Tell us about your current role
At nbn essentially we help connect Australia to the internet. We work together with our Retail Service Providers (RSPs) such as Optus, Telstra and Vodafone, to connect you to the rest of the world. The nbn™ broadband access network is one of the most advanced technology projects in Australian history.
I work in the Network Inventory and Fulfillment sector. Basically we manage the way that we handle orders from our phone and internet providers. We create the system that receives an order and activates/configures the hardware out in the field. An average day in my work life consists of a daily meeting with the rest of my team to update each other on our progress in the morning. I would be assigned a specific task that relates to an overall feature that the team is working on. The rest of the day would be spent on analysing certain data or coding a certain functionality.
How did you find your way to nbn?
I didn’t know what career I was going to pursue coming out of high school and with my parents pushing me towards becoming a doctor I decided to pursue something in the health field. I originally started my university life in a Radiational Therapy course where I would eventually become a practitioner that would treat cancer and make a difference. However after 2 years of the course I realised I didn’t see the field as my lifelong career.
I always enjoyed gaming and puzzles throughout my life and decided to do a total 180 and swap from health science to the technology field since I could put my logical mindset to good use. After 3 years completing my computer science degree I was doing the usual graduate job hunt and applied to nbn as one of my many applications at the time.
After a ton of interactions with different companies, I realised that nbn definitely had a different feel. At other assessment centres and interviews it all felt, for a lack of a better word, “robotic”. I could tell the interviewers were just reading from a script and not truly listening. However at the nbn interview, it felt more like a conversation between people where the interviewer was truly curious about my experience and who I was. This is the main reason why I chose nbn, because it was somewhere that felt human and felt like they cared about their people.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
My job is very technical and requires a certain degree of computer science knowledge. I don’t believe that someone outside of the IT/Computer Science field would have a good time in my position. However as long as you have basic coding knowledge in a few languages you should be able to build upon those concepts within this job!
What do you enjoy most about working at nbn?
Working at nbn is extremely rewarding. The work you do isn't menial labour or insignificant tasks. I always imagined during my first few months in the industry, I would be focusing on learning new skills and working on projects that wouldn’t be implemented but more used for my development.
However, in my experience at nbn every task given to me has or will go live into production. There is a huge focus on learning from completing real tasks that have an actual impact on the company making you feel like a real contributor rather than "just a grad". This displays the level of trust given to the grads which I think is an amazing attitude to see from any company.
What has been challenging?
A big change that I had to get used to is the fact that I won’t understand everything. In uni we usually get the entire scope and functionality of a project i.e. making a game with defined rules. The major difference when working in the field is that you rarely get to see a project from start to finish. You’re thrown straight into the middle with a lot of catching up to do. Starting on work that you don’t have a clear understanding of can be an uncomfortable thing to do. However you slowly get used to getting work done with limited knowledge. You don’t need to understand the entire project. Just what you need to get done and the area surrounding that one part.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...