Advancing towards the closing chapters of her double degree in a Bachelor of Media and Communications and Bachelor of Business, Sarah Ewing has taken the phrase ‘two birds, one stone’ in her stride to the top of the industry ladder.
Sarah has secured a position in the sought-after KPMG Graduate Program for the 2021 commencement year.
Sarah is no stranger to the top ranks. In 2019 she was named an Emerging Leader and in 2017 she was recognised as the ‘Highest Achieving First Year’ for her double degree.
Theory in practice
Majoring in Public Relations and Management, Sarah says a double degree has provided her with career flexibility and opportunities that have supported her to enter the industry.
“Through studying a double degree I have been able to develop a diverse skill set and gain a holistic understanding of business practice and operations,” she says.
“Every unit provides information and understanding that can be a carrier onto another unit.”
During her time at Swinburne, Sarah has helped conceptualise and execute events to raise money and awareness through her studies, including her events management project ‘Paws for a Cause’. She was also on a team that recently placed equal second in the National Public Relations Institute of Australia student pitch competition for their ‘#IWill’ campaign with Cancer Council.
Sarah visited Zendesk in Dublin as part of her Business Innovation in Europe Study Tour.
Sarah first stepped through the doors of KMPG as an Audit, Assurance and Risk Consulting Vacationer in November last year as part of her summer role at the firm.
Through her Swinburne peers she caught word of the opportunities available through GradConnection, a resource for advertised internships, vacation programs and graduate programs.
“Your connections at Swinburne are key! The positions open up very early and if you blink you might miss them.”
“The best part about a vacation program is it gives you a foot in the door and leverages your position for a spot in a graduate program.”
Less than a week after completing her final day in the vacation program, Sarah received her offer of a graduate position at KPMG.
One of Sarah’s lecturers in public relations, Simon Morgan, says Sarah’s ‘understated intelligence’ and great personality will make her an asset to KPMG.
“Sarah has a great personality that her group members often comment on to me when talking about her. I’m not in the least bit surprised Sarah has been one of the few to break the entry barrier to KPMG,” says Mr Morgan.
Double the experience
Sarah credits her extensive industry experience and diverse skill set for her standout experience in the interview process for the graduate position at KPMG.
During her time studying at Swinburne, she has immersed herself across a variety of organisations and industries including 2XU, Bowls Victoria, Glenelg Shire Council, KPMG and Port of Portland.
“The interview panel were impressed by the amount of experience I had achieved during my degree and the international experience I had. This allowed me to demonstrate what I could bring to KPMG and why they needed me.”
Alongside her team of peers, Sarah undertook the role as a Study Enrichment Residential Advisor in 2018.
Sarah says her involvement in extracurricular experiences gave her the step up in the group interview process.
“My interview went overtime as the interviewers were so interested in what a Residential Advisor was – so if you live on campus I would recommend applying for this leadership role.”
In addition to completing her final year of studies, Sarah has utilised her extra time in lockdown to develop her social media skills through an internship at Port of Portland.
“This opportunity allowed me to experience the difficulties faced by businesses during the COVID-19 lockdown, especially businesses in regional areas,” she says.
Sarah’s final advice for students is to ‘get involved.’
“The people you meet will help you succeed by sharing their experiences, making you aware of opportunities and encouraging everyone to thrive together.”