Home Blog Graduates and Interns April 2021 Making the transition from graduate to fully-fledged member of the Telstra team

Making the transition from graduate to fully-fledged member of the Telstra team

by Stephen Chu

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The Telstra Graduate Program does such a great job of integrating you into the company (and working life) that when the time comes to move into a permanent role here, the transition is practically seamless.
There’s been some change in my day-to-day, and I have a new title of course, but on the whole, moving from my grad role to my current position as an analyst at Telstra has been very smooth.

It’s rewarding to see the benefits of being on the program come to life now that my career is underway. Here’s what it’s been like going from a Telstra graduate to a fully-fledged member of the Telstra team.
Making the transition
There were no issues during the transition process. I’d been in my current team for my second rotation in the program, so I already knew most of the people and how to use their systems and processes.

Everyone in my team made the move easy for me. They gave me a couple of days to readjust and understand the project, and some easy tasks to practise some of the skills I hadn’t used in months. This way, I could digest the information instead of being flustered by a barrage of information right away.
The main difference between being a graduate and a permanent employee
If I were to pinpoint one real difference, it would be the change in my daily activities. As a grad, you have a bit more liberty to take time to learn, and you are still building your social network. As an analyst, I believe there’s a greater expectation to pick up things a bit quicker, especially if you have developed those skills and knowledge in the program.

In addition, there’s less time dedicated to formal catch-ups with people. However, you are still able to engage various stakeholders through the projects you work on.

I love this new role because it constantly challenges me. Every day there’s something new that makes me think and pushes me to execute and solve, often out of my comfort zone: I’m often presenting product solutions to senior stakeholders and seeking their approval, which can be somewhat challenging, but it’s exciting at the same time. These are the things that you learn from. It’s how you grow and become better – by constantly pushing yourself. I’m becoming more confident as I go.
I’m facing the challenges head-on – and learning more and more in the process
Something I didn’t expect was to be working from home as I settled in to my new role! I started it at the beginning of COVID-19, which means I haven’t been working with my team, or the stakeholders I work with, in person.

I was used to just turning to my left or right and finding the help I needed quickly, but with everyone working from home, it can be harder to reach people at the exact moment you want them.

To manage this, I’ve made an effort to build up a rapport with my mentors and project leads, so we have more of a connection. It makes our working relationship nicer. I’ve also scheduled regular catch-ups with them to get some feedback on my work, and it provides the perfect opportunity to ask any questions I have.

I’m someone who never backs away from a challenge, but I can’t take all the credit for overcoming the more difficult aspects of my job, and my experience this year. I’m fortunate to be amongst great leaders who support and guide me in the right direction, and I have a strong, helpful team behind me.
One thing I’d advise other grads
It’s one thing having goals, but I believe they can become something you just write down if you don’t create some sort of plan of how you’re going to achieve them. I wish I had focused more on establishing clear goals and objectives for what I wanted to achieve, at least for the first few months of my new role. I did discuss these with my leader, but I didn’t develop enough of a roadmap showing exactly how I was going to get there.

So, I’d suggest dedicating some time to formulating a plan of action.
Telstra provides a great framework for this through their career conversations, guidelines and structure. It is now something I am working on.
What’s next
At this point, my plan is to continue progressing by expanding my network, developing strategy-related skills and broadening my knowledge of the business. As I said, I’m going to sit down with my mentors to figure out my approach to it all, because I think it’s important to have specific ambitions.

I know that Telstra is going to play a huge role in this growth. There are so many opportunities and resources I can leverage here – there is so much wisdom and knowledge from people all over the business that I can learn from.
For more information on the Telstra Graduate Program, click here. 
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