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University of Auckland
Business Operations Coordinator
Kenneth studied Bachelor of Commerce (Information Systems and Operations Management major) conjoint with a Bachelor of Property at University of Auckland
What's your job about?
Datacom specialises as IT consultants to deliver value to our customers by providing tech solutions to improve businesses’ processes and capabilities. My role focuses on process improvement and project coordination. With the process improvement side, I look to find the different pain points that our team is experiencing and try to help them alleviate any issues. This often means getting my hands dirty and working within a team, shadowing some members, helping them with work where I can add value and getting a grasp on what can be improved. From what I have gathered, it is then turned into process maps and documentation where required to help facilitate work.
The other half of my job of project coordination is to help out the project team leads. This includes the more administrative side of things such as organising invoice registers, facilitating meetings, planning and taking steps to remove any impediments that may hinder the project. This often goes hand in hand with the process improvement side of things, and when put together gives a wider view of what is occurring in the business.
What's your background?
I grew up in Auckland in New Zealand and I have moved over to Australia recently when this opportunity presented itself. I have been working at Datacom for 4 months and was fortunate to get this opportunity and getting interviewed by my manager when she was in New Zealand. Throughout my time at university, I had been fortunate to be given multiple leadership positions and jobs that has moulded me into who I am today. During university, I had also committed myself to working 40 hours a week in addition to the full-time studying requirements needed for a Conjoint degree. This helped me learn how to work at an efficient pace as well as the importance of managing time between study, work, family and friends. Although this does mean putting on a lot more workload, it definitely does help prepare you for the workforce when facing a number of deadlines.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Someone from a different background should definitely be able to do this job as long as they are aware of the IT components. The ability to not be overwhelmed by the amount of work, the willingness to learn and being proactive to be able to offer help in areas where you can, are the most important aspects to this role. Being able to identify where you can add value and offer help in these areas will get you a vast larger amount of meaningful work. The difference between asking “is there something I can do?” and “can I help you turn this into a diagram” will yield you very different responses from the people that you ask.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
As cliché as it is, the thing I enjoy most about my role is being able to be exposed to all the different teams and the value they provide to the project. Working with the business analysts; UX designers; testers; and developers have really given me insight into what each team brings to the table. The tools, experiences, and strategies that each of the teams teaches you are invaluable when it comes to broadening my skillsets, managing team expectations and helps with the overall project coordination when liaising work to be done.
What are the limitations of your job?
A limitation of my job is that it is currently confined to only one project which may mean that when a project is going smoothly, there may not always be a lot of work to do. Additionally, it means that you are only exposed to the tools and methodologies that this specific project is using. Nevertheless, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to different cities to see what other Datacom team members are working on, and to pick up on best practices that they are using and to bring this back to our own office in Sydney.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
- Meet people and have fun! I’ve definitely missed my first year of university opportunities where I’ve turned down events to meet people and to “study” instead. Once you’ve got the rhythm of how university and studying works, trust me that you’ll have more than enough time to do what you should do while you still have the chance to meet people!
- Make the most of what you have and do something about your circumstance if you don’t like it. If work is sluggish because you don’t have enough work – reach out and ask people where you can help (and give them examples of what you can do to help). If there isn’t anything to do at work, use this time to upskill and learn something to improve your skillset. Likewise, if you find yourself wanting to meet new people – take the plunge and join some social events and clubs in university. You’ll definitely be surprised with who you can possibly meet and network with!
- Find out what you are good at and capitalise on it. There are people who specialise and are amazing at one thing. Contrasting this, there are those who don’t specialise in anything but are just “good” at many things. Once you have determined what type of person you are, use this to your advantage to determine what role you may want to head into while taking account of your passions and interests.