What are you hoping for from your first foray into real-world technology and consulting? Experiencing this high-octane industry for the very first time is in turn exciting, challenging, inspiring and intimidating, but if you’ve chosen a company with your best interests at heart, it will set a successful future in motion.
 
Cognizant graduates come to us fresh from their studies and enter an environment where they’re asked to become genuine contributors from very early on. We’re always looking at how to propel our graduate’s careers forward and do so by constantly developing them, whether it’s on-the-job learning or via formal upskilling opportunities. We’re committed to providing our graduates the best tools and resources so our graduates can build thriving tech careers.

We asked some of our 2021 grads to pass on advice to those currently contemplating life after university. Here’s what they had to say about how to look for good opportunities, what to look for in potential companies, and what qualities you should cultivate if you want to succeed in this industry.

Karin Zaki – Graduate Analyst

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Hi Karin, can you tell us what sort of things you’re looking for in a job and workplace?


Mostly the company culture and environment. We spend a significant amount of our week with our work team so experience with them is important – it will either heighten your eagerness or amplify your indifference to grow both in your professional and personal life. This is why the working environment and a team’s culture is so important to me. 

What qualities do you think are important for success at Cognizant and in the tech industry?


In my opinion the main four are:
  • Strong communication. You need to effectively communicate your big ideas to your team and company, as well as coordinate and resolve issues with the client.
  • Flexibility. You’ll have to adapt to new challenges, different client interactions and dynamic work environments. 
  • A passion for continual learning. The tech industry is CONSTANTLY changing. 
  • Resilience. You will make mistakes as you learn and you need to know that’s okay. Just learn from it and move on. 
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What’s your advice for university students who are exploring future opportunities in the Technology and Consulting space? 


The industry can be quite intimidating at first, especially with the endless role possibilities. The best thing you can do is pick somewhere to start and give it your all – once you’ve got your head in the game, you’ll be able to quickly figure out what you’re more passionate about and want to pursue. Once you do, find more experienced people who are on the same path as you and seek out their mentorship. 

Just know that although being thrown in the deep end is frightening, it’s where you’ll learn and grow in your career and adapt the most. Good luck!

Derrick Lai – Graduate Analyst

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Hi Derrick, can you tell us what sort of things you’re looking for in a job and workplace? 

What really entices me is knowing that the company cares about their associate's growth and development, and also that it has a strong drive to be the best in the industry. These are the reasons I chose Cognizant. 

Ever since joining Cognizant, I have been constantly supported by the company, from monthly meetups to check up on any concerns I have, or simply even just checking up on our mental health! All of these are signs of a company that truly cares for their associates’ wellbeing and aspirations. 

What qualities do you think are important for success at Cognizant and in the tech industry?


I personally think being patient and staying curious are two really important qualities for succeeding in the tech industry. 

As a fresh graduate, I am not familiar with the work that I am being exposed to, and it will take time for me to get better at it. Being patient is key as you do not master a certain set of tools or knowledge in just a day. Which brings me to my second quality, being curious. Approach new skills, knowledge, tools and anything else you come across, with an open mindset. This will make the process much more enjoyable and rewarding – every skill you acquire increases your value.

What’s your advice for university students who are exploring future opportunities in the Technology and Consulting space? 


My main advice is to constantly be learning something because when you get in this habit, you will always find it easy to adapt to new things. 

Also, keep an open mind when exploring opportunities in the industry. Even if the opportunity itself might not be your preferred sector or line of work, it might actually turn out to be way better than you thought! I’m an example of this – my initial focus was on working in front-end development and I’ve ended up working on back-end (and really enjoying it). Never limit yourself based only on what you think you are comfortable with and good at!

Sanjeev Raju – Graduate Analyst

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Hi Sanjeev, can you tell us what sort of things you’re looking for in a job and workplace? 

I largely look at the workplace and general culture. Being in a friendly environment with a diverse range of people makes a team way more exciting and fun. 

Other things that are important to me are access to mentorship and guidance, having a good support network to reach out to for assistance and access to ways of developing and advancing my career. At Cognizant, each individual is assigned their own home manager and mentor and they are easy to reach out to for any advice and queries we have. We also have various learning platforms and many opportunities to acquire certifications. 

What qualities do you think are important for success at Cognizant and in the tech industry?


I think being open to learning new skills and technologies is key. In tech, the tools we use constantly evolve and change so it is important to have an open mind and keep learning new tools all the time, as well as to revise your existing skill sets. You have to stay up to date. 

It is not just the technical skills either. We are constantly communicating with individuals from different areas of the company, so having well-rounded soft skills to communicate and provide your input and ideas to your team is important. Furthermore, being proactive and taking initiative helps a lot as it builds trust amongst your colleagues and shows you’re willing to go the extra mile for excellent results.

What’s your advice for university students who are exploring future opportunities in the Technology and Consulting space? 


I would say to follow companies through different forums so you can see what they’re working on and if it aligns with areas you are interested in. Also, follow big names in the tech space (for e.g. Elon Musk). When you are up-to-date on ways technology is being harnessed to benefit society, you have a lot to talk about when recruiters ask about your interest in the tech space. 

It's also good to connect with HR recruiters that work in the tech space through LinkedIn as they can provide more background and clarity on their graduate programs and what they have to offer. Campus recruitment events and careers fairs are also highly beneficial as many tech companies will be present and it’s a great way to ask questions and establish connections with a range of employers. 

Jenny Tek — Graduate Analyst

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Hi Jenny, can you tell us what sort of things you’re looking for in a job and workplace? 


I’m always interested in companies that provide an inclusive working culture of diversity and equality, as well as a growth mindset. 

I have found that Cognizant embodies all those things. We are always looking for new opportunities to expand, and the training opportunities offered by Cognizant have been great. The skills I’ve been learning here are also transferable to any role. 

What qualities do you think are important for success at Cognizant and in the tech industry?


Being curious, adaptable and not afraid to ask questions are some of the important qualities you need to work at Cognizant, and the tech industry in general. The technology industry is changing all the time, and you need to be comfortable in feeling uncomfortable as you are going to face situations where you don’t know the answers. 

It is never too late to learn new skills either. If you enjoy working towards a solution and you’re someone who perseveres when you're uncertain about something, the technology sector is definitely for you! 
 

What’s your advice for university students who are exploring future opportunities in the Technology and Consulting space? 


Take advantage of the extracurricular activities run by the university and get involved with clubs and societies. I was in the UTS Women in Engineering and IT program, where I got to be part of the pilot STEM X Program and community events. It was a great way to meet individuals who shared the same interests as me. 

Be open to new opportunities and even apply for roles in an industry that you might not necessarily have thought of before. Finally, don't be discouraged when things don't work out for you – take that as a learning experience and keep on going – something will come to you if you keep trying.

The Cognizant Graduate Experience

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