Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Choice is the Enemy

Hi peeps,

I know I know, its been too long. Don't worry I'll make it up to you. I will have more from 'The Happiness Trap' by Russ Harris coming your way soon. It should be a good read!

However I have a pressing issue. I got another offer. I'm not going to act like a big shot or anything but it is really hard to weight the pros and cons. I understand I am now in a very enviable position for a marketing graduate with less than or near 1% of the total applicant cohort given a role. For example an approximate ratio is 1500-2000 applications for 1 or 2 roles. And I've got 2 of them (in very large global companies). Choice is now the enemy. But enough stat crunching and chest puffing (I am not up myself, believe me!), what do you look for in a potential employer? Let me give you my list (in no particular order):

Base Salary
The main moola cake maker. Also what needs to be scrutinised is the ability to have your salary reviewed whether bi-annually or annually during the grad program. Average graduate salaries for commerical roles range from ~$50 000 to ~$60 000. (not necessarily gospel!)

Bonus Scheme
This adds the sprinkle to the desert. Helps you aim for higher performance. That your initiative drive and determination are rewarded. Make sure whether you are eligible for the bonus scheme in your first year, or whether it kicks in later. Usually a % of your base salary with potential multipliers.

Superannuation is awesome. Anyone who says otherwise is a loser. 12% should be new legislative rate for next year (I believe). APS gets 15% like a boss (but thats all they get, JOKING!)

Corporate box access, health club, discounts on products, product allowance etc. The list goes on! Whatever bakes your cake guys!

Work Culture
One of the biggies. You need to ensure the people around you have the same personality, attitude and professional mindset. This factor pretty much motivates you to go to work 9-5 everyday, your ability to socialise with your new team.

Work Environment
This goes hand in hand with the culture, where are you sharing after work drinks? What is the buzz like in and around your workplace? May not be a high priority for a few people but the lifestyle of the area can assist in making work that little bit more enjoyable.  

Career Progression
Another vital factor. You need to see what the pot at the end of the rainbow (program) is. You need to ensure after the program you have a key role or even a management role if you are a high flying performer. Ensure your program gives you that stepping stone.

International Mobility
It may or may not be high on your priority list but a company which encourages you to undertake overseas travel to engage with foreign markets is definitely an exciting prospect. Especially when they pay for your relocation costs. Booyah!

Have I missed anything on my list? Let me know how you rank my list! And as usual share the love people. Will chat soon guys. Thank you!

Always Remember,

Sunday, 20 May 2012

I'm Still Here!

Hi y'all,

It has been a while! I have been a very busy studying bee. To everyone who has received offers already, congratulations! The graduate season is winding down. For those who need a pick me up, check out this post. I really hope it helps you out, keep on moving forward and never look back. Though you are the master of your own destiny, fate guides the impact of your actions. If it was meant to be, it will be! 

That said, I am happy to say I have secured a graduate position for next year! Through endless rejection, my personal brand has aligned with a company. And it was a company with whom I thought I was out of the running. A very pleasant surprise.

Want to know the company? It's a pretty impressive global marketing powerhouse with many brands. I am very excited of the prospect of proving my worth in the company and showcasing my 'career zoomer' attributes.

Due to the fact that I have a less than impressive readership of my blog (sob), I will not disclose the company (hahaha).

So help a homie out and share my blog around, I promise I will keep the post count ticking! I have a few other processes still happening so it won't be the last you hear of me.

And I don't want it to be the last I hear of you. So stick around and let's find our Mecca together. My crazy thoughts will always be here for you.

Always Remember,

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Hi y'all,

For anyone with an android phone (but I know there is an iPod version) LogoQuiz is a great way to kill time and see what brands have been retained in your conscious and subconscious!

Sometimes you will recognise the logo but you simply can't find the name! That brand hasn't connected with you, you haven't engaged with it on a practical or emotional sense. You may have seen it fleetingly on print, billboard, online or TV advertising where you have simply retained it's image but not its meaning. 

Give it a run, see how you go. Really great way to score a few logo's between classes or on the train or bus!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Key.

Hi people!

Yes I am still alive (nothing unfortunate has happened to me...yet). It's a big week for the 2013 graduate cohort. I have had to put my head down and cover my uni studies because 3 out of 5 working days this week I will be a busy bee. Yes I am being cryptic but I will definitely keep you guys in the know (later).

Don't let your studies slide. This is what keeps me focused during study time, hope it does the same for you.

"Getting that graduate job offer is simply your opportunity to opening a door. Your degree is the key. You definitely want to be in possession of that key when the time comes."   


Now you are probably thinking, he didn't just quote himself? Yes I did. It just happened.

What you going to do about it?

Let's fight. (haha)

Seriously take that onboard when you approach this week. And as usual make sure to share it around, bookmark, subscribe to the feed if y'all feelin' it.

Always Remember,

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Hit the Refresh Button!

Hi homies!

Today I reconnected with some old friends. And it wasn't hard. You may have reviewed my post here about fading relationships. I took my own advice and got out of my bell tower. Unfortunately, the outside world still does not accept my grotesque appearance *forever alone*. Yes meme time, sorry.

Though I simply had a coffee (whilst I watched them eat) it was a start. Make your own starts guys. Try to find that time. I know it's hard but reconnecting with friends enables you to hit that refresh button and realise what you are studying for, what you want to aim for. Make them proud. Put your head down and drive home your own personal brand in your studies and career.  

Also, a kind individual gave me the contents of their RB goody bag from their Final Stage day, take a look. I am sure you guys would recognise these brands! (Also spot the "Not Happy, John" sticker, blast from the past? Just stuck it on my desk to be cool and rebellious.) 

Another week almost over, it went real fast! Next week is a big one for me, I will keep you posted!

Always Remember,

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Reckitt Benckiser Graduate Program 2013

Hello all! Hope your week has been productive, I know its already offer time for a few companies. Hope some of you have got some good news!

Boy do I have a treat for you. Due to the overwhelming success of my "Oracle Graduate Program 2013" post which got Oracle's attention (see here as to what happened!) I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with a few people who have been lucky enough to go through the whole Reckitt Benckiser (RB) graduate process! (I myself was not as lucky). Hope you enjoy it and it helps your friends or yourself in the future. Don't forget to share it!

Recruitment Process
For the 2013 RB Commercial (Sales and Marketing) Graduate Program the onsite stages were done at their West Ryde, Sydney office with recruitment also occurring in New Zealand (to the best of my knowledge). There was a bit of a hitch in this program where the Finance stream was cancelled, a select few were referred to other streams. 

Crunching the Numbers (according to HR)
1300+ Applications submitted
39 through to Sydney Assessment Centres
11 positions available (Sales and Marketing) 

2000+ Applications submitted
5 through to New Zealand Assessment Centre
2 positions available 

1. Application Submission
This involved submission via the Northeast Quadrant (outsourced company) recruitment platform. Relatively painless submission, resume and cover letter attachment with an absence of free text questions. The straightforward and simple online application makes you think, did I do that correctly?  

2. Online Assessment
Shortly your online application concerns are alleviated when you see the (dreaded for some) request for SHL testing enter your inbox within days of your submission. This only tests your Numerical abilities, 18 questions 25 minutes. I know its overlinked but here are the official SHL practice tests for your viewing pleasure. Practice makes perfect!  

3. Problem Solving Test
If you are successful in the Online Assessment you should receive a call from a Northeast Quadrant representative. One motivational question is asked as to your reasons for applying for RB. Give a satisfactory response and she will invite you to what they call the Problem Solving Test.

Now I have heard strange things about this stage. It is a logic based SHL onsite test at their West Ryde office and the first time you engage with their in house HR. Data is presented on flash cards and you need to identify patterns and how data is derived. Fill in the blanks on missing cards. Don't be afraid to throw the cards around I have been told!  

4. Final Stage: Assessment Centre/Final Interview
This is the final stage, and boy is it a full on day. It condenses both the Assessment Centre and Final Interview stage into one big fun day of fun and excitement. You will be stretched and challenged. It is divided up into 4 activities where groups of 5 or 6 are rotated. This encompasses 2 group activities and 2 individual. The day commences with a presentation from the Marketing Director and the Graduate Manager about RB with lunch, chocolate and water provided.   

The individual activity is a case study and involves you to identify innovative solutions in reducing cost but delivering benefit involving one of RB's 'powerbrands'. Put your logic and creative hat on here. 

The first group activity is a basic collaborative ranking exercise. You know what I am talking about. Learn to cooperate and compromise and create a group who has zen but delivers results.

The second group activity challenges your ability to collaborate as a team and present a pitch. Quite simply, be careful of over assertive types in your group I have been told. Disarm them and deliver organisation. Short time frames (inclusive of presentation time) really make you push it. Relax and enjoy it, some people have said it is the more enjoyable activity!

The interview is the second individual activity. You have all done this at one point. Behavioural, Motivational, STAR. Know who you are, know what you stand for and capture the dream!

At the end of the day fill in an experience survey and receive a goodie bag! Full of, you guessed it, RB products. Including a Durex Pleasuremax condom, 'for maximum pleasure'. Enjoy!

The day went from 8:30 - 4ish depending on your concluding activity. 

Position Focus
A 3 year program, with a start in early 2013, the Commercial Program starts you off in Sales for 6 months. From there, there are a range of Assistant Manager roles which enables you to engage and create your own brand concepts and strategies involving their 'powerbrands'. Also there may also be an opportunity to do a rotation in New Zealand (I am not sure if that is a selling point). International mobility is continually emphasised and opportunities to move overseas are strongly encouraged to engage with further markets and demographics. 

Company Culture
Being an FMCG powerhouse with a host of global 'powerbrands' such as Dettol, Mortein, Finish and Vanish with familiar favourites such as Clearasil, Airwick and Glen20, RB demands performance. Built on 'Achievement', 'Team Spirit', 'Entrepreneurship' and 'Ownership', the management team are approachable and engaging. The graduate presentation (run by current grads) really does add personality to the proceedings and gives you a real insight into a graduate's life in RB. Innovation is THE word which you should be repeating on their premises.   

Process Rating
3.5/5 - The Problem Solving Test added something different to other grad processes but the Final Stage is not for the feint hearted, it definitely is an endurance test! Keep switched on until the end!

Environment Rating
3/5 - Though its West Ryde/Melrose Park location is out of the way and the furthest thing away from a buzzing happening environment, the first 6 months in Sales means you will be away from the office and out at distribution points.  The office is a dated building but each room is named after one of their brands. The foyer has a big cabinet with all their products in all their glory. The toilet has the Dettol Automated Soap Dispenser. As it should.     

View Larger Map

I believe the talent pool is eagerly awaiting offers this week! Good luck guys! Remember to link this post if it could help someone out!

Always Remember,

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

When the Relationship has sailed...

Hi peeps,

This post is going to get deep. So be warned. If reading a wall of text is not how you roll then roll the other way. If the rantings of a teenage girl (imaboybtw) isn't what you want to read, you may dodge this post.

Where do you find your motivation to study? Where do you find the ability to keep on moving forward? But most importantly, where do you find the time to simply, live life?

My Monday wasn't the greatest. Not just about the grad recruitment process (don't worry rejection a plenty but next round a plenty too- so it balanced out: see here to deal with rejection). That doesn't phase me. What phases me is the idea of losing connection with the relationships in your life, may it be your circle your friends or your someone special.

The situation I am in has made me lose someone close. When you need to find the drive and time to study and to complete the grad process, where do you prioritise your relationships? I guess by nature I am a career driven person but in this job season, who isn't? You can take the hermit approach by isolating yourself, the easy laid back approach without any cares in the world finding time for everyone OR by some super miracle, achieve a balance between the two. I know I haven't found this balance. And yeah, it's cost me. And the week hasn't even started.

So give your girlfriend, girl--friend, boyfriend, boy--friend, one of your mates, your girlfriends or boyfriends, a text or a call and make time for them.

Don't become like this (btw this is me in real life, nice to finally get to show you a pic of me!):

Always Remember,

Sunday, 6 May 2012


Hiya people!

Tomorrow is Monday.

We all know what that means. 

Good luck to anyone waiting for good news (and congratulations if it is). 

For those who get some bad news, remember, everything works itself out in the end. 

Each rejection takes you a step closer to the job you were suppose to get. 

Reassurances aside, remember to ACT guys, assert your energy into positive actions. No point dwelling on it (of course easier said than done) but create opportunity by connecting with your values. 

When you feel that surge of negative emotion. Accept it and channel it. Create positive action. Example when you don't get it in first time. Watch.

Know who you are. 
Know you are capable. 
Know you can take on the world. 

Your time will come!

Always Remember,

Let's CloudSource!

Hi there innovators and shakers,

The Cloud Needs You!

I don't want this blog project to be merely one voice. If you have a love for writing, a way with words, a charming demeanour (though not prerequisites) and want to gain some experience, the InnovCloud needs you!

Let's find our Mecca together (doesn't have to be marketing!). What the Cloud needs are your posts of inspiration and enlightenment. So may it be an interesting book you are reading, insight into a graduate recruitment process (see my most 'popular' post here), job/resume advice, a quirky talent, a realisation, anything! Don't be shy, put your hand up and let's do this together!

Looking for Marketing to Finance to Science to Psychology to Dog Training to Defence Against the Dark Arts to Pokemon Students/Human Beings. Absolutely anyone who wants to inspire another with their written word!  

Additionally if any web/graphic designer would like to expand their portfolio to make this Cloud a little more appealing, any help or assistance would be greatly appreciated. I can dispense 'special' favours, only you and I will know what this entails. Seriously, I am sure we can come to an arrangement!   

Simply send through your interest to Maybe even include what you want to write about! The crazier the better. I'm an open guy (put that in any tone you want).

And as always Share This Around! Any keen beans who want to procrastinate in their study time (like what I am doing as I post this) to write something compelling link them to this post!

Let's CloudSource!

Always Remember,

Friday, 4 May 2012

Introducing 'Impact Brands' Friday!

Hello Innovcloud dwellers,

How was your Friday? My past two days have been pretty rough, glad to be hitting the weekend (so I can prepare my studies for the coming week *sigh*). Feeling a bit a drained but just need to recharge the batteries! If you've been having a rough week, take tonight off. Enjoy the post tonight and thanks for stopping by!

So enough of the confessions from a pubescent teenager, you must be thinking, what does 'Impact Brands' Friday mean?

Well you may refer to my tagline in the About Me box:

"Reality is marketing in motion"

What I mean is that, in our day to day lives we are met with brand and marketing messages constantly. However (according to Bob Miller, one of the brains behind the 'Oh What A Feeling, Toyota' Campaign) we are blind to 80% of these messages, only soaking in 20%. The reason for this is that we do not connect with these messages where they have no relevance to us on a practical, social, emotional level. We simply ignore them. 

An effective marketer will give their brand emotional value, it triggers our most primal responses over practical use. They will turn their brand into a lifestyle, the preferred choice, sub-consciously we choose the brand because we feel connected to it. To remind us of this connection, marketers will utilise the 4Ps to ensure their brand is kept in our conscious as well as sub-conscious. Thus, reality is marketing.  

I have decided that every Friday I will post the Top 3 brands that have stayed in my mind the most over the week. It may even involve the one's that have remained in my mind as I write this post. It may involve engagement, it may not, simply it hones in on my own consumer awareness and retention of the brand + reasons as to why. So here we go!

Impact Brand #3

Brand: Finish
Owned by: Reckitt Benckiser
Reason: Quite simply, may it be due to my obsession with 'luxury' or 'the best' or sparkly things, the tag line from the Finish TVC (spoken by a very monotone announcer lady) "Finish, The Diamond Standard" has resounded with me. It's in my head and I don't even do dishes. Cause I live like a slob. I shower once a month too (these are jokes). Check it here.

Impact Brand #2

Brand: Hahn
Owned by: Lion  
Reason: Lion has continually shown their understanding of social media and leveraging it to connect with their customer. The 'Pioneering Beering' campaign is fully integrated (making it fully sick) meaning the big purchases of prime time television adspace to introduce the campaign relying on crowd sourced innovation reached the masses! Truly impressive but not quite my number one. You can check the campaign out here.


Impact Brand #1

this Friday

Brand: Coca-Cola (all product lines)
Owned by: Coca-Cola Amatil
Reason: When EVERYONE in the university food court during lunch time has a bottle or can of Coke (in whatever form) sitting in front of them or pressed against their lips you realise Coca-Cola Amatil are masters in manipulating their product and distribution channels. In order to conform in uni, to be normal, to be included, you must drink Coke. 

There is only #1- that is Coke. You know nothing else. 

When I saw it, it was just really creepy. Really creepy. 

And on that note, that wraps it up, I hope you enjoyed it. So tell me, what are your 'Impact Brands' this week? What brands have brought themselves up in your mind or in your life. What messages do you see? Take into account, I am an university student within the 18-24 age bracket. We all come from different demographics, different segments, different mums (well not if you're siblings), so obviously our brands will not be the same.

Think about them and let me know your Top 3 for this week! And as always, SHARE THE BLOG if your Mcdonaldsing this post (lovin it).

Ok I admit, that was bad. 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Let's Reject Rejection - Like a Boss

Hey there peeps,

We have all been here. Rejection. *cue dramatic music*

Though particularly relevant to the grad season, it is part of life, reinforcing your lack of belonging, your lack of self worth. There is nothing more demoralising and depressing than seeing one of these in your inbox:

"Your application has been given close consideration and was reviewed against the key criteria and the other applicants that applied.  We are writing to let you know that unfortunately we will not be progressing further with your application at this time." 

Is it worth being all beat up about it? I am a natural brooder, I over analyse and think about mistakes and things I've done, how could it equate to a rejection, what do they think of me? What can I do? Why did I do that? IT NEVER STOPS! 

All these doubts culminate into anxiety (will I get a job?), stress and, yes, I do get depressed (after the 10th rejection). Luckily, a gent who I worked with referred me to this great book which has helped me deal with overcoming these issues which go hand in hand with the graduate recruitment season. Check it.

The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris

Now, I know what you might say, "Jeez mate, not another one of these self help money grabbing books". But hear me out. This particular technique from the book has resounded with me. 

The core of the book is handling urges that get in the way of living a meaningful life. It's all about finding a balance. You can't make big, sweeping declarations that you will never have a self-defeating urge. Harris states that it's impossible (cause it most definitely is!). The principles which guide the book is ACT. So what is ACT?

A = Accept your thoughts and feelings
C = Connect with your values

T = Take effective action

Acceptance In a Nutshell

War- Always struggling to get rid of your unwanted thoughts and feelings. It can never be won and consumes time and energy. This was me right here!

Truce- Harris describes it as "Grudging Tolerance of thoughts and feelings". Better than War but it leaves you stuck and helpless. He likens it to resignation rather than acceptance.

Peace- True acceptance. Your country doesn't have to like the other country, approve of its existence, speak its language or convert to its religion. You simply make peace with them. It's the same when you truly accept your uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. You don't have to like them, approve of them, you simply make peace with them and let them be. This leaves you free to focus your energy on taking action - action that moves your life forward in a direction you value. 

I will drip feed you little gems from this book but I hope you can start to see where the idea is going. Connect with your idea of acceptance. Find your peace with your feelings, know they are there, but harness your energy in taking ACTION. Good luck guys! 



If this post or any of my other posts have helped or assisted you in anyway, SHARE THE LOVE! If you feel my words can help a friend, enrich someone else's blog or life, REFER IT ON

The more people that I can inspire, the more inspired I am to keep this going. So help me out! Link my blog, share it through Facebook and Twitter (these are coming soon!)

I know I have been getting a lot of referral traffic from Whirlpool due to my Oracle link being posted up (Hi Whirlpool members!) but if you can help the InnovCloud grow, lets take as many people on this journey as possible!


Always Remember,

And then from Oracle...the unexpected occurs

Hi all!

So regarding my post yesterday which gave an overview of the 2012/2013 Oracle Graduate Recruitment Process:

Today (out of the blue an (03) number came up on my phone) I was contacted directly by David from Oracle Recruitment in ANZ and shared a great conversation regarding how they could improve their recruitment process for next and subsequent years. Additionally, he offered to link my post to his own recruitment blog/website (uni reception is bad- forgot which one), which is a great gesture in helping me assist many more people find their twinkle of inspiration. 

When I got the call, I thought I may have been in trouble (take it down, or rate our recruitment process 5/5). Instead I was met with an easy going, down to earth guy, phew! 

So hopefully guys, my blog does help enrich your future recruitment experiences! In this case today, Oracle.

Great chatting David, I will keep you up to date and you already have my details (again great detective work, really creepy but I commend the Oracle Investigation team).  

No doubt I am being watched. 

EDIT: Here is the link! Totally awesome.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Oracle Graduate Program 2012/2013

G'day innovcloud dwellers. With this blog project I not only want to give you inspiration through your day to day woes but throw 'practical utility' your way. One way I believe I can help is to give you insight into numerous graduate recruitment processes myself or my friends have experienced. Without disclosing too much, it will be simply impressions of company culture, the nature of the recruitment process and the area of focus regarding the position. Below is the Oracle Graduate Program 2012/2013 from a fellow who had gone through the whole process. I will also put a 'Process Rating' and an 'Environment Rating' at the end with a comment!

Recruitment Process
For the 2013 Oracle Graduate Program, the stages were as follows. It was held at their North Ryde, Sydney office with recruitment additionally in Melbourne (to my knowledge).

Crunching the Numbers (according to HR)
1000+ Applications submitted
40 through to Sydney Assessment Centres
13 positions available across all streams (8 in Sydney, 5 in Melbourne)

1. Application Submission
This involved not only submission through their Australian graduates website (no free text questions- one of the quickest online submission applications) but also submission of your resume to a designated email address. Was a bit odd and confusing in whether the application was submitted. Confirmation is later received. 

2. Telephone Interview
There was a 1-2 month wait but a recruiter will contact you eventually! It comprises an informal telephone interview with questions involving, motivation for choosing Oracle, experience regarding IT based roles etc. Leave a good impression and you get a straight invite to the Assessment Centre (no waiting!)

3. Assessment Centre
The Assessment Centre comprises of 2 parts. The first part is a group collaboration session where assessors watch you from a distance, rating your ability to socialise with other human beings in a commercial environment (yes there is a tone to that sentence). This involves a hypothetical situation which demands creative solutions (put your imagination hat on!). You have 40mins before you must present with your group your solutions TO THE WHOLE ASSESSMENT CENTRE! (approx 40 people including assessors). Developing your presentation skills makes you stand out here.

The second part is a panel interview (3 to 1). The panel can comprise of the HR manager, a recent graduate to the head of sales. Behavioural questions a plenty, really be sure of the traits which make you stand out as a grad. Really know yourself before going in, know your selling points, know what you do, know how you can throw down and smash any task! YOU CAN DO IT! That said, the panelists make you feel at ease and comfortable so relax into it. 

4. Final Interview
This is an almost duplicate of the panel interview in the Assessment Centre but involves the manager in your preferred stream. See above! You get a glass of water in this one. 

Position Focus
With a mid 2012 start, the Graduate Program is fundamentally a sales based role with streams comprising Sales, Presales, Customer Care and Business Development. That said, Oracle at its core is a sales based organisation and all these roles incorporate sales. Telesales does comprise a portion of the streams, so if you aren't a confident tele-man, look elsewhere or practice!

Company Culture
The feedback regarding the culture at Oracle is that it is supportive, friendly and welcoming. Being a sales-centric organisation within ANZ, Oracle needs its staff to feel empowered and motivated to achieve results. It does this through breeding a culture conducive to letting personality shine. With upper management (and a few big wigs) being present at the Assessment Centre it really does show their commitment to bringing in talent to the organisation. 

Process Rating
3.5/5 - The Assessment Centre and Final Interview were fun and engaging, however the 1-2 month wait on the telephone interview does make you look at other options.

Environment Rating
3/5 - A slightly dated building but has enough glass to make you feel you are in a corporate environment and doing business-y things. Has a cafe on the bottom level but other amenities are not within walking distance (Macquarie Centre etc). Close to Macquarie Park train station. 

View Larger Map

I believe at the moment they are waiting for offers after the Final Interview. Would add more detail, but I have an assignment to do (this is procrastination!). I might add more later for your viewing pleasure. Anyways cloud dwellers, hope that may be assistance to yourself or your friends for next year. 

Always Remember,