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University of Western Sydney
Analyst, Industry Technical Services
Jacob studied Bachelor of Business & Commerce at Western Sydney University
What's your job about?
APRA is responsible for the regulation of the three industries crucial to our financial stability: banks (or more broadly, authorised deposit-taking institutions), insurance and superannuation.
My role within APRA is with technical advice services, specifically within Superannuation. There may be internal questions about how a certain law or standard would be applied in practice to an APRA-regulated fund. My job is to provide a response based on a knowledge of the industry and technical insight.
What's your background?
I grew up in the suburb of Mount Annan in South-Western Sydney, wedged in between the more well known towns of Camden and Campbelltown. I have lived in the same house for my whole life, and in fact still live there to this day.
The completion of each of the three stages of my education were very important to me, particularly my graudation from University.
I applied for the APRA Graduate program in February 2015, and was lucky enough to progress through the Assessment Centre and subsequent final round interview. I had previously held roles as a learning facilitator at WSU through the PASS program, as well as retail experience through Target. Additionally, an internship with the ATO from June to December 2015 helped ready myself for working life. I’ve been in my current capacity slightly over a year.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes. Particularly in my role which has a Superannuation-focus, this is not an area that I studied at any point during my tertiary education. However, APRA has fantastic developing both in a big picture AND technically, and whilst I can’t speak for fellow graduates focused on ADIs or Insurance, I can say that my knowledge of the Superannuation industry has developed immensely courtesy of my team and APRA.
For APRA as a whole, a strong understanding of the 5 values of our organisation is a necessity (professionalism, accountability, foresight, integrity, collaboration). Not only what they mean, but how to effectivewly implement them on a daily basis. For my specific role, a keen ability to understand technical issues but a complementary ability to put this into a ‘big picture’ analysis is the best way to describe the important characteristics needed.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The tasks that are unique and give me a chance to showcase my own understanding of concepts, both technically and broadly speaking, are the best parts of my job. It’s a great feeling knowing that my analysis is often used not just in specific circumstances, but as a broad precedent in many instances.
What are the limitations of your job?
I can’t say for myself that I have needed to work weekends, or stay back extremely late to accomplish tasks, and this is because APRA does have a fantastic work-life balance. However, the responsibility aspect is crucial. This is magnified being a Government institution, where any advice I provide can be quick to spread to industry and used by others. This means that I need to be extremely thorough in all I do, and have to constantly second-guess and think further on issues. However, my team and manager are on hand to review my advice and this removes a lot of the stress.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
- The times that most reflect our ability is not when times are good, it’s when times are bad. Push hard and succeed at the worst times, and that’s how you’ll be the best.
- In any pursuit, it is better to understand a small amount of things perfectly than to understand an array to little depth. To amend the famous expression – be a master of some trades, jack of none!
- Be patient. Continue working hard and the opportunities do arise.