Student Stories: John Liang

Prime Minister's Scholarship recipient John Liang shares his experience as an intern and passion for sustainability.

John Liang (right) in Bancolombia, Medellin next to CDES Manager, Catherine Stephens

"After university, I joined EY as a Graduate Consultant. I’m about to make the move to Melbourne, to work with the EY Climate Change and Sustainability Services team! I’m stoked to be able to help clients address climate change, and together building a more sustainable working world.

"I discovered the Career Development and Employability Services (CDES) during Orientation Week, when I first began my studies. Since then, CDES has played a crucial role in my professional development. From the LinkedIn and interview workshops I attended in my first year, to the facilitation of the Prime Minister's Scholarship for Latin America (PMSLA) Programme during my final year, CDES has helped to prepare me for the next chapter of my life as I embark on my career.

"My desire to explore the Latin American continent dovetailed with my passion for sustainability, which made Colombia and specifically the city of Medellin an attractive destination for an internship supported by the PMSLA. Medellin is a living inspiration: a city once plagued by guerrilla warfare and drug trafficking that has been transformed into an entrepreneurial hub. An example of this transformation is the success story of the nation's largest company, Bancolombia, which was ranked the world's most sustainable bank in 2018. With the support of PMSLA and CDES, I had the incredible opportunity of interning with Bancolombia's Sustainability Department at the bank's headquarters in Medellin.

"During my internship, I worked on a range of projects within different aspects of sustainability including green growth policy analysis, sustainable finance and supply chain sustainability analytics. This not only allowed me to understand what sustainability means in the real world, but also strengthened my career aspirations in this field.

My number one suggestion for current students figuring out their
career path would be to step out from your comfort zone and seek new
experiences. CDES has an abundance of resources to support you, so treasure
this unique opportunity to explore the world throughout your studies. 

"In terms of advice to anyone applying for graduate roles, internships and interviews: don’t forget it’s a two-way process! The focus should not only be on the employer understanding who you are, but also making sure that you put in the effort to understand the organisation and team that you want to be part of. What is their culture, value and vision? How well do these align with your personal career aspirations? And how can your skills and experiences contribute to the team's overall success?

"Without the support of CDES facilitating the PMSLA Programme last year, I would not have gained the incredible opportunity of joining EY’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services practice. I hope some of these thoughts will provide insights and encouragement for current students to chase their own dreams!"

Connect with CDES

CDES can help you with your career planning, job search, develop confidence in interviewing and more. Check out the range of events, expos and workshops on offer on MyCDES to support you, so that you can create the future you love!