Home Blog Graduates and Interns March 2021 What is Telstra's Graduate Program like? 9 grads share their stories

What is Telstra's Graduate Program like? 9 grads share their stories

by Jarrod Cardy

Senior Content and Social Specialist

I’m proud to say that I work for an organisation that helps the best and brightest young minds launch careers in engineering, cybersecurity, data analytics, product design and so many other exciting pathways.
But what’s it really like to be a part of the Telstra Graduate Program? I sat down with nine former grads to find out. 
Ankita Suryavanshi ​, Business Operations Analyst
What was your experience in the grad program like? 

My entire grad journey has been a series of amazing highlights. I have been so lucky to work with the most amazing people who are passionate about their work and have led and worked on some great projects too.
One of my best memories from the first rotation was my marketing work – I was asked by my leader to produce a set of product videos and some marketing collateral. I had to work with multiple stakeholders outside of Telstra for the videos and it took a lot of sessions to complete but in the end, it was so worth it!

The five videos along with the brochures that I had made are now being used as the main sales and marketing material for our product – so whenever I see one of those videos it's a great feeling to know I led the team in getting those made.
How has Telstra supported your career growth, learning and training?
The support I have received has been fundamental in setting me up for success. Because of all the help and advice I’ve received, I have become a more confident and decisive person and my colleagues have noticed it.
My biggest wish when I joined Telstra was to find a good mentor, and I was lucky to get one halfway through my second rotation. She is the best mentor I could've asked for. Our sessions are once a month and we talk about everything: what I'm doing at work, how I'm feeling about everything and we even manage to talk about non-work things. I have already learnt so much from her.  
But the best thing about Telstra are the people around you – every single person is extremely nice and always ready to help you. That was honestly the biggest thing that got me through my graduate experience – no matter who I asked, they always had time for me and answered my questions. And even today, I am still in touch with those people because we've ended up becoming really good friends!
Tyrone Floro, Employee Experience Consultant
What was your experience in the grad program like?
I was lucky enough to have had four diverse rotations: my first rotation was in Global Learning, my second rotation was in Organisational Effectiveness, my third was in the Career Model 2.0 mission and my final rotation was in the Employee Experience and Engagement mission.
I also love that Telstra is passionate about diversity and inclusion and really walks the talk with its diversity initiatives. I had never started a role with a cohort of other people and that was what really attracted me to the program and the fact that the rotational experience was solely HR-based was also a drawcard.

The recruitment process at Telstra was also seamless and I received my job offer a few hours after my final interview!
How has Telstra supported your career growth, learning and training?
Telstra has amazing leaders who empower everyone to bring their authentic selves to work. They create environments where everyone’s unique voice can be brought to the table.
Aside from that, I think just generally everyone at Telstra is very willing to provide you with advice on anything if you reach out to them, particularly if you are a grad. Telstra is a family and there is always support when you need it.
As part of the Graduate Program, we are also assigned official mentors. My amazing mentor Teiqua Ireland is a past graduate and was recently the chief of staff for the Global Business Services function and now heads up reporting delivery at Telstra. She is switched on and is always a great person to sound board ideas off and get advice from.
And that’s just scratching the surface! From graduate case competitions to networking opportunities, dedicated time for ride-ons and more, there are heaps of opportunities to learn and grow.
Jessica Sheedy, Marketing Specialist
How has Telstra supported your career growth, learning and training?
I have been supported in many ways at Telstra. It is so easy to learn as playing the 'grad card' will get you far – everyone is very willing to help out. This ensured I was across everything I needed to be, and it also made me feel very comfortable in my role. In all my rotations, I had a very supportive leader who allowed me to grow and learn fast.
One of the best things is that you start with a big cohort of other grads that have the same questions, concerns and problems that you do. It’s great to experience onboarding with other grads, and nice to know you're not alone!

How do you think this support has set you up for success in your early career?
The support I have received from mentors and leaders during my graduate journey has been invaluable. I have been able to explore all different marketing teams across Telstra and it has greatly enriched and diversified my graduate experience.
Stephen Chu, Strategy Analyst
What was your experience in the grad program like?
I was a part of the 2019 Telstra Graduate program, having the opportunity to complete three six-month rotations. My first rotation was in Enterprise Service Delivery, my second rotation was in Enterprise Strategy Consulting and my final rotation was in Consumer and Small Business.
Having the flexibility to work in a few different teams for a short period of time was what attracted me to Telstra’s Graduate Program. Doing this allowed me to pinpoint the future career pathway I wanted to pursue.
How has Telstra supported your career growth, learning and training?
Telstra has supported me through many mentoring opportunities. The program provides a mentor who is aligned with the skills and expertise you would like to develop in. In addition, through the rotations, I have had the opportunity to get to know three different leaders who have taken the role of mentors as well.
There are so many learning resources available, so there’s always an opportunity to strengthen your skills or learn something new.
This support provided in the Graduate program has provided many benefits in my early career journey. From a professional viewpoint, I have been able to learn and build a diverse set of knowledge and skills but also had the opportunity to work with mentors to carve out goals and my career pathway. From a social standpoint, the support has provided me with a strong network and instilled confidence in interacting with stakeholders across the business.
Liam Bone, Commercial Specialist
How has the Telstra grad program supported your career growth, learning and training?
Telstra offers grads a variety of opportunities to upskill and grow. During my time here I’ve been trained in the agile way of working and been offered a scrum master course.
I’ve taken part in many informal training sessions run by our leaders over lunch sessions about different areas of the business, as well as a variety of meet and greets with people throughout my function.
I’ve also had more formal training sessions like the opportunity to learn basic coding language and data analytics. Overall, I’ve had many opportunities to learn at Telstra.
How do you think this support has set you up for success in your early career?
I think the Telstra Graduate Program has set me up for success in a variety of ways. Firstly, it has given me a broad range of skills that I can implement including stakeholder management, commercial, commercial, product build and strategy.
Secondly, the program has really helped me in shaping my career path. Before I started I was unsure of what I wanted to do, but being in the program has allowed me to understand exactly where I want to go in my career.
Lastly, I have met so many people across the business, which has been critical in building relationships and setting me up for success further down my career path.
Maddie Sumner, Technology Specialist
What was your experience in the grad program like?
I joined the Telstra Graduate Program in 2019, and had many incredible experiences across cloud computing, cybersecurity, Telstra Labs and business services. Rotating throughout the business has given me exposure to many areas, and further developed my technical understanding, media design and cyber security abilities.
I have since rolled off from the program into my first team as a Technology Specialist in cloud computing, which feels like my experience has come ‘full-circle’.

While I will surely miss being a grad (and jumping from one function to another) I’m still just as excited to see where my career in Telstra takes me.
How do you think this support has set you up for success in your early career?
Now that I have returned to my former team at Telstra, it’s easy to measure the advances made with my knowledge and capabilities since joining back in 2019. I’ve been able to take on more responsibility, and benefit from my network – and I can’t stress enough how grateful I am to have formed these relationships, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moving forward, my career has a refined direction and I feel as though I could be thrown into any team and be able to contribute at least in some way, thanks to the diversity of tasks and people I came across as a Telstra graduate.
Justin Dolman, Business Specialist
What was your experience in the grad program like?
I have found that my graduate experience at Telstra has been an amazing opportunity for me to explore where I can best apply myself to the organisation. My first rotation began in a Data Analytics and Reporting role, where I created dashboards and reports to be presented to senior members of the Global PMO (Project Management Office).
While this probably sounds boring to the average reader, this was an opportunity for me to showcase my natural flair for using raw and extensive datasets to create a visual and meaningful story.

I found that my greatest asset was helping my colleagues on various ad-hoc tasks, which allowed me to understand their job functions, build those personal relationships and better understand how all of the cogs fit together within the organisation.
How has the Telstra grad program supported your career growth, learning and training?
Telstra has allowed me to take accountability of my skill development and determine where I end up in the organisation. The organisation strongly encourages lateral moves to help us build our experience.  
I've taken the initiative to find, create and pursue a range of development opportunities within the organisation. I’ve organised several volunteering days for myself and my colleagues and I’ve represented Telstra at several external events. I continuously pursue opportunities to present in front of others to build my confidence in public speaking. I’ve also found leaders across the organisation who have provided me with mentorship towards my professional development.
And of course, there's the support given by the Early Careers team who go above and beyond to support their graduates. 
Kyah Burke, eCommerce Specialist
How has the Telstra grad program supported your career growth, learning and training?
We were assigned buddies at the start of the program who helped us with day-to-day questions and getting set up. This was amazing, because you didn’t need to feel afraid to ask for help. I was also assigned a mentor and we met up monthly. She gave awesome career advice and helped me with any struggles I had.
During the program, we also had three full-day training sessions, one of which focused on how to work with different personality types. This was fun and informative!
How do you think this support has set you up for success in your early career?
This program allows you to build a very wide network, connecting you with people from different functions across the company. A grad or former grad always knows someone who can help you! This allows grads to be the people who ‘get stuff done’.
I’ve also learnt that it is okay to ask for help. In the majority of encounters I had during the program, people were always kind and happy to help. I think this is important to bring with you throughout your career! It is better to ask for help early than to have to re-do something you needed further clarification on. 
Trent Farrar, Digital Business Analyst
What was your experience in the grad program like?
From the very beginning, I was encouraged by the graduate program’s reps to go out of my comfort zone and push myself to experience new things. I’ve also been given lots of opportunities to interact with past and future grads, which is always a great learning experience.
As a person who enjoys a wide array of different activities, the diversity of each of my rotations was perfect for me. They allowed me to be creative in numerous ways and broaden my experience in commercial, developmental and product areas.
How has the grad program set you up for success in your early career?
Starting my career with Telstra in the grad program has set me up for long-term success as the experience I have already attained is invaluable.

The foundation to my career has been built and I am still encouraged to do certifications to become even better at what I do, fully supported by Telstra. I will forever be grateful to my rotation teams and the grad program team for allowing me to get such an extensive array of experience so quickly.
So, there you have it! If you’d like to know more about how you can play an important role in supporting our strategy from the moment you step through the door, check out the Telstra Graduate Program here.
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