago as a trading firm, and later evolved into one of the biggest international conglomerates in the world. Now, after nearly two centuries, it is still on the list of Fortune 500, that to itself is a pretty amazing record.  

Cate: That's huge, and I think your record with the company as well, what I'm taking from this is you are the Jardines expert. You have not only been in lots of different departments, but you now are involved in all of the campus recruitment and everything with universities. We're really grateful that you're able to talk to us today, and I feel really fortunate that anything that we need to ask about Jardine Mattheson, you are the perfect person to answer, so thank you for that. 

So, can you tell us a little bit about the recruitment process, what the stages are with Jardine Mattheson, from application to onboarding, what stages would a student have to go to, or a recent graduate? 

Rosemary: Sure. So obviously for our company our size, not only at the group level of our team or the team that we're working with at the moment are recruiting. Naturally all our subsidiaries, all the other business units, as we call it, have their own very much comprehensive independent recruitment team as well. So, I would only be speaking, more overarchingly, about our Jardine executive training scheme. But as a reference that is very much similar to most of the management training programmes in the market as well, in terms of recruitment process. 

So usually we would start pretty much every year around the time of August, and then we would kick off and open for application, usually open to people with limited years of working experience, as graduate schemes are early career jobs. Not that we don't welcome people with experience, but did they are more qualified for other jobs in this instance. So, when we start applications these students will be entering into the polls by submitting their applications online and then they are invited to complete two stages of online tests and then all the people that passed both of the online tests will be invited to join assessment centre.  

After the assessment centre we would basically do an internal review of all the candidates and then issue out all the offers, usually by December. So from the very earliest applications to the offer stage, it could take as far as four months. But obviously the people who apply earlier would wait a little bit longer, people who apply later will have a little bit less time to wait. That mostly is because we need to get everybody in for the assessment centre that is scheduled on a more relatively aligned timeline. Then we obviously would be handling all the working visa, accommodations, and all the other contacts and terms and paperwork for the accepted candidates and then get them on board for September, the year after. So there is it one yearly time from application to onboarding.  

Cate: The actual process itself, the whole process is quite a few steps and that could be as long as four months, but actually that's quite a short time period when you think about if a student applies in September, they could have the job offer by December. Obviously those applications will close prior to December, so it is a relatively short time period where students need to be on the ball and ready to start their applications and ready to go through that process and really commit a lot of time.  

We find that students that start with us in September are so focused on acclimating to life in the UK and acclimating to their studies and getting stuck into what they need to do academically, that a lot of students, unless they know in advance when the timelines are, will start thinking about career things in December and January once everything is settled down. With a lot of graduate schemes, you mentioned that the Jardine Mattheson graduate executive scheme is quite similar in timeline to a lot of them and that's what we find as well, a lot of graduate schemes have already closed by then.  

So what I'm really taking from this is that students, need to be on the ball right when they start their studies or even sometimes if they're on a postgraduate course, before they start their studies, to really get ready for that career application process. In terms of your assessment centres and your group exercises, how are those typically set up, is it is it a one-day process, or is it a few hours? Can you walk me through that a little bit?  

Rosemary: Sure. We have two types of it, in a way forced by Covid. We have the online version and the offline version at this point. So, the offline version is the more traditional way of handling assessment centres and usually we have set up different assessment centre locations around the world, so that we would be able to fly the students to the nearest location, because we are at the group level, we recruit globally. So, for example, we usually set up a location in London for all the students in UK.  

It would take a whole day, pretty much typically from 8:30 in the morning to 5 or 6pm in the afternoon, depends on the logistics of the day specifically. But it is very much a whole day thing. It starts from breakfast, we invite all the candidates in for breakfast and then go through the morning assessments and then lunch break, and then afternoon, and then they are allowed to go home and wait for the deliberation of the result. The result usually is released about a week later.  

For the online version, it could vary. Depends on the density of the assessment centre needs. We used to run some like a half day assessment centres. Most of the online assessment centres would be half day, to be honest, because to stay online for a whole day is quite challenging and we do observe that the output and outcome of qualities, in the end is not as ideal. So, we tried to basically shrink the time commitment for those arrangements. So, it's either a whole morning or a whole afternoon, but the components of the assessment centre are similar to the offline ones.  

Cate: I was going to touch on that, because obviously some companies pre-pandemic may have only offered in person ones in certain locations around the world, and I think for those companies, whilst the pandemic did force a lot of things online, and I know that comes with its own inconveniences and challenges, I'd imagine that any students who previously were unable to physically attend the assessment centre due to either winter exam commitments, or not being able to travel, that does offer an additional opportunity. Do you find that you are getting a lower dropout rate of students who aren't able to attend, because you are able to offer a virtual opportunity as well for students for the assessment centre?  

Rosemary: For us, I think, so far we don't really see a very large deviation in terms of dropout rates or attendance in that sort, because for the people who do get to be invited to our assessment centres are very much to the very, very little percentage left in the end. The selection processes that were put in ahead of the assessment centre are quite competitive, so we're very fortunate that our candidates at that stage very much cherish the opportunity. So they don't really tend to drop out, some of them would ask to schedule to a different date that we would be able to do that, so that hasn't really been a challenge for us.  

Cate: That's great, and also you mentioned that you put on different assessment centres globally as well, so that removes that barrier for students not being able to travel during assessment centres. I think what's really key to note for any students who are looking at going through a graduate recruitment process is a lot of companies will make the initial stages very rigorous and, like you say, very selective, so that students that do go to the assessments know that they are the top choices, thus far in the process. Companies don't want to waste students or graduates time, but they also don't want to waste their time as well, and the resources putting everyone through an assessment centre, which are very resource intensive, to then get rid of most of those students anyway. In terms of percentages of students that are invited to assessment centre that then go on to be offered, is it quite a high percentage, what are those numbers like typically?  

Rosemary: We don't really have a very large pool to recruit to fill in every year. The Jardine executive training scheme is a very selective program, that even though that recruit globally, we have maybe like two dozen candidates joining us, sometimes not even that every year. So at the same time, we're talking about a much larger number from application. It's a very different game compared to most recruitment activities in the market, so I don't really think we are a very typical percentage for assessment centre to offer.  

I don't want to give out the wrong idea but let's say that for most companies, from my understanding is that the percentage is relatively fixed because the assessment centres are extremely expensive and labour intensive and resource intensive to put together. All companies take it very seriously and to give a very successful experience for the assessment centre for the candidates and for all the employees who are involved from the company, usually particularly like in our case, we would bring in very senior executives from around the world across industries to observe the candidates. So, we need to be sure that the people that we bring into the assessment centres would not disappoint our senior executives, and also that the people we bring in as reviewers and assessors wouldn't disappoint our very high potential candidates. That itself is an affirmation of the quality and the capability of the candidates. Therefore, the number of people getting to the final offer stage from assessment centre, usually it's pretty much fixed.  

Cate: I think you touched on a really good point, in that this would vary from company to company. Every company has their number of invitations to assessment centre, the number of places available on the assessment centres. But also, every company will have a very fixed number of positions available on their graduate scheme, so I think that really is dependent on the company and on the opportunities available.

Some companies have graduate schemes which offer hundreds and hundreds of places every year, and other ones are much more fixed. So I think whilst the process is quite similar in terms of the stages and what one might expect from an assessment centre or what a student might need to do to prepare, the actual numbers will vary company to company. That's something that I think any of our students or graduates are able to research during that application process, and those are the questions that they can be asking recruiters who either come onto campus or who participate in webinars with us and things like that.  

How important do you think industry, and more specifically, company knowledge is during the assessment centre element of the recruitment process? Obviously we know that it's very helpful during the application stage but do you find that and obviously during interview as well, you want to show your knowledge in the company and also your industry knowledge, the activities that are set out in the assessment centres, will they be requiring more industry specific knowledge or are you looking for more soft skills and that type of thing during those assessments? 

Rosemary: Great question, great question. I think there are two different types to generally say in terms of the directions the company would take in terms of designing the assessment centre. Depends on the job really - if the job is, say, very much technical, it could be a graduate scheme or management or training scheme about one specific function, then obviously their interest in terms of industry knowledge or expertise is much, much higher. At the same time there are programs very much like ourselves, we're looking for general managers, and by definition of that, we're not really looking for industry experts or any particular experts in any sorts. You can be an expert of anything, just need to convince us of your capability and the learning ability, that's fine with us.  

Different companies would have different expectations but, funny thing is that, regardless of whether the job itself is technical or not, it is nonetheless extremely important for the candidate to do thorough research of the company. Not just about like the histories or current portfolios. It's very common to see students coming into interviews or assessments centre, not knowing what the company actually does other than just the name of the company. It's very common, people set out assessment centres not because they want to have an interview. The company's testing assessment centres because they want to know more than what an interview could provide for them. They want to know more about you, as a potential employee, and how you work with a team, what's your understanding of their culture, with a working strategy, direction, etc. Even understanding of vision or whether your expectation aligns with the company's. Those are things that they want to do this, otherwise no one would put in the money and the manpower to do those things right.  

So then, if that is expected they want the students to understand that. Then, if you are challenged with a task, if you need to do a presentation, if you need to write a report or a proposal on the spot, you need to understand what the company is doing, you need to understand where their vision is, their expectation is, rather than what this company does now. If they're looking for future, it would be much more helpful if you have done your research and understand where their future lies and what is their five-year, ten-year vision into the future. So understanding of the company and particularly ways of doing things and the culture and also their future plans, goes beyond the traditional understanding of what we usually say about research for this company and that, I cannot emphasise how important it is.  

Cate: I think you hit the nail on the head, from our perspective there when you said that assessment centres are to test your suitability for the role and your cultural fit and you want to know more about an applicant and a candidate than you would find out during a traditional interview. I think there are a lot of ways in which people can sometimes portray themselves in a certain light during an interview that you can't get away with in an assessment centre in the same way. I think assessment centres are there to test your fit and to see how you would work to see if you would align with the ethos of the company and to see if you really understand what the company is about. You may not have all of the very specific technical understanding, there are some elements that can only be obtained once you're working, but you have to have that at least broad understanding of the culture of the company, where the company is going and be able to showcase yourself within that picture as well. Like you say, there's a reason why you fly in high executives within Jardines and there's a reason why you put on so many of them globally as well, because you want to get the best of the best. 

I think that being said, it's still surprising that you get candidates who will go through the whole recruitment process up to then and falter at that stage. I think it is purely based on research, it's not that those candidates are incapable, I'm sure in a lot of ways, it’s just that they haven't done their research and they haven't put in their time. I think that leads me really nicely into obviously research is key and, like you say, you can't emphasise that enough. What other ways can students prepare for an assessment centre, is there anything that they can do to really ensure that they are promoting their best self on the day?  

Rosemary: Sure great question. I think that is one of the most asked questions that I have in any conversation, whenever the conversation is about assessment centre. It's very difficult honestly speaking, because the assessment centres are designed to be a pressure test. It is more than what a usual day in life would be for the actual job because it is the very extreme of extreme of situations, just to see how far you can go, how much you can bear and what you are really capable of. So, it is designed in such a way that we are expecting you to show the best and the worst of yourself. Then, with all that pressure, very much like a fresh graduate, this could very much be their very first job, and some of them the very first assessment centre. It is hard to bring the best light of themselves. The question will always be like, ‘how can I tell you how good I am really?’  

The reality is there is no standard answer to that. It really is about how you are most comfortable. The reality is that with all the pressure, very much similar to what you said, is that you can possibly pretend for an interview but it's going to be rather challenging to present for an entire day under pressure, of who you really are. So, there's a sweet spot that a candidate who is preparing for an assessment centre needs to find between your ultimate natural self and your ultimate presentable self. The part is that you need to be comfortable in your own skin, but that needs to be the professional side of it. My personal suggestion would be to have a full understanding of what the role you're applying to is looking for.  

So, I would like to take the example that I know the best of our program, is that our program is recruiting for future general managers who generally are interested in leading a business, in running a business from the position, such as managing directors and CEOs in the future. Then, obviously we're looking for people with that potential or can showcase such potentials or showcase such already acquired experience or abilities in the process of assessment centre. Then, it comes down to every candidate’s understanding of what a good manager is like. Some people think it's a very authoritative manner, some think it's very much collaborative, some are more outspoken, some are more good listener type. So it's all different, we don't want to have a very boxed answer in terms of like everybody needs to look the same. If that's what we're looking for, there's no point in doing what we're doing.

We're looking for people to show us their understanding of what a good manager is, given a situation. Then it's up to them to interpret their understanding and then combined with their action to showcase to us convince us that they're really good at this, they're probably doing things that we're not expecting. So it's not about knowing what the employer wants, we want to see who you are, what you can do. It's up to the candidate to demonstrate what their understanding of a good manager in this case is. 

Then the best of the best sometimes would be a one that balances out. It's not one managing style, it’s not one leadership style, it's not one communication style, it is adaptable, it is evolving, it is very much accommodative to the situation and the member that you're speaking to. And if those are the things that you can demonstrate in an assessment centre what can we possibly find that is at fault in your capability to become a good manager right. That role, I think, in a lot of times applies to all roles, is that if you're looking for a role be the best you can be that fits this role that's expected by this company, and then you are the person that they're looking for.  

Cate: I think that's really key and I think that's something that and sometimes we forget in this industry, whether it's as career professionals, or whether it's as students and graduates as well, so many times, we find that students will be looking to sell themselves in an interview situation or to a company and to be able to successfully get to role. But I think what we need to remember with any recruitment process, but specifically with the assessment centre portion of a recruitment processes, it is about authenticity, and it is about making sure that you're a good fit for the role. There's no point going through all of that, then you do manage to get the position, if you're not a good fit you won't stay very long, you'll have a terrible time, the company will have a terrible time with you, and it's just it doesn't benefit anyone. It is all about finding the right fit for the individual and the company and it is about making sure that your personality or authentic personality, not just how you can relay your experiences in an application or an interview setting, but how your personality fits with the culture. I think that's really key for students to remember and like you say, it's a really difficult question to answer in how I can prepare, because you're not looking for necessarily a set of information to be regurgitated back to you. You're looking for someone's personality and how they would handle the challenges of the job and that isn't necessarily something that's easy to write in a textbook of how to prepare for an assessment centre. 

You mentioned it a couple times and you say you're looking for authenticity and resilience and adaptability, those are things that we try and promote to our students all the time in that you need to show that you're able to adapt to different situations. I think in some respects the students who are graduating now are more adaptable than ever, because they have been through Covid as students, and they've had to adapt to different styles of learning and all the challenges that come. I think as a society a global society, everyone has had to adapt a lot over the last few years. It’s really showcased those that have that skill, and it comes naturally and it's brought out the best in those people in that they can just roll with changes, but it is something that if nothing else, the pandemic is teaching us that there is nothing set in stone, no one can predict everything that's going to happen and you do need to be able to adapt and change and weather the storm, whatever that may be.  

Rosemary: I really love the point that you made earlier about like the students will have to be comfortable with it. What we always tell our candidates is that this is not just about us choosing you to join us, it's about you choosing the employer that you want to join and work for. It's no point in getting a job that everybody else liked but yourself. You have to find a job that you actually enjoy doing, that is right for yourself. So assessment centres are not just a perfect like time and a scenario for the companies and executives to assess you, it is the golden time for you to see how they actually interact amongst themselves and how they treat and interact with the candidates as well, because that would be very much similar to your future working environment and culture.  

Cate: I think that's such a key point as well, especially with assessment centres where you do have a lot of executives in the room, and you do have a lot of higher up individuals within a company that are present during an assessment centre. That is an opportunity that you would not otherwise get during a recruitment process, to be able to not only meet some of these individuals but see how they behave in their careers and see how they behave with colleagues to see is that the culture that you want to be joining as well. It's a two-way street, and I think sometimes we forget that or sometimes students forget that as well, because there's so much pressure put on getting a job, but we need to make sure it's the right fit. 

With regard to preparing for assessment centres, I know that there are a lot of companies that offer virtual assessment centres or sometimes you get these online assessment centre simulations or things like that. Do you find that they are worthwhile in terms of helping students at least prepare for what the environment might be like or is it a case of every assessment centre is so different depending on the company that it's challenging to actually emulate that? 

Rosemary: I think it definitely helps. It is very similar to a mock exam, in a way that you're not going to get the exact same questions, but it gets you into the scenario. It's a chance to reflect on what you would like to do or what you would like to do differently when you are really at a real interview or assessment centre. So, I think it's extremely helpful. Also one point to that is that it's not only that simulated assessment centres can be a way to get yourself prepared for future assessment centres. I personally think any public speaking opportunities, any group discussions, any presentation would be a way to get yourself prepared for that. Anything that you think you did well or anything that you think you didn't do well, and you would like to do differently are points that's worth taking note of and for you to do repeat or do not and avoid in an actual assessment centre. Don't miss out any of the daily opportunities, because that's what we think really help to shape who you are in terms of all the specific, little scenarios, how you'll handle it, rather than bam assessment centre, and this is my personal package for assessment centres specifically. That's not really the case, we're always ourselves and all those presentations, group discussion projects, help us to shape how we would handle the challenges and tasks we are given in any scenario, including assessment centres.  

Cate: I think that's a really good point and I think some students are more confident in group activities, some students are more confident in public speaking, and I think it was something that you and I briefly talked about before we started recording the podcast, but I present regularly for my job, and I still get a little bit nervous doing it. I think that's normal, but I think it's also something that the more you do something, the more comfortable you get with it. So, I guess some of our advice to students or graduates would be to take every opportunity available to do these things and to build confidence. And you know, group activities, we offer a lot of consultancy challenges and group projects within Careers Network, but also within the curriculum for students to make the most of those opportunities, to learn how to effectively work in a group, to showcase themselves in the best light. No one wants to be the one that is doing all of the talking and not letting others speak, but you also don't want to be the one that's just sitting back quietly and not engaging at all. So use those group opportunities to find that balance and really hone-in on your speaking skills and your engagement skills, but also your listening skills and your collaborative working skills as well. I think those are really key for assessment centres.  

Just going back to those virtual assessment centres, like you say they're like mock exams, so at the very least, it gives students, an opportunity to at least get that first one out of the way, in terms of get rid of some of those nerves, get to understand maybe a little bit of the format of what you can expect in assessments and so that, when you are going for a job that you're really excited about your first assessment centre experience won't be the one that is most important to you. 

Rosemary: It's like the first scratch on the car, you just need to get over it.  

Cate: Yeah, that's such a good analogy! And then you’re fine. 

Are there any traits that you find particularly off putting in assessment centres, or anything that would be really off putting if a student showcases at an assessment centre that you think oh actually that's a bit of a red flag? Is there anything like that that you could share with us? 

Rosemary: Sure yeah, I was just going to use red flag for the word to replace. But yes, indeed there are definitely some alarming traits that sometimes when we observe it would be like this, like a siren sound in our head that's going on already. Typically, one that is very much dominant of the conversation that a lot of students, particularly younger students who have no working experience, would think that's a way to show confidence or impacts, but in reality, we put people together in a group context because we want to see how they work together in a group context. An extremely dominant member in a group may not always be the best thing let's say. Be very much careful with that I'm not saying that you can't be the only one speaking, it could be a situation where the rest of the team really aren't just not up to the speed of what is required to deliver and you're really carrying all of them through the water for this. Then you are the hero of the day. But how often does that happen, I don't think that's the frequent case scenario. Most of the time is that everybody there are equally capable, but maybe at different fronts and the opportunity needs to be shared across the team for everybody to be able to voice out their opinions and try not to be overly dominating of the situation would be our advice. That's the first thing.  

Second, is about relationship building. It is a difficult thing to be very much close with someone that you're meeting for the first day and putting assessment centres online are just making it more difficult, particularly when we are sometimes asking the candidates to get into a planned heated discussion or debate or something. And just the thought of having to debate with someone you've never met in person is just such a rude idea to begin with. A lot of people shying away from it just by the thought of it. The reality is that you need to handle that very artfully. A debate doesn't necessarily need to always evolve into an argument, yet a meaningful discussion can be carefully conducted and produce worthwhile and impactful outcome in the end. So that in itself is a skill. So being able to get to know each other in a very short time, being able to work together collaboratively on a matter of, be it virtually or in person, on a very like a temporary setting is a skill in itself, In real life working, it is a very important thing as well, actually so that's the second thing. Not being able to do that would be quite difficult and it would definitely have a negative impact on your delivery of the assessments.  

A third one, and the last one I would like to share today, is the ability to find the core values or the key information to demonstrate or deliver. One of the common pitfalls I observe for students, when they are getting into say a group discussion in an assessment centre, there is always that one that is very confidently saying that “okay I'm going to be the timekeeper”. I don't really know where this came from, but I think it's from one of the order tips of assessment centres in terms of you need to assign roles and you have to be visible, so you're like be the timekeeper, so that you appear to be organised and you are leading the conversation. Regretfully I have to tell everybody that is so outdated. There are much better ways to showcase your confidence and ability to organise the team. So please don't do that, and if you feel like there has to be a timekeeper, that's fine but don't count on that sentence to give you extra points for the conversation. It's about the entirety progress and are the details in the teamwork, and the compelling ideas that you put forward and the ways to get everybody involved and engaged. Those things are what really counts.  

Cate: I think that's such a funny example because, whilst time management in any job is key, it certainly isn't the only thing that you look for in a graduate. If you have an opportunity to showcase your skills and feel as though in a group project roles need to be assigned, there are far more valuable ways that you could be showcasing yourself and far more valuable skills that you could be showing and putting to use, rather than just looking at a clock and not really contributing anything meaningful. I didn't realise that was a thing.  

Rosemary: I didn't get it as well, but I’ve been to many mock assessment centres in the past few years and there's always one person that says “I'm going to be the timekeeper” and my observation is that they then have less to say in the actual discussion because they are keeping the time in a way. In a way, I think it's hurting their chance of actually putting themselves forward and putting their ideas forward more importantly.  

Cate: To me, that that would suggest someone who doesn't want to actually engage, or doesn't want any strong responsibility but wants to be seen to be doing something.  

Rosemary: That's exactly the idea that you don't want to send over on the assessment centre. 

Cate: Okay well any students that are listening to this, choose a different role. Don't be the timekeeper in an assessment centre.  

Rosemary: Don’t just be the timekeeper.  

Cate: Yeah, don't just be the keeper. It's handy to keep everyone, make sure everyone is staying on track, but obviously don't just be the timekeeper. Well Rosemary, thank you so much or for speaking with me today. It's been really insightful to learn a bit more about how assessment centres are set up and what students can do to prepare themselves, but also what they can expect in those environments. 

Just one final question is, are there any last and final tips that you would have for current University of Birmingham students to either make the most of their time in the UK at the University of Birmingham, or with regard to how best to promote themselves during the recruitment process? If there's any parting tips that you have. 

Rosemary: Sure. I think it's up to the students to decide what they want to be really. It's such a cliche thing to say, I know, but it is so important. We are really hoping the students wouldn't come to us and say we want to join your company because your company is great. We want them to say that we want to join a company because I would like to do this and I find you a great platform, or I find you that offers the best opportunity for this, and I think I see the future in developing in this company. That's the initiative that we want to see, because it is so not this century’s conversation that companies are just a place for a job. It is so not the case anymore, we want to grow with our employees, we want to provide opportunities for them to develop and grow with us. So it is ultimately down to each student. What they want to do, they need to decide for themselves what they want to be, and if they have a direction or goal, please just try the very best and work towards that direction and then don't bother about which company you're going to be with because, once you find yourself a comfortable place that you want to be in five years' time, and you work towards that direction, there are countless companies in the world and a lot of them would be more than happy to have you on board with them. Then, at that point it's about a true dual selection process of you and the company finding the perfect fit in terms of the next phase of development for both the corporate and yourself.  

Cate: I couldn't have said it any better myself. There are countless companies in the world and it is no longer the goal to work for a prestigiously named company. The goal now is working in an environment that you fit well in and that recognises your skills and abilities and that encourages that mutual growth and that you will be happy in. We spend so much of our lives at work that it's not good enough to just have the name on your business card of a company that other people have heard of. It's important to actually do something that's meaningful to you and do something that you're interested in, and that is fulfilling. So I think like you say it's really important for students to do their research, have a little bit of internal soul searching in terms of what do they want to do, and then find companies that align with their core values and with their goals and to help them. Those students are the ones who are going to be most successful because they can articulate why they want to work for a certain company. 

Rosemary: One more point to that is that, I just want to share that, I'm not just saying this for the purpose of promotion, but really is that motivation is a crucial element in our assessments. The reason is because we truly believe that people who are motivated to work for us, are the people who ultimately would do the best in terms of their final performances and job with the team and for themselves as well. One step back is to find your motivation, what motivates you and then find the company that motivates you the most. So that's why it's as a company, we highly agree and recognise that as well.  

Cate: That's such a good point. Well Rosemary, thank you so much for talking to me, I’ve really enjoyed our conversation and I feel like I’ve learned a lot about the assessment centre process and it's something that I think all of our students will find really valuable too. I really appreciate your time and it's been lovely speaking to you.  

Rosemary: Thank you so much, and very, very happy to be here. It's such a fun conversation to have as well. Thank you so much.  

Cate: Thank you.  


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