Tips for Grads: Graduate Advice from ANZ with Joanna Woods

Getting a job you love – for many people, is the ultimate career goal. And it makes sense. All things considered, would you rather work in a job you love or one that is merely okay?

One you love of course! A job that makes you happy and fulfilled makes sure you head out the door each day with a spring in your step.

If you want to really love what you do though it’s important that you find something that aligns with your values. Working in a value-aligned job will help you to be more productive and efficient. That is why chasing the prestige or money of some careers may not work out in the long run.

As a graduate job seeker you might feel like you don’t have the luxury of finding one that really suits you. There can be a lot of pressure to find a job – any job – as quickly as possible. While this approach can definitely help you develop experience it could leave you feeling unhappy, unsuccessful and quickly put you back on the employment treadmill.

To help you get into these great opportunities sooner, JobGetter has approached some of the best Graduate Employers in Australia. These Tips for Grads can help you write a perfect resumeavoid interview traps, and find out exactly what these recruiters are looking for. This week, Joanna WoodsGraduate Program Manager at ANZ, offers her knowledge and insider advice to graduate job seekers.

Finding out how a company acts can be tricky from the outside. Sure, research can help but what does a company actually look and feel like once you get past the glossy advertising? What better way to find out than to hear from someone who actively works to develop the culture and experience for graduates at ANZ?

That is the whole idea behind Tips for Grads. To give graduates like you a chance to see what some of the best graduate employers in Australia are doing and how you can impress them.

Read on to get Joanna’s advice…


ANZ has a history that stretches back nearly 200 years and bases of operates in 33 countries around the world, earning its spot as one of the most successful banks in the world.

While some banks may seem disconnected from the community they serve, at ANZ we place a lot of significance on our role in helping people and communities thrive.

Just one example of this is our GIVE program encourages employees to Give to charity, Invest in the community and help improve financial literacy programs, Volunteer as individuals or as part of a wider team, and help to support Emergency Relief efforts when necessary. As an employee, you can do your part to help the community and know that your employer will be completely supportive.

More than anything a graduate program is a learning experience. It’s an opportunity for you to take the things you have learnt at university and put them to use in the real world. At ANZ we pride ourselves on ensuring that the learning experience of our graduate program is well tailored and supportive. On the program graduate employees can expect feedback, support, and guidance from managers throughout their rotation.

ANZ has a workforce of more than 50,000 across the world who work in a range of positions including business management, IT, finance, and accounting. Such a wide range of roles means that ANZ can offer you lots of options in your career. Whether you are looking for a long term career in the banking sector or just want to see what it’s like – the ANZ graduate program can provide the opportunities and experience you need.

Joanna’s Tips for Grads

What was your first job?

Layby in high school. First professional job post-uni was working for Jobwire, a boutique recruitment agency.

How long have you worked in HR?

12 years.

What do you look for in graduates?

A growth mindset, willingness and openness to give anything a go, aligned values to our organisation, a proactive approach, curiosity, authenticity, an ability to ‘fail fast’.

What advice would you give to graduates looking to stand out?

1.Be yourself.

2. Ensure you are applying to organisations whose values and purpose align with yours so that your motivation to work for the organisation is authentic.

What’s something people might not know about working at ANZ?

It’s a very flexible working environment, we also have a ‘dress for your day’ policy so if it doesn’t suit you then no suits and ties are required!

What makes a graduate’s application stand out to you?

Think about why you want to work for ANZ and provide a well thought through answer. Make sure you’re working in a quiet environment when you apply for the role so you minimise the risk of making mistakes.

What’s the number one mistake to avoid when applying for a graduate position?

Not having a genuine and authentic style. We want people who have, a genuine interest in working for us and helping our customers.

What do you look for during the interview?

Enthusiasm, honesty, integrity and the desire to learn.

What questions should graduates never ask?

Avoid salary questions in the interview and getting too personal with your interviewers.

What do you wish more candidates would do or say?

Back yourself. Apply for your dream role. If you don’t get it ask for feedback and and keep reaching for your goals.

What should graduates know about ANZ before applying?

Do your research! Follow Shayne (our CEO) across social media and get a good understanding of our purpose, values and strategy.

What advice would you give to someone who was unsuccessful in applying?

Keep trying! Seek feedback where possible and continually learn from every ‘failure’.

Final thought: Widen Your Horizons

You never know what the future has in store for you. Research shows workers who are entering the workforce now will have more than five different careers over their working life.

The one thing that should remain constant throughout all the change however is how much you like your job. Pick something that makes you feel happy and lets you contribute to society. Looking at a company’s values and seeing how their goals align with your can help you enjoy your job. Look at what they promote on social media, follow the CEO, look at their branding and see what they value and how that makes you feel. 

If you want to know more about ANZ or what a graduate position would have in store for you, don’t be afraid to ask. As Joanna says, “No question should never be asked!”.

Want to join ANZ?

If you are interested in working in a company that is focused not only changing its industry but on improving its community, than you may want to take the take a leap and join the ANZ graduate program. Your experiences with such an innovative and large company will give you the tools that will be useful wherever your career takes you. Take note of Joanna’s advice and keep it in mind when applying for their graduate opportunities.

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