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University of New South Wales
Jade Doyle studied Aerospace Engineering at the University of New South Wales.
What's your name and job title? What did you study? When did you graduate?
My name is Jade Doyle and I am a Graduate with Caltex. I studied Aerospace Engineering at the University of New South Wales from 2011 – 2014.
Where did you grow up? Important stages of your life (school, education, experience abroad, jobs etc.)
I grew up in the Sutherland shire and from a young age my parents could see that I had a liking for maths and creating things with Lego or any other building block I could get my hands on. It was pretty safe to say that maths stayed a favourite subject throughout my schooling (although I did also enjoy art, craft and music!). So it was a very easy transition into engineering at university having chosen 4unit maths and physics in my HSC (even though I had a very limited understanding of what an engineer actually did).
During my time at uni I had two jobs. My first was with an Event Planning company working at car sale events which I did for 2 years and my second was as a retail assistant at Shoes and Sox for 4 years. Both of these roles were very customer focused and gave me a greater appreciation for the retail profession.
My partner at the time (now husband) also introduced me to world of snowboarding which is now a much loved hobby. I’ve been very lucky to be able to go to places like Japan and New Zealand which has been a great experience.
How did you get to your current job position? For how long have you had it?
I began my career at Caltex as an engineering intern in the mechanical maintenance team. This was initially a 4 months contract but got extended out to 11 months. About half way through the internship, a co-worker told me about the program and recommended I applied as I was still unsure where I saw my career heading. I thought the program sounded great as through a two year program it would allow me to learn about and work in 4 different areas of the business. I have now been in the graduate program for just over a year (having spent time in Logistics and B2B Pricing) and am now in Retail/Merchandising for my 3rd rotation.
What does your employer do?
Caltex is Australia’s leading transport fuel supplier and has an evolving convenience retail business.
What are your areas of responsibility?
My responsibilities change with each rotation. In Logistics I was responsible for process mapping tasks completed different job . This involved talking to many people in the business based nationwide. In pricing I was mainly responsible for running our daily, weekly and monthly models and trying to make them more efficient/automated.
Can you describe a typical work day?
I can be doing anything from analysing data, process mapping, attending meetings or building KPI tracker spreadsheets. I’ve also spent days out of the office working across our network, including with our truck drivers, at our Kurnell wharf, visiting our refinery at Lytton, working inour retail sites and at Tamworth depot. There is a lot of variety in the work I get to do. There are so many different people to meet and learn from every day.
Suppose a student was considering your career. What would you advise them to study? Are there any soft skills it would beneficial for them to develop? Should they pursue any sort of work experience?
Graduates at Caltex come from a broad range of backgrounds. Some of the other graduates have finance, environmental science, marketing, and chemical/electrical engineering backgrounds to name a few. Personally I have found my engineering degree beneficial as it gave me great problem solving skills and enhanced my analytical skills. My excel and VBA skills in particular have allowed me to get involved in some really interesting work! Other skills worth having would be good communication and people skills.
What sort of person succeeds in your career?
As a graduate you need to be open to learning a lot of new things and trying things even if you don’t think you will enjoy them. It’s unlikely that every rotation will be related to your field of study.
Pros and cons
What do you love the most about your job? Which kind of task do you enjoy the most?
I love that I’m always learning something new and that each department has different ways of working. Over the past year I’ve definitely enjoyed working with excel and using my knowledge and skills to improve, simplify or automate current work processes, whether that’s analysing data, building models and spreadsheets or playing with macros, I always enjoy a day that has a lot of excel!!
What’s the biggest limitation of your job? Do you bear a lot of responsibility? Do you have to work on weekends? Is your job physically demanding?
For me, the biggest limitation is the time in each rotation and the restrictions that can place on the work I’m given to complete. With large projects, I’m not always able to see them through to completion as they can take longer than the time I have with a department. It’s disappointing to hand a task over part way through when you have invested so much time and energy into it.
What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
I have no idea what I’d be doing if I wasn’t working here, probably still be at Shoes and Sox!
A word to the wise...
Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?
My three pieces of advice:
- Keep a healthy work/life balance
- Take every opportunity to learn something new (about other people, a new skill etc.)
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes (it’s the best way to learn!)