Bridging the gap uni to the workforce

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram As a former president of the Melbourne University Greek club, Ashley Nasiakos found it odd that no other group existed for Greek Australians to follow their group activities when they enter the workforce. An idea was born, and with the help of the Hellenic Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HACCI), the HACCI Young Professionals Network was created.Launching the group Wednesday night, Mr Nasiakos said it’s important to provide young Greeks with the chance to talk and collaborate with like-minded people once they enter the workforce. “There’s an expiry point, they fall off the radar,” he said about the lack of groups for young Greeks. “From Greek school, to uni, there’s nothing. It’s the most important time to build them up.”Mr Nasiakos said the network has been created to give working Greek Australians a unified voice, help them collaborate and meet people in their industry while also giving talented Greeks a chance to be mentored. More than 60 young Greek Australians packed the function room at Kri Kri restaurant in Melbourne, intrigued and happy to be a part of the initiative. Those attending came from a wide variety of industries, including lawyers, pharmacists, librarians and accountants, all hoping to get some tips on how to better navigate themselves through the business world. Keynote speaker and author of Adventures of a Ballooning Career, Despina Karatzias used her own story of working in the travel industry for more than 10 years to give the audience more of an idea of how to seize moments and get over the fear of networking. She said it’s in our blood to be good networkers due to the fact our parents had to be much more extroverted to survive in a foreign land.“We’re predisposed to leadership, we’re here because it takes courage to leave a place and come to a place that’s all uncertainty,” she said. “Networking started early for us after feeling left out in a foreign country.” Ms Karatzias also spoke of the three Ps of business: passion, people and profit, and included a networking tip called the elevator pitch. The pitch is a way to summarise a person’s career objective in less than a minute in a palatable way to get people interested. She implored everyone in the room to speak to three new people at the event.After the launch, the network hopes to provide a series of events for its members, from more casual meet ups to more serious workshops and industry nights. Already on the cards for the network are two special events with brand strategist Peter Economides.In a special four hour workshop on September 13, Peter Economides will tutor 36 participants on how to brand their business.Then the network will host a branding for start ups lecture with Mr Economides in conjunction with Swinburne University on September 15.Piggybacking from already successful events HACCI hosts, the network will also host a cocktail gala ball in the early months of next year.HACCI hopes to use its already established mentoring and internship program to give more members a chance at getting a foot in the door of their preferred industry.For more information, visit or email an expression of interest to [email protected]last_img read more