UTS Business and International Studies grad Victoria Ngu speaks about what it’s like to work at the Opera House, and to dance on stage with Chic and Nile Rodgers.
What’s your job like?
I am a Digital Marketing Coordinator at the Sydney Opera House focusing on email, search and display marketing. I work closely with others in the wider marketing department, providing insight into the digital space.
How did you land your position?
I saw the job advertised online and it really stood out in terms of job description and requirements. I realised that it really isn’t worth applying for every job you see that matches your degree; it is a waste of time … if you’re not following where you actually want to go. Sending generic applications will get you nowhere: recruiters have seen it all before, and if you’re not really interested in it, why would you apply to work there nine to five? I reviewed the contents and design of my résumé from a recruiter’s perspective and ensured that my qualifications and achievements were clearly presented to demonstrate my suitability for the role. I spent a lot of time writing my cover letter because I really felt passionate about the role, and both the company and I wanted that to come across in my application.
After landing the interview, I did a lot of research into the company … as well as typical interview questions, so I could prepare my responses in advance: Give an example situation from your experience, list the relevant skills you developed, and [explain] how this is relevant to the position for which you are applying. Writing this out in a table helped with developing a clear thought process to best showcase my ability.
What experiences were most helpful in preparing you for your position?
I undertook unpaid internships at firms I was interested in during my business degree. I also participated in clubs and the exchange program at uni, which demonstrated initiative on my résumé. By spending just a bit of extra time outside of class, I could develop a better understanding of what I wanted to do after finishing my degree. I also found speaking to graduates and people who work in marketing really useful, as their stories and opinions gave me an idea of how to set out striving to achieve my goals.
Have you had any close encounters with celebrities visiting or performing in the opera house?
My closest encounter- and life defining moment- was being given the opportunity to dance with Chic and Nile Rodgers on the Concert Hall stage during their concert, while it was being live streamed on YouTube around the world! It was surreal and an amazing life experience – not many people can cross that off their bucket lists!
If you could turn back time and speak to your first year self, what would you say?
Be a “yes” person – join every club that interests you, go on exchange, seize opportunities for experience and take initiative from the beginning to get ahead. Everyone in your cohort comes out with the same degree on paper, you need to think, “How do I make myself stand out?” Look at what skills you want to develop and which internships or jobs will help you get there. This also forces you to reassess your time management skills, and you will learn more about succeeding in professional life. And don’t take uni holidays for granted. Seriously.
Featured image via