Nikita Chaubal

Deakin University
Project officer
Nikita studied Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin University

What's your job about?

My division in the Transport Group within the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources is responsible for the integrated delivery of transport policies, programs and projects. My role largely involves delivering transport investment through the state budget cycle including prioritising initiatives for investment and reviewing business cases to ensure alignment with transport policy and planning. I also work on the development and coordination of documentation to support our Ministers at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearings. It is pleasing to see that my work contributes towards improved transport outcomes for Victorians.

What's your background?

I’ve always been a Melbourne girl! While at university, I completed internships with the Department of Defence and Victorian Auditor-General’s Office and volunteered with a not-for-profit organisation and a local council. The Graduate Recruitment and Development Scheme with the Victorian Public Service was a logical progression from my degree – the program exposed me to a wide variety of work environments, and helped me build a robust, diverse skill set. I’ve been in my current role with the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources for just over a year including rotations to two other departments throughout my graduate year.

I developed a love for all things artistic during my school years, picked up yoga, and trained to become a Bharatnatyam dancer. These creative outlets have not only made me a balanced individual but have also taught me discipline, dedication and perseverance.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Largely, yes. The core skills required in my current role are mostly transferable. However, attention to detail, flexibility, and ability to handle pressure are key personal qualities required to achieve results.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The opportunity to liaise with several transport agencies, departments, and Ministers’ Offices while doing what I do! It brings a variety of viewpoints to the table, and keeps things interesting.

What are the limitations of your job?

So many contact points can result in conflicting interests, and at times, multiple sources of truth. The advice obtained from each party involved is often rich and exhaustive, which makes it somewhat challenging to pick out key points to inform decision-making.

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

  1. Throwing yourself in the deep end is a great way to build confidence.
  2. Things won’t always go to plan, and unexpected people and opportunities will come your way. You won’t have every single thing figured out, and that’s okay.
  3. Your heart knows how to fix itself – it’s your mind that needs to be worked on.