I began as an Optus graduate in April this year in Brand and Communications. So far it has been an incredible journey – challenging but so rewarding.
I finished my studies at the end of 2017 and have been living in Sydney for around three and a half years now. I am originally from Melbourne and I try to get home as much as I can. As the months pass, I began to reflect on my time here and how my expectations coming into the program compare with my experience so far.
One thing that surprised me when I started at Optus was the diversity within my wider team, Brand and Communications. Marketing definitely does not attract just one type of person or skill set. Our team is filled with people from vastly different backgrounds - some have been working in this industry for years, others only a few months. In addition, there is such a wide mix of demographics. Being a part of such a diverse team is such a valuable learning experience, plus, it’s also really fun!
Another aspect of my new job that surprises me constantly is the sheer number of opportunities I can take advantage of every day. In the grad program, there are opportunities to move to vastly different areas of the business as well as work interstate and overseas. In Brand and Communications, the team works on so many types of projects across different channels and being able to watch these unfold and to have the chance to contribute is so exciting. I was lucky enough to work on a project outside of my team’s area to help put together some content to use at the 2018 FIFA World Cup launch event. It was amazing to be a part of a large-scale project that had so many teams across the business working together.
Being in a customer-oriented business, the work never stops! I was amazed when I first arrived to see the pace of work coming in and going out and how there is always a new challenge or opportunity around the corner. I feel so lucky to be in a role where I am constantly being put under a healthy amount of pressure to push myself and strive to deliver outcomes as there is always work to be done. It was great to be given real responsibilities within my team in such a short time after starting my role. Even early on I really felt like I had a voice and ideas to contribute.
One thing about company culture is that it is difficult to gauge until you have experienced it yourself. I knew I aligned with the culture when I first visited the campus for my assessment centre. Once I started working here, I realised there is so much more to it – diversity, friendly people, flexible work arrangements, plus, a focus on employee wellbeing and work-life balance. A great example of flexible work arrangements is that I am able to work from the Melbourne office when I visit home. I was surprised about how genuine the culture is here, and how quickly I felt settled in as a new employee.
The final thing that surprised me about Optus is how quickly you can build your network and the absolute importance of building relationships around the business. As a grad, this is something you are told constantly – the importance of your network and building your personal brand. But it wasn’t until I started that I learned how crucial this is because relationships are key. What’s amazing is how everyone at Optus is so open to connecting with you, no matter where or who they are in the business. I can reach out to pretty much anyone and catch up with them and learn about their role – often they are interested in my story too!
Find out more about the Optus Graduate Program by visiting the Optus profile at GradAustralia.