16 August 2018

Business degree makes graduate ready for work

Linley Boniface

New Zealand’s practical, real-world style of learning helped Lucia Sohn land her dream job.

Lucia recently joined the graduate programme run by cloud-based accounting software business Xero in Wellington.

The prestigious programme aims to attract and develop top talent by offering graduates tailored onboarding, mentoring, training and support over the course of their first year.

Lucia says her studies for a Bachelor of Business Information Systems degree at Victoria University ensured she was able to fit into Xero after she graduated.

“The courses I took at university helped prepare me for the working world, especially the courses that involved group work on real client projects,” says Lucia.

“Working in teams in a safe space such as a university give you a chance to encounter different group dynamics and learn from them, and having that kind experience give you reassurance that you’ll be able to work in a team when you’re out in the workplace. This is especially important if you join a company like Xero that is very team- and people-focused”.

As part of her degree, Lucia completed a 400-hour unpaid internship doing data analytics and web design for a New Zealand political party. When the internship ended, she was offered a paid part-time role.

“I was able to take what I had learnt at university and apply it in a real-world environment. This experience then helped me further in developing valuable skills that were a key factor in my application for Xero,” she says.

Lucia first talked to Xero staff at a careers fair at Victoria University. Siobhan Warren, Xero’s Graduate Programme Manager, says the business enjoys strong relationships with New Zealand universities and polytechnics.

“We talk to institutions about what skills students need to develop for when they enter the workforce. We also do in-class presentations to share real world scenarios on topics like big data and cloud-based technologies,” says Siobhan.

“Grad and intern programs are excellent options for new graduates just starting their careers. New Zealand has some really great employers with amazing offerings for junior talent — it’s fantastic to see.”

Share this story
About the contributors
Linley Boniface

Linley Boniface is a contract writer for Education New Zealand. She is based in Wellington, her favourite city in New Zealand. A former journalist, Linley spent a year in Montreal, Canada, as a secondary school student.