Updating Results


  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Paul Tan

The graduate program offers a large support system and it has been great having people who really care about your future give advice and guidance.

Tell us about your current role

nbn is one of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects with the purpose to help lift the digital capability of Australia. nbn’s key objective is to connect Australia and help bridge the digital divide.  

My current role at nbn is a graduate analyst role in the Network Engineering and Operations (NEO) Commercial Finance team. My team partners with the Customer Connections team within NEO, who are responsible with the task of connecting customers to the nbn™ network. Our role as a commercial finance team is to work and partner with Customer Connections to ensure their costs are being managed appropriately and meet their budgets. We also assist and advise on their numerous initiatives to ensure that they are cost-effective.

On a day to day basis, over the last few months I have been working on forecasting some of their expenses over the next four to five years. This involved working with the business to understand their processes in place and the different type of costs that are incurred. I then worked on modelling out their projected costs considering different factors and ultimately ended up with a volume and cost forecast/budget that was signed off by our senior leadership team.

I also assist with month-end reporting. This involves reporting at the start of each month the previous months results in terms of volume and costs against their budgets and providing analysis on the movement within the month.

How did you find your way to nbn?

I was born and raised and attended school in the western suburbs of Melbourne and am of Vietnamese/Chinese ethnicity. Education was always important to me and I knew what I wanted to pursue after taking a business management class in year 10 which sparked my interest in doing accounting. I then went on to study accounting in VCE and university and graduated with a Bachelor of Professional Accountancy at RMIT University.

Before starting my professional career, I worked a few part-time jobs which included being a waiter, Mathematics and English tutor as well as a supervisor. I also had the opportunity as part of my degree to get some industry-based learning experience where I worked as an Assistant Accountant for Toll Holdings for a year.

When I was applying and looking at graduate programs what really stood out about nbn’s program was the flexibility and opportunity to decide which rotations I would go to. Having the option to explore different parts of the business was really enticing to me because although I knew I wanted a career in finance/accounting, I was open to learning and experiencing different areas. I also really wanted to work for a company that had a great and clear purpose. After researching about the company and seeing the amazing work that was being done, I knew that I had to apply. I was fortunate enough to make it through the recruitment process and started as a graduate in February 2019.

What rotations have you completed?

My first rotation was with my sponsoring business, which was the Network Planning and Deployment business unit (NPD). Within NPD I was working with the Analytics and Insights team where I assisted in putting together on a weekly basis some graphs and views alongside analytical commentary on the different metrics involved with getting the network built. I knew from this rotation that I wanted to pursue an analytical role going forward and therefore, took that into account when choosing my next rotation.

I then went on to spend my second rotation within Residential, Sales and Marketing (RSM) where I joined the Forecasting and Performance Insights team. I chose this rotation because I knew that forecasting would be a key skill to learn and would be beneficial to my future roles and career.

For my third rotation, I didn’t have much exposure to the finance/accounting field yet and therefore, decided to join my current team NEO Commercial Finance. I really wanted exposure to this field as it was what my degree was in and because it wasn’t purely accounting related. It had both an operational and financial side to it which I was really interested in.

What do you enjoy most about working at nbn?

What I enjoy most about being a graduate at nbn is the overall support and freedom to learn new things and take control of your career and development. The graduate program offers a large support system and it has been great having people who really care about your future give advice and guidance. The tasks I really enjoy the most are the ones where you can see the results influence the business, where the information you provide is used to help leaders make decisions and shows the value you have added to the team.

What has been challenging?

Within every rotation I completed, I was really treated like a member of the team and with that came responsibility to perform and provide value. There were times I worked longer hours to get things done by the deadline, but never had to work on weekends, nor was it expected of me. One of the biggest limitations that I thought of being a graduate was the time we had in each team. I always wanted to be able to provide value as quickly as possible, however, it takes time to learn about different parts of the business and may take some more time to be able to provide value to the team.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  1. Don’t be afraid to get out there and network with others. Something I really wished I did more in university was to go to those networking events and be more proactive about my development
  2. There is no “correct” pathway to be successful, follow your own path and make decisions that you really think will help you. Don’t be too influenced by what everyone else is doing or tells you to do.
  3. Don’t compare yourself to others too much. Yes, it’s great to have a goal in mind to strive to be like someone, but don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned. Each person is different, some may progress faster, some slower, but everyone is on their own path.

How would you describe the culture at nbn?

The culture at nbn really reflects the company’s core values, which are One Team, We Care, We Deliver, and We are Fearless. Throughout my time with nbn so far, I have really noticed how people have come together to work as one team to provide results and help achieve the company’s goals and purpose. My teams have all been extremely supportive of my development and have helped me grow as an individual. With flexible work arrangements available as well, I really think nbn’s work environment really sets you up for success.