Last year I addressed selection criteria for a client who applied for an administrative type role in a university based in Melbourne. She was subsequently interviewed, offered the role and accepted it. The selection criteria component of the application involved addressing seven questions. Following are excerpts from three of the questions addressed:
1. Completion of a degree with subsequent relevant work experience, or an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education/training
I have many years of student service and administrative experience within an educational and academic environment. In particular, for the past two years, I have been involved in a student service and project coordinating role in the education sector as an Occupational English Test (OET) Coordinator with The ABC Centre. My administrative tasks are diverse and challenging and include both student and test administration. Several of my key responsibilities include: preparing and coordinating tests including the application and assessment process; managing all the application accounts for new and resitting candidates; managing all procedures relating to the admissions and enrolment process for medical and health candidates; and identifying and implementing administrative procedures that ensure quality service to students. I work closely with academic staff, the Administration, Finance and IT Departments, and the management team to deliver the OET. With regard to tertiary qualifications, I possess a Postgraduate Diploma in Translation Studies completed in 2004 through the Australian National University in Canberra. I also hold a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in English and International Laws) completed in 2003 at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China.
2. Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to interpret and communicate complex rules
In my current role as OET Coordinator with The ABC Centre, I communicate (both written and verbally, face-to-face and via phone) on a daily basis with administration and customer service staff. They include candidates, assessors, test venue providers and test supervisors. The ABC Centre hold six OETs each year in 40 venues all over the world, each test attracting around 1,500 candidates, most of whom are based overseas. Any miscommunication can create a great impact on the whole process. As I am currently the only team member involved in this process, effective and accurate communication is vital. My strategy is to resolve candidates’ enquiries in one phone call. For example, with the February 2008 test administration, I answered 40-50 candidate enquiries both over the phone and via email on a daily basis; dealing with candidates from different cultural backgrounds. I guided candidates through the application process adhering to company policy, ensuring they understood their responsibilities. In addition, as test dates drew closer, I also contacted test venues and venue supervisors, and assisted with venue hunting in Asian and Middle Eastern countries (Iran, Egypt and China). Communicating with sessional assessors is another important aspect after the test has been administered. When I first commenced in the role, there were many complaints and miscommunications arising from each administered test. Subsequently, with my involvement, the number of customer complaints was significantly reduced for the test administered in February 2008.
3. Demonstrated ability to take initiative; to plan and prioritise workloads to meet deadlines; to work both in a team environment and independently
In all the roles I have undertaken, the majority of my work was done in collaboration with other team members and/or other departmental teams. I believe efficient team work improves service efficiency and quality. For example, whilst employed with DEF Pty Ltd, I was part of a project team consisting of architects, model makers, graphic designers, and administrative staff. My role in the project was to edit and translate the final product (the Design Report). As I was the only team member to be involved in the entire project from inception through to completion, this provided me with a thorough understanding of the big picture concept. I both initiated and undertook the responsibility of connecting with all team members. Team members would approach me for advice and updates as I was the only member of the team who liaised with everyone and kept a detailed track of the entire process. I advised team members of the time frame involved, engaged them to work more efficiently, and encouraged more open communication between team members in order to complete set tasks. Subsequently, my initiative and collaboration with the team resulted in positive feedback from both team members and managers and I was promoted to the role of China Project Coordinator.