Tell us about your current role
The nbn™ network is a national wholesale-only, open-access broadband network funded by the Federal Government designed to help bridge the digital divide.
Due to COVID19, working from home has had its good and not so good traits. I love the extended sleep and exercise, although I have missed ritual coffee catch ups with team members and grads. Here’s an example of a typical day as a graduate in the Systems Engineering and Operations Data Interchange team:
9.00 AM : With coffee mug at hand I attend to my emails and prioritise tasks for the day.
9.20 AM : Attend daily Stand-up where we update the team on current progress and any blockers.
9:40 AM : Work on a task to create the Monthly Release Scope Table using a content collaboration tool, which outlines the work delivered at the end of the month with each corresponding platform. This demonstrates the services, dependencies and design artefacts associated with each Epic delivered.
11.00 AM: Volunteering in the Mindfulness Working Group, collaborating with colleagues once a week to plan engagements across the organisation.
12.00 PM : Summarise action items and minutes from Mindfulness Working Group meeting and send to team.
12.30 PM : Use the nbn Quiet Hour to take a 30 min walk, have lunch and virtually meet up with grads.
1.30 PM : Catch up with emails and reply to any direct messages missed from lunch.
2.00 PM : Attend afternoon Stand-up meeting where we address any blockers from the morning.
2.30 PM : Spend the next few hours automating test cases using a behaviour driven development software tool which allows you to define executable tests in business-friendly format.
4.30 PM : Lastly, create a Failure Mode, Effects and Critical Analysis assessment for one of the Epics. It’s used to identify the series of linkages between potential failures, impacts and cause of failure. Off to the fridge for the final rotation of the day.
How did you find your way to nbn?
My cultural background is Portuguese-Indian, but I was born and raised here in Australia with my twin sister. I grew up in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and studied Computer Science at La Trobe University.
The main aspect that shaped the start of my career was during my penultimate year in university. I applied for a year-long Industry Based Learning Program to gain some practical experience as I was unsure if this was the career for me. This life changing opportunity resulted in me leaving Melbourne to work in Sydney at Boral in their Digital Services Department. At first it was a very exciting venture as I had never lived away from home, let alone by myself, but at the same time it was quite daunting since it was my first work experience in a technology department. Despite my initial thoughts, this experience taught me how to be resilient and independent. Most of all, it cleared my doubts, and I knew that I wanted to work in the digital field.
When I returned to Melbourne, the nbn opportunity came up and I was so glad that I was successful as I had enjoyed meeting people from the recruitment process. Naturally, my first impressions of nbn were that I felt I could develop professionally and would be given the opportunity to flourish.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes and no, I think it’s important to have some IT/Computer Science background to understand the processes of coding in programming languages such as Java or Python. Although I had no prior knowledge of my team’s work in test automation, you’re always learning on the job.
A few characteristics that come to mind as being important for performing my role are; being forward and proactive in asking questions and, having the courage to be vulnerable when in doubt. Once your doubts are cleared it will create those ‘a-ha’ moments that will stay with you for a long time.
What do you enjoy most about working at nbn?
I am very fortunate in my current rotation that my peers have been very supportive in my learning and development. Despite their busy work schedules, they still make time to reach out to make sure that I’m being supported.
Also, the graduate team network has empowered me to be fearless and given me the confidence to take on additional initiatives e.g. to run weekly Wellness Wednesday events. I have also volunteered in the Mindful nbn Group which has provided immense positivity to employees through Yoga and Meditation events.
What has been challenging?
Being very new to the organisation, I had only been in the office for 6 weeks when we went into working from home mode (due to COVID-19). Although this transition caused initial anxiety, I was grateful I was able to turn to my fellow team members, the grads and my Grad Managers for support. I was also able to find new ways to get involved in team discussions and seek assistance quicker. Another challenge has been to prioritise a work-life balance as some days I have been working longer hours, though I do enjoy the work as it is creating impact for future nbn customers and retail service providers.
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