I’m Handuni. I completed the National Graduate Program last year, in the data analytics discipline.
The Department of Human Services grad program stood out from the rest due to the opportunities available. There really are so many unique things about the program. There’s amazing training, a chance to listen to Senate Estimates live and the outbound experience. There are also networking events across the whole of the Australian Public Service. They’re a great way to get to know your peers and form connections.
The outbound experience is unique to this grad program. Graduates visit a service centre and are part of the daily environment. It would have to be one of the highlights from my graduate year. It allowed me to see how the work I do makes a difference to what we deliver. Definitely an eye-opening experience!
Now, as a data analytics graduate, my responsibilities are to respond to data requests that come in. I have to analyse the information and write reports that will help people make sound decisions.
I’ve been able to use many of the skills I gained at university in my work. I use my research background in my day to day work. I prepare figures and analysis for new policy proposals for the Minister, Prime Minister and Cabinet. This is one of the most exciting parts of the job. I get to inform decision makers and help build evidence based policy.
The coolest thing about my job is that what I do genuinely makes a difference in people’s lives. It helps inform better policy and program delivery. Our focus is the customer experience, and data is so important in helping us improve our services.
One hard thing about my job is that sometimes lots of data requests come in all at once. We need to respond to all of our requests quickly and it can be quite a bit of pressure. However, people are always willing to help and they’re very supportive. This culture of collaboration is just one of the reasons why I love working at the department.
To be successful in the grad program, I think it’s essential to have transferable skills. During uni, I started my own make-up business. Running a small business developed my organisational skills and gave me real insights into good customer service. It taught me how to tailor services to each customer’s needs, which has been useful in my current role.
If you get into data analytics, you’ll get to go to lots of data training programs. I recently completed SAS programming training, which was a great way to improve my skills.
If you’re still at uni, my advice is:
- get as much experience as possible
- meet as many people as you can
- do what you enjoy doing, it’ll help you figure out what you might look for in a career.
If you’re applying for the grad program, my advice is to just do it! See if your degree fits into one of the professional pathways and apply for both generalist and professional. This will give you double the chance. It’s important not to overthink the whole process. Be yourself and let your personality shine through in the interview at the assessment centre. Remember, everyone there is in the same boat as you. Also, even though it’s a half day assessment process, you can actually make some friends. You might even see them again on your first day! So take the opportunity to mingle, network, build new connections and stay connected. You’ll definitely meet some inspiring people from all walks of life!