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NEC Australia

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Alfonso De Leon

When I got to work in my field, I realized the importance of networking and the ability to converse on the fly.

What's your background? What was it that drew you to initially apply for the NEC IT Graduate Program? 

I did Legal Studies in college and excelled in it so when I got into university – I pursued a double degree in Law and Forensics. While memorising everything to the microscopic level and mocking crime scenes was interesting, the tech-side of me was itching so within the first year, I switched degrees to Software Engineering where I felt at home. I always loved computers; how they worked and tapping into their unlimited potential. Back when I was around 9 years old, my older brother started a computer café where the two of us built and configured around 30 computer units from scratch. That was when my love for computers kindled. 

During my final year of university, I was doing an internship as a Junior System Administrator for an environmental company and as my graduation came closer - I started looking for a graduate position. 

When I stumbled upon NEC Australia, I visited their website and read about the company to find myself heavily invested in their vision. Their relationship with Defence and their views towards orchestrating a brighter world were the key points that made me gravitate towards the company. 

What does a typical day look for you, and what are you currently working on?  

A typical day for me would be to make my favourite beverage with the coffee maker then check my emails to ensure that I am updated. When I’m settled in, I would work on similar tasks that a Level 1 technician would under the guidance/supervision of a Level 3. I am currently working on a project that involves development of an application to automate existing processes. This involves communicating with other teams and spending a lot of time tapping my keyboard.  

What have you enjoyed most about your experience in the Graduate Program?  

So far, the experience I have enjoyed the most is my interaction with the team and liaising with clients. Though everything else technical comes to a close second, I enjoy communicating and coordinating more than anything. Sometimes I feel like I’m in an MMORPG taking quests and socializing with other players. Everybody in the team is extremely helpful especially the more senior members; being experts in their field, they are able to make me understand the complex systems and their ins-and-outs. I’ve also made lifelong friends in the office and a lot of fun times are already had. 

What are the limitations of your job? 

I feel like a limitation would be the constant fear of making a mistake and breaking something when I first started. I do bear a lot of responsibility when it comes to performing operations and sometimes it can feel like you are walking on thin ice. 

However, this feeling dissipated over time because I have a great team to back me up and are more than willing to help me successfully get across the line. Being in an environment where I feel safe to leap into the unknown builds my confidence that reaches outside of my work life. 

What have you gained from working at NEC from a career perspective? 

The biggest thing that I’ve gained is fundamental knowledge of operations. I found it difficult to learn this with self-study and university as neither offered ‘real-world’ situations where I would find myself thinking on my feet. The feeling of being challenged by these situations is exhilarating, especially when you finally reach your target. Alongside that, I’ve immensely improved my ability to collaborate comfortably with other teams. 

What kind of characteristics or skills do you believe a Graduate needs to be successful in the program?  

  • Great teamwork 
  • Excellent communication skills 
  • Adaptability 
  • Resourcefulness 

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

  • Do more internships earlier 
    • I would apply and do internships earlier in my degree. I only did an internship and found out about the ‘Careers Hub’ my university provided towards the end of my degree and if I did them earlier – I reckon I would have had more experience under my belt when I graduated. 
  • Attend more social events 
    • Though I did have a group of friends while I pursued my studies – I could have expanded my circle more through attending social events. When I got to work in my field, I realized the importance of networking and the ability to converse on the fly. 
  • Travel the world 
    • I delayed my plans to travel the world until mid-2020 when I was more comfortable with my job and accumulated some leave. However, that was impossible due to the pandemic.