Start Planning Today: How Proactive People Stay On Top

by Dec 26, 2016

With 2017 literally days away, it may be time to start thinking about your career. Now before you freak out, you don’t have to do anything huge! Even watching a few videos, reading some articles, or chatting with people in your network can help inspire you to begin your career journey. Sharron Xiao, winner of the Festival of Future You challenge competition, agrees!

During August, we ran our first ever Festival of Future You – a month of career development, challenges and amazing opportunities to help inspire students to begin working on their ‘future’ selves. Sharron was one of a number of students who took part in the daily challenges we set, and won with her final reflection of the month-long event:

The Festival of Future You has taught me that being proactive and ambitious is absolutely vital to building my career, and university is definitely not too early a time to start setting career goals and taking actions that will bring me closer to them. FOFY reminded me that there are more ways than one to be proactive – for instance, reading online articles or watching video clips doesn’t sound particularly inspiring, but it can in fact be a great starting point to get some concrete information. There’s a huge amount of careers resources readily available online, but the onus is on us to actively seek them out and take advantage of them.


I very much appreciated the Ready Set Grad event as it was the perfect foundational event to ease me into the realm of careers, internships and applications. The online challenges that followed gave me little snippets of the amazing resources that can be found online, and motivated me to go looking for more of these resources myself. For example, I signed up to a site that provides free practice tests for the online aptitude exams that many firms utilise in their internship application process. I joined Interview Stream, a really useful site that allows us to practice video interviewing.


I love that FOFY didn’t just bombard us with resources for furthering our careers but also incorporated components such as Day 14’s video on work/life balance. A balanced healthy lifestyle should be a top priority in our lives, and it’s something that a lot of students need to be reminded of, especially when we’re stressing out over internship applications.


On the subject of internship applications … thanks to FOFY’s specific tips for internships, and the fact that FOFY coincided with intern application periods for a number of firms, I felt motivated and encouraged to apply for a few internships for the first time, and have made some good progress with my applications. I have FOFY to thank for pushing me to take initiative and take charge of my own career, by actively taking steps to get where I want to be.

She won a number of prizes as part of the package, all tailored to her specific degree and career aspirations.

After my meeting with UTS Career Consultant Penny, the UTS Careers team worked with me to put together a three-part prize that will help me be better equipped to enter my career in the accounting industry.


The first prize – an annual digital subscription to The Economist magazine – will help me to stay informed about the latest in business news as well as international headlines.


A Communications Style workshop session will give me valuable training in behaviour and communication, one of my main areas for improvement.


Finally, a gift voucher for Myer will allow me to build my professional wardrobe so that I can enter the workplace looking and feeling the part.


Overall, my Ultimate Careers Package is a well-rounded prize that will contribute to multiple facets of my career. I would like to express my gratitude once again to the UTS Careers team for organising the competition and making this prize possible!

So if you’re a student, and wondering about how (or even where) to start planning for your future career, there’s no need to stress! There are so many resources and opportunities out there, all you have to do is start searching. And hey, UTS:Careers is always here to help if you need someone to point you in the right direction!


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

Sharron Xiao

Sharron Xiao

KPMG Australia

Sharron Xiao is a UTS Business Student (majoring in Accounting), and winner of the UTS Careers’ 2016 Festival of Future You challenge competition. She has experience across a number of industries, including hospitality and marketing. She is due to complete her studies at UTS in 2017.