Home Blog Graduates and Interns April 2020 What you can look forward to at Telstra

What you can look forward to at Telstra

by Maddie Sumner

Product and Technology - Graduate

Before joining Telstra, I was working full-time and studying at Swinburne University, and that’s where I developed an interest in cyber security. My decision to apply for a graduate program wasn’t taken lightly, as I wanted to find an organisation that’s committed to diversity and inclusion.
Telstra fit the bill, and since joining the Telstra Graduate Program I’ve seen first-hand how the company is committed to creating inclusive experiences for all graduates. I’ve also had the opportunity to work in many areas of interest such as cloud computing, cyber-influence teams and Telstra Labs
An incredible learning journey 
As part of my onboarding, there was a two-day induction where I got to meet other grads and learn about what it’s like to work at Telstra. This was a really useful process for me, as it set the tone for the Program and introduced me to a lot of good friends!
During my first rotation, I wasn’t expected to immediately perform every task with ease. Instead, I was given plenty of time to research and learn multiple programming languages and platforms to get up-to-speed with the tech used by the team.
Thanks to this learning period, I’ve developed skills and knowledge in programming, technical understanding, media design, social and cyber-based influence. Now I’m looking at emerging technologies and it’s a completely different ball game! It’s all about learning how to measure if a technology has potential and actually implementing technology into a proof of concept – which is really exciting. 
The best parts for me
  • The unity of the graduates – we have a whole community of graduates at Telstra who help support one another, in addition to groups such as the TGA (Telstra Graduate Association, organised for grads by grads) and the ‘Meet the Exec’ crew who organise sessions and talks with executives at Telstra.
  • The focus on inclusion – so far, I’ve joined Telstra Spectrum (a group for LGBTI+ colleagues and their allies), Brilliant Connected Women (our network supporting gender equality) and the Telstra Graduate Association. Each of these groups focuses on connecting and empowering people inside (and sometimes outside) Telstra, and thanks to them I’ve met so many incredible individuals who are passionate about their jobs and the impact they can make. There are a lot more employee resource groups, so everyone can find a place where they fit in at Telstra.
  • Making exciting initiatives a reality – the 4th Annual SIT (Security Influence and Trust) Summit is an event run by the SIT committee for industry professionals and hosted by Telstra in 2019. I supported the lead of this event and had the opportunity to design some of the digital media that would eventually be displayed on the screens Telstra’s Customer Insight Centre. Being involved in the process and making sure everything ran smoothly was so rewarding and fun!
  • Volunteer opportunities – I've put up my hand for various 'Ambassador' volunteer opportunities, such as networking at graduate dinners and university open days. Giving out freebies at the Midsumma Festival was a highlight that I hope to continue in the coming years.
Building confidence by being myself at work 
I have never once felt excluded or had a negative experience at Telstra, especially in relation to my transition. I started wearing dresses from week one and wasn't treated differently or made to feel out of place, which had been a genuine worry of mine.
I felt comfortable knowing that Telstra has a culture that values diversity and is committed to creating inclusive experiences for all employees.

I also enjoyed many tours and 'ride-ons’ (where we shadow someone from another function) and wasn’t misgendered at all.
A healthy work-life balance is very important to me. Thanks to the people I have met along the way at Telstra, I’ve slowly started to come out of my shell and get involved in various social activities. Working at Telstra has allowed me to continuously work on my social skills and build my confidence, and now I actually enjoy interacting and making those long-term connections with people at work. My social life has rocketed since joining Telstra – there are so many groups here it’s hard to keep up!
Launching and growing your career 
Telstra is a big company with so many areas to explore. As grads, we’re fortunate to start our careers in an environment where we’re encouraged to do our best without treating others as competition. The Early Careers team is also a great support to all graduates and summer vacationers. They’re a ‘go-to' for any issues and questions, and always make themselves available and visible to anyone starting their career at Telstra.
Ready to kickstart your career at a company that’s committed to diversity, inclusion and support for graduates and interns? Learn more about our Programs here. 
Next The three best benefits I’ve found working at Telstra
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