Brewing up big things in Business | Grace Alumni

News - Oct 18, 2021

Just two years out of high school herself, this Grace Graduate has set her sights on helping others find a role that is right for them.

Ask any student, particularly a soon-to-be graduate, and they’ll say that future planning can be a daunting prospect. That was undoubtedly the case for 2019 Alumni Sarah Brew, who (even with a talent for business) found herself questioning exactly which path to take post-graduation.

(In high school) I had no idea what I wanted to do…Honestly, it was a bit daunting as my friends all had these plans in nursing or business. 

Sarah’s concerns were quickly quashed however when an unexpected class in Human Resources (HR) captured her attention.

It was only once I started my first year of business that I got a taste of the different majors to study. I did one unit of HR and it really stuck.

I wanted to give back to the community and help others. I really love connecting with people and communicating, and HR allows me to do that.

Steering her talents in this new direction, it hasn’t taken long for Sarah to establish herself on the path to expertise. Recently securing a role as a Recruitment Consultant at Bright Group Australia Pty Ltd, she is already beginning to build the experience and connections essential for any emerging industry professional.  

I have been working at Bright Group Australia Pty Ltd for approximately 8 months, and I have just been promoted – which is really exciting. It has happened so fast (that) it’s been a bit of a whirlwind.

Sarah’s success is no surprise. As any HR professional will tell you, applying your skills and taking initiative are invaluable for success. Now in her second year of University, she has continued to do exactly that by expanding her studies beyond HR and into Behavioural Science. 

With HR being person-focussed, it’s a lot of ‘textbook’… I wanted to diversify my degree and do something outside of Business. 

I decided to study Psychology for the benefits to HR. I wanted to delve more into the HR side of Psychology so I can relate to and understand people on a deeper level.  There can be so much more behind career choices or the choice to take on certain roles. 

I am currently completing two units (of Psychology) this semester and loving it so much. They focus on the mind and how the brain functions, which is really fascinating….I am actually taking classes with quite a few Grace students who graduated last year. There are probably about 10 ex-Grace students that I share classes with. We are studying together and all in the same group chats.

Looking back on her Grace days, Sarah notes that there were a few key areas that helped to set her up for success – even before landing on the path she is leading now.

Biology most definitely, but Business especially. The last year of business was actually really similar to my first-year business units at QUT. My best friend is studying Business at UQ and has said the same thing.

The topics, and even the assessment, were very similar to what we covered in Mr Curran’s class.

Though this unit has now been superseded by the ATAR course of the same name, the key focus on the many different functions of business (Human Resources, Marketing, Finance, and Operations) remains. Here students can explore many different business strategies, evaluate, and implement them.

These kinds of offerings can be invaluable by providing a good foundation of knowledge – especially for students such as Sarah, who are not yet certain on their career path.

Of course, Sarah is anything by uncertain now. Even while completing her degree, she continues to take on new and rewarding challenges across her new field of choice. 

Her relationship with networking communities like QUT Women in Business has been particularly rewarding for professional growth, as has the opportunity to ‘earn while she learns’.

Because of working in the industry with Bright Group Australia Pty Ltd, I have been able to credit some University units over and even fast-track my HR degree.

Probably (the most daunting thing) has been attending the networking events in Business… though I am a much more confident public speaker now. In fact, I was recently nominated for a Student Bursary award with BPW (Business and Professional Women) Northlakes which was a huge shock to me!

For other soon-to-be Grace Graduates, the now Recruitment Consultant Sarah has some advice for those facing the same challenges she once did.

At my company, we work closely with local communities and businesses to mentor and upskill our recent school leavers and juniors. (But) there are heaps of programs you can complete while still in High School to kick-start your career. 

I always wish I had taken advantage of the VET program more. I wish I had done a certificate in business or fitness and taken advantage of the opportunity … there are heaps of programs you can complete while still in High School. 

(At work) So many of the candidates coming through are school leavers, and it is great to see that on their resume, they have been taking advantage of these programs.

(Also) Taking any opportunity that comes your way, whether it be networking, upskilling or volunteering. It doesn’t just boost your resume; it also builds your professional demeanour. So definitely, volunteer, attend network events to build a presence, and try upskilling!

Though her school days must seem like a lifetime ago now, teachers (such as Mr Neil Curran) remember all too well the friendly, driven student who once Graced’ their classroom. To them, seeing Sarah build a career around connecting and supporting others is far from a surprise.

Sarah is a delightful young lady who has developed a very good rapport with staff and students. She was always so cheerful, very friendly, and positive in outlook.  She was and still is a caring person who is always able to empathise with others. 

Now firmly set on her future path, Sarah already has some big aspirations for the future.  

Well, I’d love to have finished my Psychology degree so I can then go on and complete my honours and become a practicing psychologist. It’s a lot more years of study, but well worth it!

I also want to delve into the organisational field of the HR field – I feel like it is the perfect middle ground.

No matter what the future may hold for this young professional, there is no doubt that she is equipped with the tools and the tenacity to achieve it. 

To learn more about Sarah's journey or the Grace Lutheran College Business and Legal Studies department, contact the college

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