HANNA Bettinson wasn’t expecting the job offer from NAB but she was thrilled it meant she could stay in Newcastle.
‘‘It was brilliant for me,’’ said Ms Bettinson, one of eight University of Newcastle students to complete a six-month paid industry placement with the National Australia Bank last year.
All eight were offered a position at the end of the training, which involved working two days a week across a range of divisions including agri-business, medical, retail and business banking.
Ms Bettinson is now six months into a role as a business banking associate with NAB’s Lake Macquarie business banking centre. ‘‘You can’t knock paid work experience and the opportunity to walk straight into a full-time job,’’ she told hunterbusiness.
‘‘I was fortunate to be able to stay in Newcastle and find a good job.’’
Tomorrow, she will be joined in Newcastle by fellow NAB scholarship graduate Samantha Munns.
Ms Munns takes on a business banking associate role at NAB Wickham after a six-month stint in a similar role with the bank at Griffith.
The new hires were the first two graduates to be employed directly into NAB’s business banking division in the region for at least five years, NAB senior manager Angela Hugo said.
The program, one of several aimed at keeping skills in regional areas, gave NAB the opportunity to bring in people from the ground up.
‘‘The drive for us is to build a pipeline of talented staff,’’ she said.
Although NAB did not promise every graduate a job, ‘‘we hope to not only retain as many as possible but hope to retain them for a long-term career,’’ Ms Hugo said.
Bringing graduates on board after the scholarship saved a ‘‘good three months’’ in training time.
AFTER running Hunter Viking Car Centre for 22 years, owner-operator Gareth Trudgeon has sold the company — and his services — to one of the largest European car dealerships in the Hunter.
Mr Trudgeon, who has been running Volvo car dealerships in the Hunter since 1981, said at 63, he had been looking to sell the business in a few years. So when McCarroll’s Group offered to buy his database and employ him and his team at McCarroll’s Volvo Renault, it solved the problem of finding a prospective buyer.
‘‘It’s very difficult to find someone to take over a small business,’’ he told hunterbusiness.
His new challenge was to grow the small business feel of Hunter Viking in the 1881-square-metre, 16-hoist service centre at Broadmeadow.
‘‘It’s been a culture shock moving into a huge business,’’ Mr Trudgeon said.
McCarroll’s Group, which has operated Lexus of Newcastle for 14 years, established the Newcastle Volvo and Renault dealership in 2012.
The family owned company, that also has eight dealerships on Sydney’s North Shore, has invested heavily in the Hunter in the past 18months with the establishment of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Alfa Romeo and Fiat dealerships, as well as the multimillion-dollar service centre.
MITCHELL McLean found himself in the spotlight after agreeing to teach 20 professional women the basics of car maintenance.
He’d fixed cars for 17 years but with no public speaking experience, the man behind Grease Monkeys Mobile Mechanix was hesitant when communications specialist Jaimie Abbott suggested he run a workshop for women.
‘‘I wouldn’t take his no for an answer,’’ said the director of Jaimie Abbott Communications.
Ms Abbott was inspired to create Bonnet Booties — a workshop to help women feel safe on the roads — when she was stumped with a car problem herself.
‘‘I was driving one day and the car started to make a noise, and I had no idea where to start,’’ she said.
The reluctant mechanic soon saw the value in connecting with customers through a workshop environment and planned to continue the series. He was surprised to learn that ‘‘some didn’t even know where their bonnet release or spare tyre was,’’ but said women weren’t the only ones not to know how their cars worked.
Mr McLean said it was a good way for suburban mechanics, who rely on word of mouth, to get in touch with potential new customers.
AFTER his own role was made redundant, HR professional Ben Glashoff was inspired to use the downtime to help others cope with job loss.
With the support of Forsythes Recruitment and Hunter TAFE, Mr Glashoff, who is studying for a masters in business coaching, is running two free workshops this Wednesday to teach resilience and job-seeking skills.
Mr Glashoff said people made redundant from small to medium businesses often missed out on the career transition counselling offered by larger companies.
‘‘You have people who have been in jobs for 20 years and don’t know how to write a resume, have never heard of Linkedin and have no interview skills.’’
Register or learn more: forsythes.com.au/nojobwhatnow/