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Work of Project Displaced Volunteers is 'Extraordinary', Says Successful Client

Colombia-born industrial engineer Sylvia Cruz came to Australia to study project management…just before COVID hit. After completing her course, she tried to find work. With help and support from Project Displaced, she’s now in a job she loves and wants to encourage others to use the service.

What brought you to Project Displaced?

I saw a post through social media, Facebook. Someone recommended it for people looking for jobs, who needed some help with interviews or applying for roles.

I booked three different sessions – interview preparation, CV review, and LinkedIn.

I had been applying to many jobs for about two months, and I finally got an interview. So I decided to prepare myself because it was the first interview I’d had in Australia – I wanted to know exactly what to do because it was very different to what I’d done previously.

Who did you work with?

I met Claire, and she was extraordinary. From the very beginning she introduced herself as a person willing to help me meet my goals and to identify who I was, my profile, and my skills – and then she taught me how to express myself in the interview, and how to successfully answer the questions. There was a structure she explained to me. Everything she recommended gave me confidence. She encouraged me to show myself, who I was, my personality, to smile throughout it all. She gave me so much advice and very good energy to go with a great attitude to the interview.

I also met Marina. She helped me to review my cv, gave me recommendations on how to build my experience in the CV, how to make it easier to understand for recruiters. She also helped me organise my profile descriptions which is very important for LinkedIn.

They were such good sessions.

What brought you to this point?

I came to Australia to study project management. I’d had experience as a project management assistant and decided to reinforce those skills in Australia. I was looking for volunteer work to gain more exposure and experience in the market, and then when I finished my studies I decided to apply for professional jobs.

I was looking for a job even after the first COVID outbreak, but it was very quiet and very difficult – there weren’t many jobs available in the market. For the last 2 months, I was trying to get a job but it was very hard.

What was the hardest part?

Trying to understand the recruitment culture here. I was applying before I finished my studies, but it was impossible to get a job. The only available jobs weren´t in my professional field, so I was impacted in that way.

And you were successful!

Yes! I found a role as a project engineer, but it wasn’t a good fit for my current needs and professional career. Very quickly I found another job with a consulting firm, where I use my experience in engineering and project management. I followed the techniques Claire taught me – I was confident, able to structure my ideas, and efficiently express myself.

What would you say to others in similar positions?

I would suggest going for it. Project Displaced is one of those places that are really helpful without expecting anything in change. They’re very professional.

I got really good advice, they were willing to help me in any circumstance, and I think I wouldn’t think twice to go there. If I needed help again, I would definitely go back. There are experienced people who were always willing to help. They’re amazing.

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