From high school sweethearts to future leaders

From high school sweethearts to future leaders

From high school sweethearts to future leaders

Madeleine Harmer and Aaron Wilson recognised in GradConnect future leaders program.

Lifestyle, a range of high-quality course offerings, and green spaces were among the reasons a young couple decided to make the move from regional NSW to the University of Wollongong (UOW).

Madeleine Harmer and Aaron Wilson, both high-achieving students in their own right, were recently recognised as finalists in the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Future Leaders Awards.

Madeleine, who is currently working full time in a local government finance role, is in her fifth and final year of a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in accounting and finance, while Aaron is five years into a Bachelor of Engineering (Deans Scholar, Honours).

Both students applied for the Top 100 Future Leaders Competition late last year, undertaking a competitive recruitment process that included a written application, psychometric testing, video interview and an assessment centre, before being recognised in the top 100 and attending an awards ceremony in Sydney in February.

The competition gives high-achieving students the opportunity to represent their university and increase their profile, while exposing them to Australia’s top graduate employers and giving them a taste of what it’s like to go through a competitive graduate recruitment process.

“It was really good because I hadn’t done any applications before, so it’s good to know what to do when the time comes,” Madeleine said.

“Having the opportunity to get into it and practice application processes without having to rely on it was a great experience.

“I gained so much confidence through the program, and also gained the opportunity to network during the awards night with employers from all over Australia.”

For Aaron, the opportunity to set himself apart from other students and gain valuable industry contacts made the application process a no-brainer.

“I wanted to set myself apart from every other student across the nation. It’s really good when applying for grad jobs to have had that experience going through a mock recruitment process, and to see what companies are looking for,” he said.

“It was also nice to have some recognition after four years of study.”