Job prospects naturally become a concern for students as graduation looms. If there were a FAQ section for soon-to-be graduates, questions like “now what do I do with my life?” and “will this job make me truly happy?” would be commonplace. Leaving the shelter of school for a future unknown must seem daunting and exciting all at once.
In order to facilitate the job hunts of our students, the Centre of Professional Development at Raffles College of Higher Education, Singapore, organises a bi-annual career fair every year. The fair welcomed five distinguished industry partners on the 4th of December this year – namely Wilsin Office Furniture Pte Ltd, Charles & Keith Singapore, Moda Ling Pte Ltd, White Corporate and Zalora Singapore.
With a focus on the practicality of one’s education, Raffles has trained its students to be ready for the demands of working life. The quality of Raffles students is recognised by Ms Chrissy Lee from Charles & Keith Singapore, and Ms Domitilla Di Marco from Zalora Singapore, both from the Human Resources department of their respective companies. “Many students who approached us are top students in their cohort right now,” said Ms Lee. Ms Di Marco agreed about the competency of Raffles students, adding that the school has a diverse range of students with different capabilities and work experiences.
But what are students most concerned about when it comes to finding a job? “I get a lot of questions about the opportunities for growth in their careers, and if we offer training for those without experience,” said Ms Di Marco. She answers with an enthusiastic yes to these questions about Zalora Singapore, which is a young startup of one and a half years. Founded in 2012, the company is one of the fastest growing online fashion retailers in Asia. Ms Di Marco is confident that the company will only continue to expand across Asia, creating many job opportunities for fresh graduates in the years to come.
With an economy as competitive as Singapore’s, Ms Lee encourages fresh graduates to stay on top of their game when it comes to finding a job. “It is important to be passionate about the industry you want to work for, and to be able to keep up with the pace of a brand like Charles & Keith,” said Ms Lee. With a core business in shoes and bags, Charles & Keith Singapore has matured from a local brand to a worldwide one. The brand is well-known for its attention to trends in fashion.
So how should students ace their interviews at these companies, or at any company for that matter? Ms Lee encourages applicants to “come prepared with your résumé, portfolio and understanding of the brand”. Ms Di Marco adds that applicants should emphasise their skills and technical competency on their résumé and during the interview. Zalora Singapore gives their graphic designers a practical test as part of the interview process, and Ms Di Marco had a tip for hopefuls: “have an impressive portfolio, but stand out during the interview by thinking on your feet and displaying your skills”.
For those without prior experience in the field, fret not. It is more important to be an enthusiastic fast learner instead. “An internship in a relevant field is a plus point and preferred, but it is not essential,” said Ms Di Marco.
To all graduates, we wish you the best of luck in finding a job!