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Steve John Clinch
University of Technology Sydney
Centre of Finance Excellence, Associated Airlines
Steve studied Master of Professional Accounting at University of Technology, Sydney
Why did you choose the Qantas Graduate Program?
I was a current employee of Qantas prior to applying for the finance graduate program, working for the last 15 years in an operational role. I decided to make a career change and went back to University to study Accounting. The Qantas Graduate Program enabled me to combine my passion for working in the airline industry and apply the skills I had developed throughout my degree. Being able to continue to work for an Australian iconic company has always appealed to me.
The ability to rotate through four different areas within the Finance department is a huge bonus, gaining a detailed understanding of the business from various aspects, giving me greater insight and direction to shape my career path within Qantas.
What do you get up to in your rotations?
I actively get involved in preparing monthly performance reports for the CFO, as well as half year and annual reports published publically. I also have the opportunity to be part of the contract review process for Qantas, analysing from an accounting perspective.
What support do you get?
As a grad there is great deal of support available to you to ensure your entry into the corporate world is a smooth transition from university/previous work life. A graduate program manager is your point of contact for the two year program. Each rotation you are allocated a rotation manager that is able to offer you the guidance and experience to realise your objectives for the rotation. There is also a buddy system in place which begins at orientation.
What was your biggest misconception about working for an airline?
The depth of the airline industry is immense and with that comes the need for a greatly diverse workforce. Since commencing the graduate program I have had the opportunity to network and learn vital skills from people with vastly different career backgrounds. I am gaining greater insight each week into the many niche departments and special project teams that you would only discover upon working in the airline industry, that contribute to the overall success of the business.
Any other surprises?
The level of opportunity within the Finance department is vast and the opportunity to work on exciting projects that I would never even have considered before commencing the program. The graduate program at Qantas is held with high regard within the Qantas workforce and it has been great to meet so many former grads who have paved exciting careers for themselves within the company. Fellow colleagues are keen to share their knowledge with grads.
Tips for those applying for the Qantas Graduate Program?
Study hard and apply yourself at university. The Qantas Grad program is highly competitive so prepare yourself for the interview selection process. Research the current Qantas business plan and strategy and apply the knowledge gained to how you can have a positive impact on the business. Great interpersonal and communication skills are highly important as all rotations involve working in a team environment.