Student Stories: Thomas Mar

Thomas Mar sought help from CDES which enabled him navigate the graduate recruitment process and succeed in securing a graduate position at Engin Systems.

I have been interested in technology and coding since high school. Studying computer science allowed me to explore the many different disciplines in software development, and last year I graduated with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Computer Science.

Since my early days at the University of Auckland I have pondered the question; Where will I be at the end of my degree? During my second year I began applying for summer software roles with the hope of gaining some vital work experience to figure this out. I wasn’t getting much success - I wasn’t making it past the first stage of the application process and when I did get through to the interview stage, it was a real struggle. It is a very competitive pool with other graduate developers and I needed to get some good advice.

The support from CDES was invaluable, they have loads
of resources, tools and networks to tap into which is ideal for career
planning.

I knew that CDES host many of the career expos and employer events across the University campus and they had career consultants, so I booked a sit-down session to see how they could help. I was linked up with Liz, a Career Consultant at CDES. She was very supportive and understanding, Liz helped me in many ways such as working on networking, boosting my confidence around approaching interviews and providing advice and techniques on perfecting my CV. The difference in my CV before and after was amazing. I attended a LinkedIn workshop which helped me to understand how to use LinkedIn as a job seeker and how to grow your network and get in touch with developers. The other CDES workshop I attended was the Interview Questions workshop; this provided a supportive space to practice ways of answering intimidating questions. The workshops were just what I needed!

I can’t say enough how important it is to get expert help from the career consultants at CDES. If you’re not sure how to find a job or feel like you’re going around in circles or unsure about what to do with your degree, seek help! You’re not alone!

Even though I felt uncomfortable at first asking for help, it was definitely worth it. The support from CDES was invaluable, they have loads of resources, tools and networks to tap into which is ideal for career planning. I was able to identify key strengths and skills of mine as a software developer. I learnt how to grow my networks and to connect with local developers. I approached job hunting from a different perspective and I felt more confident going into an interview and understanding the process behind it. These outcomes played a vital role in assisting me to secure the job I have today - a graduate software developer at a small software company called Engin Systems.

Getting this role felt like a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders. Now I can hit the ground running in this new role I have trained for. I can’t say enough how important it is to get expert help from the career consultants at CDES. If you’re not sure how to find a job or feel like you’re going around in circles or unsure about what to do with your degree, seek help! You’re not alone! You’re not doing yourself any favours not taking action. Asking or help isn’t an easy task, I felt uncomfortable doing so at first. But what came out of it was totally worth it! It is something I wish I took action on earlier.