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Péter Tanács came to Melbourne from Hungary to complete a Master of International Business degree at The University of Melbourne and upon graduation, he needed a job. Thanks to the career strategy advice of Agnes Banyasz, he is now working in a sought after position with the Employment and Enrichment Services Team at the Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Melbourne.

“I really enjoy it,” said Péter who is one of Agnes Banyasz’s past students. He attributes his employment success as an international student to the career development sessions he participated in with Agnes.

“The fact that I was an international student is very important.” he explained. “The circumstances that international students face upon arrival in Australia largely differ from what local students inherit. Unlike locals, international students usually don’t have family connections, networks and friends here that could help them to achieve what they want. So international students first have to make friends and networks as well as develop realistic career expectations. They also have to have a better understanding of the Australian job market and start gaining Australian experiences.” he said. “And this is why it’s even more beneficial to work with someone like Agnes who can help.”

Due to these difficulties that Péter faced, he sought professional career advice from Agnes, who taught him important knowledge pertaining to the individual and career success. Career building is more than just being able to identify the job that you want, as there are many other interpersonal factors to consider also, and this is what the process of working with Agnes is like.

“We discussed what I had to do. The very first step that Agnes identified was to increase my self-awareness. We then defined four factors: two internal and two external,” he said. For the external factors, which are usually out of our immediate control, Agnes worked with Péter to discuss his visa situation, which is most pertinent, and then to look at the demand of the Australian job market, and in which industry Péter would likely to find the most success.

The internal factors that they focused on were Péter’s experience and expertise. He already had more than six years of experience in his field, but from Hungary — the question of whether or not this experience was applicable here was an issue that needed further exploration. Finally, they looked into Péter’s ideal role and organisation, and the strengths and opportunities that would be available for him.

“Strengths and opportunities are what you have to match in order to be successful,” said Péter. “The most important thing that we discussed was whether I have the chance to get into certain areas and industries, and if it turned out that I don’t have those strengths or opportunities, to then not waste resources on that,” said Péter.

The important insight from Agnes was to not waste resources on career options that aren’t viable — focus your energy somewhere else where there is greater potential for career success. In other words, don’t tire yourself chasing after specific opportunities that have a greater probability for loss.

Agnes’s career advice is also quite broad, as she discusses many aspects that may affect a career path, such as life and other personal matters that one would be willing to discuss.

“I think that you have to be very open and frank, and disclose a lot of information that you have about yourself and the Australian Labour market, and if you do that then there is a very large chance that you will succeed and will work towards your goals,” advised Péter on the best attitude to adopt when being mentored by Agnes.

What can we expect in a typical session with Agnes? “We assessed and talked through the questions that I had: what was planned for the weeks or months ahead, and she answered the questions that I have planned for her,” said Péter.

“She provided me with very good suggestions, recommendations regarding networking, and how I could get the networks that I would need,” he said. “What is important to note is that Agnes doesn’t give you the fish, so to speak, she wants to teach you how to use the fishing net,” he added. This is what Péter most admires, because Agnes gave him the knowledge that he can continue to use in the future, on his own.

This article was originally published in our December newsletter.

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