Updating Results

Nova Systems

  • 500 - 1,000 employees

Jaya Sudarpa

Engineering degrees don’t necessarily give you the skills for a specific engineering role, but rather give you a broad range of skills you may use at some point in your career.

What's your job about?

Nova Systems is a professional services provider, predominately operating within the Australian defence sector. In the Systems Engineering space, Nova usually operates within the conceptual design and system sustainment phases. This includes requirement generation, test and evaluation, and verification and validation. In my time with Nova, I have been part of the Model Based Systems Engineering team, developing the building blocks for the capability within the company, as well as undertaking an RF comms focused role with Nova’s Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Traffic Management System for Singapore. In my third rotation of the graduate program, I am part of the Systems Engineering team at SEA1000, Australia’s Future Submarine Program. My responsibilities so far on the program have included requirement analysis and development, as well as system architecture and modelling. By ensuring requirements are well developed now, before any submarines are being built, the risk of re-work is minimised; when it comes to the largest defence acquisition project in Australia’s history, that’s pretty important! As for system architecture, our team’s work means that when it is decided a change is required somewhere in the system, we can more easily track down all related elements when compared to traditional approaches, minimising effort and maximising efficiency. 

What's your background?

I grew up in Adelaide, and despite ending up in an engineering role, I never necessarily had a knack for science and maths throughout my schooling; I really had to work at it. I learnt to enjoy the results of putting in effort. When I got to the point where I needed to decide where I was heading after school, I knew I wanted to get into engineering; but like others, I couldn’t really nail down exactly what field I was interested in. I chose Mechatronic engineering since it combined mechanical and electronic engineering, as well as some aspects of system control. I enjoyed the diversity more and more as my degree went on.

I completed work experience with Nova Systems halfway through my university studies. It really opened my eyes as to how the skills I learnt at university would be transferred into the ‘real-world’. After this experience, when I was presented with a new topic in my coursework, I could really see its value, and my study approach was positively affected.

In my final year of university, I began to apply for graduate positions. In a tough job market, I always had Nova on the top of my list. I loved being part of the team on work experience, and I knew there were few better places to begin my career. My past work experience proved to be invaluable, and I was fortunate enough to be offered a position. I’ve been here four weeks now, and it’s still the same great working environment that I remembered.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

I would say it’s required for anyone undertaking this role to have a degree in engineering; but that said, I don’t believe they would need to have undertaken the same study path as I have. Engineering degrees don’t necessarily give you the skills for a specific engineering role, but rather give you a broad range of skills you may use at some point in your career. More importantly, they teach you how to tackle problems. If someone could apply themselves to a project with the right mindset, they could become a graduate engineer.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The best thing about working at Nova is the people. Culture is an important part of Nova and it definitely shows. Everyone here is supportive, and you know you can have a chat to anyone, even those in management roles. The company is always holding social events, and it’s a great way to spend time with your workmates outside of the office.

What are the limitations of your job?

Inherent in the nature of the supplier-client relationship that comes with being consultancy, is the need to appease the client’s needs. Specifically, it is not always possible to work with a client for such a short time as is typical for a graduate rotation; therefore, some placements will not adhere to the normal cycle. 

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Approach your lecturers and demonstrators more often, they’re there to help you! Sometimes I would be reluctant to ask the wrong question, but when you’re a student, there are no wrong questions; it’s all part of learning.
  • Understand what industry really wants from you beyond a GPA. Everyone leaves university with the same piece of paper, its what else you have that matters.
  • Get involved in mentoring. I really enjoy providing guidance to students, and it can be as beneficial for me as it is for them. I think I would’ve enjoyed doing something similar at university.