What it does: Provides engineering and technical project management services
Staff stats: Around 600
The good bits: Cutting-edge work, employer of choice (regularly voted in the GPTW Top 50 best employers), Australian Owned and excellent employee benefits
The not so good bits: Shouldering lots of responsibility
Hiring grads with degrees in: Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences
The Nova Systems story
Nova Systems – then known as Nova Aerospace – was founded in South Australia in 2000 by Jim Whalley and Peter Nikoloff. It’s a privately owned professional services firm. One that exports “Australian know-how and innovation to the world” in the communications, defence, energy and utilities, and transportation markets. Nova Systems is part of the Nova Group. The other businesses in the group are Geoplex, GVH Aerospace and Two10degrees.
Headquartered in Mile End South, South Australia, Nova Systems now also has offices in Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Ipswich, Sydney, Wellington NZ, Bournemouth UK and Singapore. It provides specialist services in the following areas:
- Commissioning and testing
- Capability development and delivery
- Project development and delivery
- Specialist engineering and design
- Certification and design approvals
- Operational and systems safety
- Asset management a logistics
- Training (Nova Systems is a registered RTO)
The Nova Group has won awards for being a great place to work and regularly lists in the GPTW Top 50 best employers.. Its CEO has stated “I am proud and honoured to lead a company focused on continuing to evolve our employee value proposition through initiatives aimed at providing a flexible and supportive work environment. [This award] is a testament to the commitment of our people to provide a culture of inclusivity and diversity and who uphold Nova’s values.”
It appears the firm operates on meritocratic principles. Nova Group promises, “Everyone at Nova can expect open, direct communication from their leaders and peers. Everyone at Nova can expect to be rewarded for their efforts. We commit to providing equal opportunities to all Novans.”
As part of its commitment to giving back to the community, Nova Group provides paid leave to employees doing jury service, Australian Defence Force Reserve service or participating in voluntary emergency service activities. The firm also supports community initiatives through donations and sponsorships.
The recruitment process
Whilst it is not a pre-requisite to join the grad program, you may wish to undertake work experience at the Nova Group while studying in your penultimate year.To be eligible for the Nova Systems graduate program you’ll either need a Bachelor of Science with a major in computer science or a Bachelor of Engineering (Aerospace/Aeronautical; Electrical/Electronic; Mechanical or Mechatronic/Systems).
Given the nature of many of the Defence projects the company works on, you’ll also need to be an Australian Citizen to be eligible to obtain a Defence security clearance. After jumping those hurdles, you’ll also need to show you possess impressive analytical, communication, social and conceptual skills and are a strategic thinker who is flexible, open-minded and excited by new challenges. Finally, you’ll need to prove that you’ll be a good cultural fit.
All Nova Group positions are advertised on the Current Opportunities page of its website. If you’re seeking a spot in the grad program can either apply via the Current Opportunities page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Either way, you’ll need to supply both a CV and academic transcript. If you’re selected to proceed to the next stage, a member of the internal recruitment team will get in touch to verify your details and your qualifications”. The next stages involve a phone interview, a face-to-face interview with an Operations Manager, psychometric testing and reference checking. If all that goes well, you will receive an offer.
The Nova Systems’ Graduate Program runs for two years and involves three eight-month rotations. The first rotation will usually be aligned to what you studied and the other two aligned to your “identified capability”. Wherever possible, two of the three rotations involve working on client-facing projects.
Grads are required to develop a series of competencies aligned with the firm’s core technical and/or operational capabilities. Nova Systems current key capabilities are:
- Capability development
- Requirements engineering
- Safety and certification
- Modelling and analytics
- Test and evaluation
- Weapons engineering
- Asset management
Grads are paired with a mentor and have regular contact with senior staff. They receive ongoing training in consulting, systems and safety. They also learn about: business development; bid preparation; communication; entrepreneurship; innovation and professional writing. Many grads are also supported to become credentialed as a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng).
Nova Systems acknowledges there’s lots of competition for “smart professionals with great personalities”. It seeks to provide “attractive and unique benefits” to attract and hold on to such individuals.
As well as competitive salaries,Nova offers professional development allowance, loyalty leave and There are lots of family-friendly social events and an annual three-day-long Nova Group Conference where all the Australian staff come together. Staff can salary sacrifice toward cars and superannuation and get a referral bonuses if they introduce someone who becomes an employee. They have access to free wellbeing programs and counselling. Leave entitlements increase over time meaning those who notch up a decade’s service are entitled to six weeks of paid leave.
Nova Systems “works on some pretty interesting, diverse and at time highly complex projects”. It is “committed to giving all of our employees the opportunity to grow their skills, gain valuable experience and develop professionally across industries and across regions”.
Nova Group provides continuous learning and development opportunities to staff. It encourages them to broaden the skill set and deepen their industry knowledge. Staff can request transfers both within Australia and overseas. The firm provides “significant funding” for staff wishing to undertake further tertiary study or do short courses. It also pays the membership fees for professional bodies.
The vibe of the place
Nova Group aspires to “ensure employees have the opportunity to work in a unique environment that is fun and down-to-earth, while having the support to perform to the best of their ability in the safest possible manner”.
Nova Systems has a social and supportive corporate culture. Employees seem to appreciate the chance to undertake challenging work and develop themselves professionally. They even wear safari suits to their social events!
From the Employer:
GRADUATE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Nova’s Graduate Development Program provides participants with on the job training, tailored to suit specialist skill sets that contribute to solving the world problems that really matter. Key features of the Program include:
- Regular contact with senior staff including a dedicated mentor
- Specific ongoing training in consulting, systems engineering and safety
- Grad-focused development activities including:
- Charted Professional Engineer (CPEng) pathway
- Business development and bid preparation
- Professional writing and communication
- Innovation and entrepreneurship
Nova’s Graduate Development Program is a 2-year program, typically consisting of three eight-month rotations. The rotations are planned and coordinated with the aim of optimising the exposure of graduates to the business and developing well-rounded consultants. Generally, the first rotation is aligned to the individual’s tertiary qualifications and one of the subsequent rotations is aligned to an identified capability. Where possible, two of the rotations will be with client-facing projects.
Each graduate selected for the Graduate Development Program is required to develop a series of competencies that are aligned to one of Nova’s core technical and or operational mastery specialisations/capabilities. The specialisation will complement their degree and chosen field of endeavour. Nova’s current key specialisations are:
- Capability Development and Requirements Engineering
- Safety and Certification
- Modelling and Analytics
- Test and Evaluation
- Weapons Engineering
- Asset Management
The Program provides opportunities across the company including in Australia, Singapore and the UK.
- Maritime & Future Systems
- Aerospace & Surveillance
- Communications, Information & Cyber Security
- Transport, Energy & Resources, Land & Emergency Services
- Defence Support
Nova Group Companies
- GVH Aerospace, Geoplex, Auspace, Two10degrees
- Analytical skills, conceptual abilities and strategic thinking
- Communication and social skills
- Flexible and open-minded for new challenges
- Cultural fit
- Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Aerospace/Aeronautical, Mechanical, Electrical/Electronic, Mechatronic/Systems or Bachelor of Science (Computer Science)
- Ability to obtain security clearance
If you would like to register for our upcoming Graduate Development Program, please apply sending your resume and a copy of your academic transcript.