On the Job with Steve from Qantas

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Lynn Elsey
Lynn Elesy
Team GradAustralia
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In 2014 Steve join Qantas and is graduate in group strategy for Qantas. Steve has both a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics), (2011) & a  Masters of Commerce (Finance) (2014), both from Macquarie University.

Why did you want to work for Qantas? 

I did a summer internship with the company, which gave me an opportunity to learn more about Qantas and discover how fascinating the airline industry is. 

How does the grad program work? 

It provides exposure to a wide variety of roles and learning (which is a great thing about graduate programs overall). My rotations have included domestic customer experience, where I worked with the team that runs operations at Sydney’s domestic terminal; international revenue management, including pricing and inventory strategy for international routes; international sales (based in Auckland, New Zealand) and now group strategy, which supports the entire Qantas group. 

When I started I had no idea, career-wise, what I wanted to do. Now I have a better idea, at least to start. I also know where I need to improve and expand my range of skills. 

What kind of support do you get? 

The support is great. Graduates are encouraged to approach all staff with any questions and most of us have regular catch-ups with our mentor or manager. My manager has been great at helping me select rotations. 

On the other hand, taking full advantage of the experience requires a mixture of Qantas support and taking your own initiative. 

Any surprises? 

How complex it all is. When I was working at Sydney’s domestic terminal I couldn’t believe that any planes actually left on time. 

Also, the level of responsibility I have been given has been a surprise. For example, on my last rotation, I was involved in controlling the pricing and inventory for our Sydney-Auckland services during the peak December/ January period. 

What have been the biggest challenges? 

Coping with responsibility right from the start. And learning how to work in a corporate environment – knowing what you can and can’t do, understanding company processes and other basics, such as meeting protocol. Luckily my manager is always there for support. 

Best bits? 

Becoming a real part of the company. And the obvious things: standing on the tarmac in front of a huge A380, learning about aircraft by seeing them in action and having inside knowledge about Qantas and the industry. 

Also, having real responsibility and being accountable. The program has also given me a chance to live in a different country. 

How about the perks? 

I didn’t really think about them when I applied, but obviously the opportunity for heavily discounted travel is a perk like no other. I have definitely taken advantage of it – so far I have been to Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. 

Did anything at university help you prepare for your role? 

I did a lot of group work at university, which has been helpful as we do a lot of work as a group here. Having work experience (I worked in hospitality, as a concierge, while I studied) was useful, especially for getting an internship. It helped me hone my skills with customers and working with people.