Graduate Profile - Isa Puspasari

Ira Puspasari

Name: Ira Puspasari

What degree/s did you study and when did you graduate?
Master of Project Management. Graduated in 2011.

Where do you currently work (sector/organisation) and what is your position title?
I currently work at the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors (ABSA), as Member Services Officer.
My work involves:
- Developing the existing and new member programs
- Assisting current and potential members with accreditation enquiries related to exam scheduling and marking, training and CPD (Continuing Professional Development).
- Booking and managing external training, venue, webinar and exam marking suppliers and ensuring up-to-date information and materials are provided to members.

Please describe a typical day/week in your role. What do you enjoy most about your work?
It’s a dynamic role, I work on multiple tasks simultaneously, manage deadlines and I need to be flexible as I work in a changing and growing environment. I enjoy the fact that I would never have the same day twice, every day there’s always something new and interesting challenges around the corner.

Which skills are highly valued by employers in your field? In your experience, what are the qualities of successful candidates eg relevant work experience, specific degree or industry qualification, specific skills, networks, extracurricular involvement?
I actually don’t have relevant work experience, my employer valued my architectural degree and project management qualification combined with an interest in building sustainability.

Apart from my qualifications, the skills that are highly regarded include:
- High attention to detail
- Exceptional telephone and people skills, projecting credibility, positivity and reliability
- Energy, drive and enthusiasm along with a friendly personality
- Confidence in resolving conflict and resilience in managing change
- Understanding financial management, invoicing and payment processing
- Excellent command of the English language with good writing and speaking skills
- Intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.

What are your top three tips for university students wishing to enter your field of work? eg networking, postgraduate study
1. Professional networking is definitely important, I wouldn’t have known about this job if it wasn’t listed as ‘jobs you might be interested in’ on Linked In, even though I applied through Seek. In the past, I struggled to find a more appropriate job with my qualifications because my recent work experience was in retail. I always typed in ‘Project Coordinator’ or ‘Project Officer’ as key words when searching jobs in Seek, but vacancies always came up asking for work experience which I didn’t have.

2. Don’t just rely on JobMail from Seek or other websites, often you receive their notifications when it’s already too late. The jobs they emailed me were mostly not the right fit, because the system was trying to generate jobs that matched skills but not necessarily correctly.

3. Keep your resume updated and always check your cover letter before sending it to prospective employers. That is their first impression of your profile, you want to address selection criteria with high attention to detail.