Career Goat: Graduate Programs

Introducing: Career Goat, Lisa Happell

LisaDid you know that science have their very own Careers Education Consultant? We are the only faculty to have this. That consultant would be me ‘Lisa Happell’.

I have been in the role for nearly two years and really enjoy working with students to help them with their career decisions.  Throughout the year I will run a range of career seminars and events and every week I have individual (30 minute) career appointments available

You will find me (usually with coffee) on Tuesdays to Thursday in the Science Student Lounge and Science Student Services. If you would like to talk about your career in science or if you have no idea about careers in science then please book an appointment with me via ‘Career Gateway’.

I look forward to meeting you to discuss all things ‘Career’.

Each fortnight I will answer career Q&As, provide tips (not on the horses) and promote our career events.

Well enough about me. This month it is all about Graduate Programs.

Question: How do graduate programs work?

Many organisations offer Graduate Programs across the sectors from Government, Private to NGOs.
Graduate programs generally are advertised from March to May and students apply in their final year of study and commence with the organisation at the start of the following year.

Programs can range in length and may run from one to three years. Candidates who are successful often have the opportunity to undertake a range of roles in different areas of the organisation on a rotational basis. Professional development, mentoring and in house training may also offered as part of the program. Depending on the size of the organisation you might be one of 20+ graduates or part of a smaller group.

Recruitment for these programs is extremely competitive and might take several months from end to end. Steps in this process could include; online applications, assessment centres, group interviews, gamification, online assessments, aptitude, personality tests etc…

You need to stand out from the crowd and put a lot of time and effort into the end to end application process. Think of it like an assignment – do you want a pass or a HD?

Helpful Tips, Links & Events


On the 8th March 2016 the ‘Careers Expo’ will be held at Clayton this is a great opportunity to further understand the types of graduate programs available and how they work. Over 70 organisations will be at this expo. The ‘Careers Expo’ is just part of a two week Careers Festival that will run from 29th February – 11 March and is a great chance to explore a wide range of career opportunities.


No matter if you are a first or final year student I would encourage you to go to this festival. Get there earlier and have questions prepared. It is never too early to start thinking about your career and how you can build your employability skills.


* Look at individual company websites to see if they have graduate program opportunities


‘Beans means Heinz’ & Genetics – from Science graduate, Sam Webb

What have beans and genetics got to do with each other?

Hello fellow science enthusiasts! I hope everyone is enjoying their time at Monash and reading Scapegoat weekly. It feels weird to think that this time last year I was doing my own research into graduate programs and here I am two months into one.

At the end of last year I graduated with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Genetics and Molecular Biology and now I work at KraftHeinz in the Marketing department. Although they seem far apart I am currently using the skills I developed during my degree in my current position as a Category Development Graduate. My job is to analyse how consumers shop and then use this data to reach conclusions about how our products are performing in the marketplace and to find areas where we can improve our existing range.

I first found out about the KraftHeinz program when I attended the 2015 Monash Careers Expo in March. This was a great place to ask questions of prospective employers and to see what the right fit was for me.

It was a long and complex application process as this particular program doesn’t pigeonhole applicants based on what they studied, instead they made a great effort into getting to know you individually. My biggest tip would to take full advantage of Lisa and the careers department, making sure you are prepared for each step. Do your research on the organisation to make sure it’s right for you and tailor each application.

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