When Jeevan Venkata (’16) began searching for a career in information technology, he knew preparation was key. After reaching out to his student communications team at Central Queensland University for a résumé critique, Jeevan was directed to the CQUni Career Connection platform. There, he completed a career consultation and took his new knowledge—and newfound confidence—with him through the application and interview processes at Toll Group, a global logistics solutions company. And—Jeevan didn’t land the job.

But less than a week later, Jeevan heard from another IT manager from the same company, who offered him a job that he didn’t apply for. Jeevan later heard from the HR department that, in fact, they liked him, but filled the first role with a candidate with more years of work experience.

It was Jeevan’s advisor, Lami Perera (’03, ’04), who gave Jeevan the confidence to succeed in his first interview, and the optimism to keep persevering after that initial disappointment. CQUni Career Connection “gave me my career,” Jeevan said, noting that Lami made him much more self-assured during the interview process. The platform “will definitely help everyone, as it helped me a lot,” he added.

How did Lami instill such confidence in Jeevan? In part, through emphasizing the importance of attitude. Lami, who was a graduate student at CQU back in 2003 and 2004, and who is now a PhD student, understands the importance of attitude and character when trying to land a job. Having participated in recruitment panels as a manager, Lami notes that a candidate’s technical background was rarely at the forefront of his decision-making. He always found an abundance of qualified candidates: what he was looking for was the candidate’s match to the team, their attitude, and their character.

“I believe that if your character is good, the career will come to you,” Lami said. “It’s like the house you’re going to build on a good foundation.” While Lami said he can teach team members new skills in technology, he can’t teach them interpersonal skills that define their character.

Lami helped explain to Jeevan that he shouldn’t just be focused on the technology side, but instead build an optimistic attitude that shines through in interviews. The CQUni Career Connection platform has helped Lami develop these important relationships, and not only teach his advisees, but also learn from them as well.