Our graduates - in their own words
Alan, 2010 grad
I'm Alan Hui and I work for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. I'm from Sydney, but actually originally from Hong Kong. I studied a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications at the University of Sydney. I'm working in the Household Assistance Branch now, as a policy officer. I've been working on a new policy proposal, looking at what options the government has to continue helping vulnerable Australians convert to digital television.
I think the graduate program gives you a very, very good insight into how the department works with the Minister's office. The kind of relationship between policy and politics is a very interesting one and I think the relationship between how the Secretary and the Minister work together is an interesting one and its one that's very hard to get from the outside.
I think grad programs as a whole are a very, very good experience for students, especially those who are just ending their careers as students. I think the graduate program at the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy is a particularly good one to get into right now because the National Broadband Network is well under way, digital television has to switchover by 2013, there's going to be an auctioning off of spectrum by 2013 as well, there's a convergence review underway which will change the way that communications legislation looks in the whole country and move us properly into the digital era. So I think it's a good time to come to a graduate program.
Rebecca, 2008 grad
My name is Rebecca Kavanagh and I work at the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. At Uni I studied journalism and a bachelor of arts majoring in political science and international relations. My first 12 months in the grad program was really enjoyable. I did a variety of rotations, I worked in the Web team, I worked in the International Branch and in the end I ended up in Cyber Security which is where I am now.
My current role is working on the National Cyber Security Awareness Week. It's quite a big production. We have at the moment about 160 partners and my role is to project manage the running of the week and getting all of the partners on board and coordinating their involvement. It's really exciting and challenging work.
I moved from Brisbane to Canberra for the grad program, it was really a smooth experience. The department provided lots of assistance. I was actually overseas right up until the time when I was going to move and a lot of things were coordinated for me by the department and it was just a really good experience.
The highlight for me in the grad program was really the people that I met. I have made some really great friends and I guess if I had moved to Canberra not having done the grad program I wouldn't have had 15 in built friends I guess, and I really enjoyed doing the different rotations and getting a feel for different areas of the department before I decided which area to move into.
Luisa, 2010 grad
I'm Luisa Anderson and I work at the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. I came to work at the department through the graduate program in 2009. At the moment I'm working in NBN Implementation, so that's looking at the roll-out of the National Broadband Network.
I have to say the highlight of the graduate program has definitely been the people that I have met and also getting to work across such a diverse range of issue as well, that's been really interesting. Also as part of the graduate program we did graduate major projects and that was definitely a highlight because for us it involved going out and meeting with stakeholders and developing a booklet to try and meet their needs. So to actually have that contact with people that our work directly affects was really great.
When we first started, the group of graduates I was in, we organised to go out for a sort of meet and greet dinner, so for the first while we made a point of organising regular dinners or catch-ups just to get to know each other. Then just through that we all became really close as well, and sort of were able to give each other a lot of support through the year, both professionally and also socially, which was really lovely.
I definitely think one of the main strengths of the graduate program is getting to do the three rotations and getting exposed to so much of the department's work, rather than coming in and sort of having worked in a particular section, so I think that's a real strength of it, because at the end of it you have those networks across the whole department and a really good understanding of what it does.
I just think it's just a really lovely bunch of people and I just feel really fortunate, it feels like home now. I enjoy where I work.
James, 2009 grad
My name is James Toole and I work at the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. In the department I do a lot of policy work. I work in the National Broadband Network Implementation Division and within that division I work in the National Broadband Network Shareholder and Policy Branch. Which involves representing the government's shareholder interests in the National Broadband Network Company.
I think professionally before the grad program I was a typical uni student, I didn't have a huge amount of corporate exposure or experience with government work particularly. Now that the grad program's over I'm into the corporate world, I'm able to liaise with lots of stakeholders quite confident in the work I do.
I think overall the training and support that I got throughout the grad year was invaluable. The supervisors and managers and the grad coordinators all provided the knowledge that I needed, weren't afraid to have me ask them questions which I thought were quite silly at the time and everyone operated with an open door policy so I could go in there at any point.
It's good being a small department because you do get to know a lot of people; you're not just a number. You can work in areas where it's quite a flat structure so you do get that interaction with the higher levels of the department, which is quite useful for personal development.
If someone asked me if they should apply for the DBCDE grad program, I would definitely tell them yes because of the level of support and training that you get, even though it's a 12 month program which might not seem like a long time, the difference between when you start and when you finish in terms of your growth as a public servant is huge.