After a successful Women in Data event at the AIT College, Sydney, Leisha Morrison and Conal McClarnon, two of Precision’s recruitment consultants were asked to present in their particular fields at a careers day. The main aim for both of them was to share their personal experiences since working in their technology areas and to provide insights and encouragement for the next generation.
An Interview with Leisha Morrison and Conal McLarnon of Precision Sourcing:
Why did AIT ask you specifically to come and speak to students?
L: We held our most recent Women in Data event at AIT, and they saw the sorts of inspiring data professionals that attended and presented at the talk. AIT saw how we brought together our network and told us they thought their students had a lot to gain from hearing about our market knowledge and asked if we would speak at their careers’ conference.
C: From recognising our market knowledge in our respective industries, AIT asked me to try and educate the students on the growing world of Digital Marketing, an understaffed & uninformed market. As I specialise in this area from a recruitment perspective, it put me in a great position to educate students on the industry, and how they could get into it in the future.
What did you speak about?
L: I spoke about the importance of setting goals, even just small ones, and how to set them. I wanted to get across that nobody expects them to have it all figured out just yet but that by setting short, medium and long-term goals it would help them visualise their journey into a career.
C: I spoke about the complexities of digital marketing, the emerging trends in that market and how students could kick-start a career in it.
What did they get out of it?
L: I hope they saw the scope of career they could have by choosing certain subjects. It was important to us to get across that just because you choose a degree in IT; you don’t necessarily have to have a career specifically in IT – you could do many professions around that as well.
C: Before my talk, I asked the students if they knew much about Digital Marketing, or how you could start a career in it. From a quick show of hands, it revealed that none of them knew much about the industry. I hope that after my talk, they came away knowing more about one of the fastest growing industries in Sydney, and feeling that it could be a realistic career path for some of the students.
What did you get out of it?
L: Apart from the satisfaction that 30 school and college students found what I had to say relevant I think the main takeaway was that if I made one student’s journey into adulthood a bit easier, then that makes me happy. I was surprised how self-motivating it was to talk to the next generation, and I met some brilliant individuals who I would like to keep mentoring.
C: Not so long ago, as a student myself, I always felt ill-informed about what digital marketing was, and therefore never considered it as a realistic career option. By giving the students information on digital marketing and trying to educate them on the market, it felt rewarding that I might have helped open up new career opportunities to students, who may have otherwise not considered.
How do you think this will help them and how will it help the industry?
L: From a Women in Data point of view, anything we can do to be speaking to girls choosing college and degree courses that will lead to a career in data is a good thing, in my opinion. The western world is still very hung up on gender specific jobs and maths, statistics and IT are often disregarded as being courses for geeks and boys. We all known that’s not true, but the message has to get out there somehow.
C: As I only deal with digital marketing professionals day in – day out, I feel that I am in a strong position to give advice on how a candidate can stand out in a competitive market. By giving tips on how to do this and offering careers advice to the students, this can hopefully help any of them considering a career in Digital, to stand out in the market.
What feedback did you receive and will you be doing more?
L: The comments I got from teachers and tutors was brilliant. The students were less enthusiastic to come forward with feedback on the day but have since said some nice things.
C: The feedback was all positive the students who, if nothing else, left feeling more educated about an industry that will undoubtedly influence their careers in one way or another