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  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Olivia Ward

Along with my R&D program coordination responsibilities, my role also gives me the opportunity to play with all the latest and greatest tech gadgets.

What's your job about?

It is my responsibility to ensure all TechnologyOne employees are kept up-to-date with the latest additions and improvements to our software, as well as any new Research and Development (R&D) initiatives.

An example of how my team keeps our colleagues up-to-date is through R&D Showcases. R&D Showcases provide a sneak peek of the latest innovations the R&D team is working on. It’s an exciting time for TechnologyOne and these fortnightly presentations allow R&D to share current and future ideas, projects and concepts with the whole company.

To do this, I coordinate all aspects of the R&D Showcases including liaising with the Product Owners to discover what’s new in the software, and working with them to provide a demonstration to present to the company. I organise the slide decks and set up the live streams for our employees in different offices, as well as manage the advertising and develop the necessary marketing materials. I occasionally act as the MC before a presentation, and once I presented at a Showcase, along with my graduate cohort.

In short, I work closely with the R&D Evangelists to highlight the awesomeness of our software.

What's your background?

I spent my childhood in the tropical island paradise of Vanuatu, before my family moved back to Australia. I then began my schooling in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast. Having lived in small communities all my life, starting university in the “big smoke” of Brisbane was daunting. However, once I started university and found my own two feet, I knew that the city life was for me.

During university, I was lucky enough to land some great internship opportunities and part-time jobs in the IT sector, however, the work I was doing didn’t excite me and I was worried I’d made the wrong decision in studying IT. After I graduated from university, I moved to Townsville for six months where I managed to pick up a job in digital advertising and discovered that I really enjoyed marketing.

When my time in Townsville ended, a close friend from university reached out and put in a good word for me at TechnologyOne through the referral program. Unbeknownst to me, I landed my dream job with TechnologyOne shortly afterwards, with a role that entails aspects of IT, digital marketing and corporate systems management, along with a whole lot of other fun and exciting stuff!

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes, someone with a different background could potentially do my job, so long as they had strong interpersonal skills and a willingness to learn fast and work hard. It is important to have a keen eye for detail and excellent written communication skills, as writing is a key part of the job. You also need to be confident speaking in front of very large audiences. Skills with graphic and video editing certainly come in handy, along with the ability to quickly pick up new software tools and programs.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

Along with my R&D program coordination responsibilities, my role also gives me the opportunity to play with all the latest and greatest tech gadgets. For example, my team quickly acquired the Samsung Gear VR goggles, Microsoft HoloLens, and Amazon’s Echo and Alexa smart home devices, just to name a few. This is great fun and we are always on the lookout for new and exciting products to get our hands on.

What are the limitations of your job?

Being expected to travel, while often fun and exciting, could be a limitation to some people. Traveling both interstate and internationally to participate in workshops or conferences is required as part of my role.

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

  • Go to networking events – get dressed up and go wine and dine with like-minded people. You never know who you might meet or what opportunities may arise.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions in class – the fear of appearing dumb in front of your peers is daunting, but if you don’t understand something, it’s likely that many others don’t either. Ask the question and save everyone having to Google it later.
  • Get involved in a club or charity – while grades are important, so is socialising and having fun (and it looks great on a resume)!