7.3 Questions With Bilal Kabbara
We’re back with yet another Vogue-inspired instalment of 7.3 Questions Answered By Your Favourite Accomplishers!
This week we spoke to Bilal Kabbara about his experience with the Award, where he’s at now, and his top tips for getting ahead in your career while studying. Let’s dive in!
Bilal Kabbara on his Accomplish Experience, what a day working at Westpac looks like, and why it’s important to be career conscious
1. So tell us, who is Bilal Kabbara?
Hi, my name is Bilal Kabbara and I am a soon-to-be graduate from an Accounting and Finance Degree at UTS. I am due to graduate Summer 2018.
2. What made you decide to join the Accomplish Award?
Early 2018 I had only one year left for my degree, nothing on my resume, and grad applications opening soon, and I knew I needed to get involved in EVERYTHING available at uni.
I spotted the Accomplish Award on the Careers website described as a chance to learn from the best about application tips and landing a job, and I was sure that would be my first step.
3. You get to meet real employers throughout the Accomplish Award – how did that help you develop your career skills?
After receiving a run-up push of support from the amazing team at Accomplish, I had the momentum to confidently network with real employers at the Accomplish events.
Being able to experience networking in a ‘practice’ environment gave me a chance to make a few mistakes and learn from them. I took this experience on to other networking events hosted by university societies and prospective firms and that is how I scored my next few internships and a grad role!
4. With so many employers involved, how do you think the Award benefited them?
Employers get the chance to raise awareness about their brand on campus, and connect with students who are trying to improve on themselves, a quality every good employee should have.
5. So you’ve finished the Award, what are you doing with your life now? What’s a day in the life of Bilal look like?
I am technically still at Westpac until my contract ends on the 3rd of March. I am an External Consultant (through the Hatch program) working under different product managers ranging from BPAY to Direct Entry.
My day to day is working on projects, ranging from cleaning up cloud data for hundreds and thousands of product users across Australia, to assisting in training up relationship managers with updated product information.
6. How did you get to where you are now? What do you think was the biggest deciding factor to your current success?
Beginning 2018 I only had a small-time internship on my resume, but that did not stop me from landing my dream graduate role as a Consultant in Automation at IBM.
I had no chance to get in without the hard work I dedicated to going to all IBM events, speaking about my experience to the recruitment team, and LinkedIn messaging everyone I met from IBM for coffees. With all the information and rapport I gathered I was able to smash through the interview.
And all this I can definitely say was facilitated by the Accomplish networking, interview, and the cover letter and resume workshops to get me where I wanted to be. The workshop organisers were so approachable and helped me stay positive to keep pushing through the rejected applications.
7. What would you say to students who were hesitant about applying for the Accomplish Award?
In short? You miss every opportunity you don’t take. Give it a shot, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
0.3. Why? (interpret however you’d like!)
‘Why is it important to be so career conscious? I don’t like the idea of corporate.’
I had the same mindset a year ago, and would have never imagined myself working for Westpac, Deloitte, or IBM because I found the notion of working in corporate bitter.
I was wrong. Somewhere along the line our generation has been influenced to believe that corporate and office life will be the same bitter, dreary 9-5 we see on TV as children, or perhaps our parents told us about.
But corporate is changing. Sure, you will find dreary offices, but when you find the right place you will love the people and the goal of the firm you work for. You will see the impact you make in your work, and that is what pulls me to IBM and Consultancy.
You just need to find where you belong! It isn’t enough to have a good think about where you want to be, you have to have experiences; start at a crappy place and it will give you an idea of what might (and might not) work for you.
By Mia Casey