I’m Heidi. I completed the National Graduate Program last year and am now working as an analyst.
I chose this program because I was working for the Department of Human Services as an Indigenous Apprentice. It was a natural step in some ways to stay with the department. I heard great things about the graduate program through university contacts, so it was a long term plan to apply. The number of opportunities the program offered, for example, the Indigenous and Multicultural Placement, surprised me.
I joined the generalist pathway, which allows grads to move around the department and experience different business areas. I loved it. It meant working in an area of my choice for my last placement, helping me build a valuable network of contacts.
My current team provides intelligence to counteract fraud. As an analyst, I use analytical thinking and tools to gather information, and then write Tactical Intelligence Reports. We send these reports to investigators to pursue cases.
I think the best part of my job is writing reports. I really like writing. I use intelligence I’ve sourced myself to write concise, informative reports. It’s a great achievement and a very cool part of my job.
Before joining the graduate program, I completed a Bachelor of Human Services. Returning to study in my late 30s was a pivotal point in my life. I grew up in low socioeconomic circumstances, which forced me to leave school at 13 to enter the workforce. The decision to return to study was something I had often thought about doing. Starting the journey took a bit of courage, however I put myself to the test and came through OK. It feels amazing.
My advice to students is that it seems scary now, but a completely new world is opening up. By the end of this, you’ll be in command.
I would say that this program is a chance of a lifetime. Go into it with excitement and enjoy it as it’s over too fast. There are a few hurdles to jump when you’re applying, but in the end it will be worth it.