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Joanna Preston – Graduate Programme Manager FNB

Joanna Preston – Graduate Programme Manager FNB

What qualifications do you hold and where did you obtain them from? I have an Hons degree in Industrial Psychology from University of Johannesburg

Is the academic institution you attend important in an interview? Do you prefer graduates from a specific institution? Certain universities and faculties on campuses in some instances have outstanding reputations, but it’s largely the individual performance in assessments and interviews that counts.

Did you know exactly what you wanted to become from a young age? I always knew that my job would be centered around people – I was always fascinated with people’s behavior and different personalities.

Describe your typical day? Luckily for me, there is no such thing! Although in a corporate environment , everyone’s job entails going to meetings, answering e-mails and talking on the phone – the content of these tasks for me, differs depending on the time of the year. In the first half of the year, my focus is on ensuring all graduates are settling well in the business and on the training and development. Later on in the year, I focus on marketing and attraction strategies and in the last few months of the year, the focus is on recruiting new graduates.

If you could be a celebrity for a day, who would you be and why?
I’d really rather not be a celebrity.

Are you directly involved in the selection process of graduates? If yes, what is the one piece of advice you would give a Graduate and what would be one thing you would tell them not to bother with? Yes, I work with a team to decide on selection and assessment techniques and take part in the assessment and interview process. The best piece of advice I could offer graduates is to get as much information as possible on the company they are applying for. This should not be limited to the marketing information on the website, but up to date information from the press and also more ‘inside information’ which you can get by speaking to the some of the graduates who are currently working for them. It’s a good way to find out about the values and culture of a company. Most large companies attend career fairs and that’s an idea opportunity. Don’t worry too much about knowing exactly where you’re going to be ‘in five years’ time’. It’s good to have direction and some insight on your career, but you don’t have to have it all worked out just yet.

Do you believe that University Career Centre’s should play a bigger role in preparing Graduates for the World of Work? I think in recent years most careers centres have improved their service offerings to students in terms of career counseling and career preparation. There are still many challenges faced by Universities in terms of having the available resources to adequately service students. A good option if for more partnerships with industry and graduate recruiters.

In 3 words what can you tell me is your ideal candidate? Self- starter; passionate; innovative

What skills do they need to possess? Teamwork; communication; problem – solving; learning ability

In one word how would you sum up working at FNB? Extraordinary


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