What's your job about?
I work for Hydro Tasmania, which is the largest renewable energy generator in Australia. We have hundreds of hydro dams and power stations around Tasmania. There is a massive focus on engaging with Tasmanian heritage, environmental protection and climate action, which is an awesome thing to be a part of.
The graduate program at Hydro Tas is rotational, so myself and the other graduates (business, engineering, commercial, finance, legal, IT) rotate every six months. I have previously worked in the energy regulation team, the community engagement team, and I am now located in the Assets & Infrastructure area learning about project management and delivery.
I have a background in marketing, so projects in a trade-focused company is very new to me, but also very exciting. In my second year of the grad program, I am heading a project to integrate change management into the business, with support from skilled project management and BAs. My day-to-day work also includes running a State-wide communications session once a fortnight for our department; assisting with communications into our department from other areas (and vice-versa); and engaging internal and external stakeholders on a number of issues. The best part is that the graduate program isn’t limiting – while working in the assets department, I have also had exposure to projects in our HR and IT departments, to grow my skills in all areas of business analysis.
What's your background?
I was born in Hobart, Tasmania and still find myself here nearly 25 years later. My life has been quite consistent, in the sense that I went to the same school for 14 years, and moved straight to undergraduate study at the University of Tasmania. However, without this consistency, I might not have found the opportunities and passions that I now know in my early career. While at university, I worked casual shifts at the Australian Tax Office, which helped with my transition from college to full-time work.
The Hydro Tas grad program (luckily) fell into my lap. I heard others chatting about it at uni, and thought I may as well check it out, along with the other graduate programs open at the time. I thought I wouldn’t have much luck, knowing Hydro is an engineer-focussed company, but was happy to find out a month after my interview that I was successful in the business analysis stream.
A lot of my classmates in college decided to move away to attend university – to Melbourne mostly. I was keen on the idea, but hesitant to move away from my family and friends. Most of the more appealing graduate programs for business/marketing grads were in Victoria or New South Wales, so to end up working for one of the most well-known Tasmanian employers, was pretty great. Plus, it’s opened the doors on opportunities I had no idea about when studying.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
The beauty of the Hydro Tas graduate program is the amount of streams you could enter into. There are business, commercial, IT, finance, legal, and engineering graduate streams, so it’s clear where you fit into the business. There is, however, a lot of cross-over: I’m a grad BA in an engineering dominant team, and I’ve known engineering grads who have worked in business or commercial teams for a change of scenery. The business wants you to get good exposure to everything we do at Hydro Tas, and support you in learning for wherever you may land.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The best part about being a grad at Hydro Tas is the emphasis they place on welcoming and guiding all of their grads. Most of the leaders I know who have been in the business for over 30 years began as a graduate engineer or BA. I was never one to look for a mentor, but I have found myself surrounded by skilled project managers and BAs who are so enthusiastic to help me find my way.
The other best part is getting out in the field and exploring the state I live in! You wouldn’t believe how big Gordon Dam is until you see it with your own eyes… one of my favourite experiences so far.
What are the limitations of your job?
In the business analysis stream, limitations are very low… no weekend work, and a significant work-life balance. However, one limitation with a rotational graduate program, which isn’t only at Hydro Tas, is how quick we move around the different teams. Once you get to know everyone and learn the ropes… it’s time to move onto another team. But every coin has two sides – our rotations give us the best view of the business, and the chance to meet everyone to navigate the business as best we can.
The graduate engineers may have other views on how physically demanding the job is though!
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