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Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Hannah Shambrook

The Department of Employment Graduate Program has not only given me skills that will help me advance in my career professionally, it’s also helped me grow as a person.

What's your job about?

I joined the Department of Employment in ESG (Employment Systems Group), which oversees a majority of the Information Technology functions within the department. My first rotation was in a Project Management Office where I was part of a team supporting one of the biggest IT projects in the department. It was an amazing way to start out as an IT Graduate as I got an over view of all the IT projects that were taking place throughout the entire department. I also was able to effectively gain an understanding of the functions of each Branch in ESG.  In my second rotation, I got the opportunity to demonstrate my technical skills in the Business Intelligence team as a Business Analyst. My tasks can vary from day to day, however recently I’ve been supporting the team in rolling out a new software package.  I’ve had the opportunity to use the software as well as carry out some testing. Other tasks I’ve been assigned include determining how to use specific data sets to create data visualisations and supporting help desk functions and responding to email queries. 

What's your background?

I grew up in a mining town in North West Queensland called Mount Isa. Throughout school, I was always enrolled in an Information Technology subject, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. This led to me furthering my studies and aspiring to pursue a career in Information Technology. I attended University at James Cook University in Townsville where I studied a Bachelor of Information Technology majoring in Computing and Networking.

When I finished university I wasn’t quite sure what type of IT career I wanted. I found out about the Department of Employment’s Graduate Program while browsing through Graduate programs online. I felt that a career in the public service was a great way to use the skills I had learned and have an impact.  I was also really drawn to the variety of areas that the IT Graduate stream had to offer, so I decided to give it a shot! Within a few months, I was offered a position! (Which I of course accepted). I then had to make the daunting long distance move from North Queensland to Canberra. It’s a long way away from all my friends and family, but it’s been a life changing and eye opening experience for me. The Department of Employment Graduate Program has not only given me skills that will help me advance in my career professionally, it’s also helped me grow as a person.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

A qualification in Information Technology was the main pre-requisite I needed to apply for this role. The skills I have obtained in university throughout my course have been a good foundation of knowledge throughout the graduate year; I’ve managed to build some real world and hands on experience onto it. However a lot of the stuff I have learned has been brand new to me. I believe that problem solving, team work, communication and a willingness to learn are all extremely useful skills to have.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

I absolutely love the fact that I get to be very actively involved in a variety of different high impact projects (both inside and outside the department) – I feel like I’m really making a contribution. The contributions I make are always recognised by my team mates and superiors and rewarded - even just a small appraisal is extremely motivating. There are also a few networks and a lot of interesting learning and development opportunities that can help you shape and grow in your career. The work culture really encourages you to grow as a person as well as in your role.

What are the limitations of your job?

The only limitation I found was the few opportunities in my field throughout Australia.

My role requires me to bear a lot of responsibility. Tasks usually need to be completed to meet deadlines and there can be a lot to do at certain times. Throughout the graduate year, I have been given more responsibility to make decisions about my work. The only limitation is there are few opportunities for an IT role within the Department outside Canberra.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • It’s okay to ask for help or clarification
  • Always spend time revisiting the basics – even if they’re minor, they tend to be the core and can help you when you’re trying to understand the bigger picture.
  • Take opportunities when they arise – some of them can be really helpful and support your personal development goals in interesting ways.