Shortlisted as a finalist for two awards in the GradConnections Top100 Future Leaders competition, Tegan Raines talks being the first in her family to attend university, her role models, and the competition that flew her to Sydney to compete against students from across Australia.
Thousands of university students apply each year to the Top 100 Future Leaders competition. The competition has four unique stages that replicate a comprehensive recruitment process, testing leadership acumen and other essential skills for the workplace.
Representing QUT and the Faculty of Law, Tegan placed within the top 10 for two award categories: the Ashurst Law Award, and the University of Wollongong First In Family Award.
“I always knew I wanted to end up at university. From a young age I have always loved a challenge. I knew that in order to be a lawyer and be successful in my career that University was essential, and it was up to me to make that happen.”
Completing a Bachelor of Business with QUT in 2017 majoring in International Business, Tegan then commenced a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) as part of the graduate entry program in July 2018. But, like many students, deciding which course and what university wasn’t easy, “While I had a basic idea that I was interested in law and business, I still struggled to know which course and university was going to be the best fit for me. My family were very supportive and made sure I attended every open day. It was new for them too, so having them support me and learn with me was special.”
She credits her work ethic to her parents and grandparents, “They are all such hard workers, and they have inspired me to work hard as well.”
Currently in her second year, Tegan has been proactive in making the most of her opportunities. With a wide range of experiences under her belt from university exchange in Germany, working and training in the Australian Army, retail, Event Control Room Coordinator at the Commonwealth Games, clerkships at McCullough Robertson, volunteering overseas, attending the United Nations University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Thailand, and being named a regional finalist in the EY Oceania Corporate Finance Woman of the Year just last year, Tegan isn’t slowing down any time soon.
Tegan describes herself as ambitious and passionate, “I have an interest in corporate and international law within the Asia Pacific region. I love working with a range of different cultures and I am passionate about pro bono and community involvement. I like to give back to the community by being involved in fundraisers, charitable runs and walks, giving blood, supporting local small businesses and giving a helping hand in anything I can.”
After successfully completing the application process for the Top100 Future Leaders, psychometric tests, and a video interview demonstrating her understanding of and experience with leadership and corporate law, Tegan was flown to Sydney to participate in the final round of the competition.
“The assessment centre day began with interviews and a presentation where I shared my knowledge with Ashurst HR representatives on my leadership style and how that is shaping the law industry today. Following a few scenario and behavioural-based questions we were brought together to complete a group activity that assessed our teamwork skills and leadership dynamics. This was my favourite part of the day as I learnt so much from other fellow like-minded students,” Tegan said.
When asked what she thinks makes a good leader, Tegan replies:
“A good leader is passionate and driven, first and foremost. They lead and mentor.
They know the strengths and weaknesses of their team as well as themselves and lead by example. They are brave, stand up for their team and what they believe in.
I would like to be a leader that supports my team creating that drive within them to continuously improve.”
Tegan’s advice to her fellow students is, “Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way, big or small. Even my experience in retail has contributed immensely to where I am today. Make the most of every unit in your degree while it may feel like it’s not your favourite area or an area you want to work in, every opportunity provides some sort of learning experience.”
What does the future hold for Tegan? “With Law I feel it’s hard to know what area you want to work in until you try it. Right now, I am open to any opportunity to discover new areas of Law. After I graduate, I hope to be working in-house or at a law firm, contributing positively to a culture that I fit into, whilst continuing to learn and challenge myself everyday.”
Two other QUT students from Business and Science and Engineering faculties were finalists, with Madison Birtchnell winning the BP award category.
You can see the Future Leaders of 2020 finalists and winners here.
Applications for 2021 open August 2020.