I hit the snooze button at least five times before coming to the realisation that it’s already 7am and well past time to get going.
I live two hours away from the Optus campus in Macquarie Park, so I should have already left for work by now. I quickly get ready – my ‘getting ready’ ritual always includes putting on socks and my docs. Then, I’m ready to rock and roll.
Surprise! I’m stuck in Sydney traffic. I spend my commute time listening to Triple J, a new podcast and sometimes even an audio lesson to learn a new language: Nǐ yào chǎo miàn, ma? (do you want fried noodles?) and from what I’ve learnt, you could respond with “Yào” (Yes) or “Bu Yào” (No).
I get into work between 9-10 am. I’m grateful that Optus lets its people work flexibly, to the hours that suit them. My team are very supportive of the hours that work best for us, knowing that the concept of working at 9 am-5 pm in the office doesn’t always suit everyone. Being a technology-driven company, connecting with our colleagues and completing our tasks is easy wherever we’re working from.
I usually have a quick 15-minute catch up with the Networks ‘early talent’ crew at one of our cafés on campus, where I indulge in a dark hot chocolate – yum! We’re a close-knit group and talk about our personal lives as well as what we’re working on. Nine times out of 10, if one of us has a challenge at work, someone else in the group will have the solution.
On the way back to my desk, I check-in with my colleagues sitting in my area to learn about projects they’re working on and see if they need my help. I’m always looking to take on interesting work outside of my regular tasks to keep each day different! I also check on upcoming site visits that I – or anyone from the early talent group – can join, as it’s always an eye-opener to understand what happens on-site.
After I’ve checked in with everyone, I make my way to my desk to catch up on emails and get started with my first task for the day. I sit on level three and I always take the stairs to my floor. It started off as a comical challenge my first Manager set for me and I’ve just continued it. Sometimes our meetings are four buildings apart so we’re never short of exercise opportunities!
It’s time for lunch. I look for gluten-free options on campus and all our campus cafés cater to dietary requirements with delicious food, which is amazing. Whether it’s a salad, curry, noodles or sushi, you can be sure it’s going to be good.
Once I’ve had my food, I make a dash to one of the many meetings in my diary for the day. My calendar is usually pretty full, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love having the opportunity to collaborate and meet new people across the business. No day at Optus has ever been boring.
If I don’t have a meeting, I like to work outdoors on campus and make use of the amazing facilities we have. Sometimes I might run into a friend and chat to them about ‘beamforming’ (an in-joke for the technical folk). We talk a lot of tech – we’re engineers, so it’s in our blood.
On Wednesdays, you’ll find me at Optus’ Toastmasters, a club set up to help members with their public speaking. I learnt very quickly that to be a well-rounded Engineer, it’s important to be able to get your point across to stakeholders with non-technical backgrounds, whether they’re colleagues, graduates, senior leaders or our customers. I’m lucky to be on the executive committee of Toastmasters serving as the Vice President of Public Relations.
I spend a bit of time working to update SharePoint. This is one of my babies. I manage several different SharePoint sites and pages, including Graduate-specific sites that we use for sharing documents and projects.
Whilst there are many cool things I could be doing at this time – remember, no two days are the same at Optus – I usually head off campus for a site visit. This could be to see one of our mobile base station sites being built. Safety first! This means safety boots and hard hats are a must along with hi-vis and protective glasses. A site induction is also mandatory. I’ve witnessed the installation of our latest 5G equipment and it’s exciting to be a part of such a game-changer for the industry.
I visit our Network Deployment family to say ‘hi’ and then I focus on my remaining tasks for the day while listening to music through my headphones. I’m really into Lizzo at the moment.
I’ll send an email out around this time to rally troops for positive action on our next community or volunteering event. I help coordinate some of the many Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) events on campus as I’m really passionate about giving back and making a difference. I think it’s important to get early career talent as involved as possible to ensure the next generation of our workforce understands the importance of our environment and giving back.
Home time – enough said!
It’s obligatory that I spend some time annoying my siblings before we make the effort to talk about our days, challenges and wins. I spend time with my mum, and we all eat dinner together. There is absolutely no argument, my mum is the best cook!
I’ll usually spend a bit of time upskilling and keeping up with the latest tech trends. One way I do this is through online training. Optus provided all graduates with licences to an engaging learning experience platform and I’ve used it a few times to learn new things. LinkedIn Learning is also pretty good for upskilling. Some of the things I like to read up on are SharePoint, cybersecurity, 5G, MS Automate… but there are plenty more!
When I start to get tired, I listen to an audiobook and go to sleep. If I’m required to do testing, I’ll need to be back online at 10 pm ready for the 11 pm or 1 am testing window. Being up late for testing means my entire next day in the office looks very different!
My life motto: laugh and love your work! #nerd #205G #WorkFam #OptusLife.