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mindset career success

Creating the  right mindset for career success 

Featuring: Giselle Machado / Brazilian / Master of Business Administration

Have you ever asked yourself: how are my self-beliefs and mindset affecting my career success? 

My own life is marked by challenges that I’ve had to navigate. 

I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the ’80s and raised in the city’s first favela, Providence Hill.  My parents moved us to Brasília when I was young in search of better job opportunities.  

They would always (and still do) say things like ‘never give up’ and ‘knowledge is something no one can take from you.'  

I didn’t know it then, but these were the values that would guide me through the rest of my career journey. 

The  beginning 

My education wasn’t straightforward. I had to take a year break when studying for my bachelor’s degree to work and save money.  

It took me five years to graduate with a Master of Computer Science which can be completed in two years. There were personal and financial issues I was dealing with, and I simply had to accept that my path was my own. I couldn’t compare it to anyone else’s.   

"Facing new challenges kept me fiercely determined" - Giselle Machado

I was approved through public tender for an IT senior job in the Brazilian Army, somewhat untraditional for a woman. After completing my master’s degree, I began to lecture, teaching subjects such as Software Engineering and Algorithmic Programming Language. 

I wanted to keep studying to stay up to date, so I passed the PhD selection at the University of Brasilia. However, with the time commitment required (I had a family at this stage) and the ongoing issues I was facing, I made the difficult decision to withdraw from my PhD. 

In July 2017, I borrowed some money and moved to Australia with my supportive husband and two kids to try and start a new life for ourselves. I studied English and then applied for an MBA with a specialisation in Digital Management at Kaplan Business School (KBS). It was a career investment; I knew gaining local market knowledge would help me progress in my career. 

The challenges 

Moving to Australia was a huge challenge. Trying to find a job when you are in a different country with a distinct culture and no local references makes you really question where you can fit in.   

Despite my skill set and experience, I was struggling to find a job, let alone one within my area of expertise. I managed to secure my first job as a cleaner, but thankfully soon into my journey with KBS, I managed to get my foot in the door with the help of Careers Central. They helped me get an Academic Internship at Davidson Recruitment, which helped me gain local experiences and referees. 

I also made the most of their networking and industry events and said yes to opportunities as much as possible.  

KBS networking and events I took part in:

>  Academic Internship at Davidson Recruitment 

>  CEBIT industry event  Careers Central workshops held at KBS 

>  Women in Leadership talk given by past Prime Minister Julia Gillard 

>  One-on-one interview preparation sessions with a KBS careers advisor 

>  Programs run by Cicada Innovations 

>  Guest lecturers and practical workshops during my MBA subjects  

However, during a job application strategy workshop run by Adam Murphy (KBS Academic Head), I had my lightbulb moment. He taught us how to analyse job descriptions effectively and write powerful cover letters and resumes.

The new self-narrative 

In my second year, I studied Thinking Styles, Negotiation, and Conflict Management. What a subject! I had an individual appointment with Adam where we worked on breaking down my limiting barriers and taking the next step. 

Adam helped me write a new narrative: ‘I am someone, I am smart enough, and I can handle responsibility. Before this, my narrative was probably more like: ‘My English is not strong enough, I’m an international student, and I can’t compete in the job market’. 

Finally, I started to believe in myself and decided to apply to senior positions that reflected my knowledge and experience.  

Soon after, I secured my first job as a developer.

Over time I gained experience working in roles as a data and campaign analyst, senior developer, solutions developer, integration analyst and information technology consultant.

I was recently successful in being offered my current role as a development team lead at OurProperty.

I was very proud to receive the Postgraduate Academic Excellence Award from KBS because it feels like a testament to the challenges I've had to overcome, first in Brazil and later learning a new language and entering a foreign job market.

The changes that my life has been through during my journey at KBS are immeasurable. The experience has transformed me; revived the passion for my career.

IT is a dynamic industry. One of my goals is to become an entrepreneur, and I'm always looking for niche markets where I can leverage my knowledge.

And now I have a new narrative that I’ll take forward with me. 

Take your next step with confidence at KBS. Learn more about  studying an MBA in Australia  or  our  range of courses.