Tell us about your role?
I work as a Network Engineering Specialist in the Telco Cloud team, in our team we manage the Cloud environment which hosts some important network functions. My areas of responsibility include helping to manage and improve our performance monitoring solution, developing splunk dashboards to gain visibility into our environment and helping to optimise the configuration of some of our network elements.
Across the course of a week, I perform a variety of tasks which include writing some programming scripts in either ansible or python, developing/improving dashboards in splunk, writing Cisco configuration and performing tests in our model environment. I also attend meetings to discuss progress, make decisions and collaborate with people from both within my team and from other teams or our main vendor, Ericsson.
Another important part of my work is assisting our customers (who are other teams within Telstra) to onboard their applications onto our cloud. It is important for me to able to understand what the application does and how it functions so that I can ensure their applications requirements will be met, this involves discussion with the application owner and sometimes also an external vendor.
What can you share about your background?
I grew up in Bendigo and after finishing year 12 I took a gap year which included living in Warrnambool for a few months where I was planning to study Marine Biology. During my gap year, however, I changed my degree choice to a Bachelor of Science with a concurrent Diploma in Languages at the University of Melbourne since I heard that there were not many job opportunities for marine biologists.
At Melbourne Uni I chose biology and chemistry subjects while also studying Indonesian and Spanish, I soon realised that being a scientist wasn’t the right career choice for me and in my second year I went on exchange to Colombia where I decided I would take some time to think about what I should do with my career. After being overseas for 7 months I came back to Melbourne and decided to study a Bachelor of Engineering at Monash University.
The first year is common across all types of engineering and I really enjoyed the programming subjects, so I chose to continue with Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering. In my second year, we had a lecturer who organised a trip to Telstra’s Global Operations Centre (GOC) and I was so impressed that I decided I wanted to work for Telstra when I graduated. I chose all the Telecommunications electives at university and I managed to get an internship at the ABC where I was working with the technical support team. I worked at the ABC during my final year of university which was a great stepping stone into professional work. During my final year of university, I applied for the Networks Technology Graduate program at Telstra and successfully went through the interview process.
Could someone with a different study or interest background work in your role?
Yes, the role I work in requires a broad skillset and a lot of which I have learnt on the job, however, I think it’s important that whoever joins has a qualification in something related to software engineering, network engineering or IT. I also believe that the ‘soft skills’ are really important, this includes having a good attitude, being able to work well in a team and being able to communicate effectively, these things are harder to teach than technical skills and they go along way in the workplace.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is that I get to use a wide variety of technical skills to solve problems and develop improvements in our cloud environment. I love that every day is completely different and I’m able to simultaneously build on a wide range of skills from IP networking to collaborating with vendors.
What are the limitations of your job?
One limitation of my job is that I have to prioritise tasks based on how they align with the business strategy, not how interesting they are to me! Although this is common across all workplaces I often feel like I wish I had a bit more time to work on specific tasks/solutions and make them just a bit better.
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