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Three ways Telstra is empowering and developing its graduates

Telstra Careers Advice

Posted on November 6, 2017

2 min read

Telstra has a whole range of programs available for graduates, students and early career seekers. Learn more about where a career with us could take you.

One of the great things about Telstra’s Graduate Program is that over 18 months we get to be part of a series of courses that help us to develop and grow as young professionals.

Recently, we completed ‘Module 3- Innovation and Growth’, which was facilitated by Impact International.

This program encouraged us to push our own boundaries and challenge ideas in a supportive and engaging environment, that allowed creativity to flourish.

To complete the module we had to undertake a competitor analysis, do an impromptu pitch, work on a mood board, learn how to implement stages of innovation and even create a freestanding structure to catapult an object (there is never a dull moment at Telstra!).

Here are the top three things I learnt from the day.

1. Don’t fear failure

We should all actively strive towards a ‘growth mindset’ rather than a ‘fixed mindset’.

People with a ‘growth mindset’ like to try new things, perceive failure as an opportunity to grow and see feedback as constructive.

This is compared to a person who has a a ‘fixed mindset’. They don’t like to grow their abilities, hate to be challenged and because they stick to what they know, they limit their openness to embrace change and innovate.

Therefore, in order to be a successful innovator, people need to consciously work towards becoming or sustaining a “growth mindset”.

2. Collaboration is key

Never underestimate the power of people!

Being part of the Graduate Program allows me to to collaborate with individuals from a diverse range of fields.

For instance, a HR Graduate has the opportunity to work with a Marketer, Network Engineer and Finance Graduate on the same project.

This reflects a ‘Project Ways of Working’ mindset to problem solving, that recognises that creativity requires differing skill sets.

3. Practice, practice, practice! 

These graduate modules allow us to put theory into practice in a supportive setting.

This helps to grow our confidence and refine techniques so that we are equipped with the necessary skills to apply to real-life scenarios in the future.

The Graduate Program creates an environment for individuals to succeed through guidance and additional training, and delivers on its promise to provide development opportunities to graduates and employees. 

Time for tough decisions

Time for tough decisions

Celebrate NAIDOC Week 2011: Change, the next step is ours

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What I learnt at the Telstra/ANZ Graduate Summit

Telstra Careers

Posted on October 2, 2017

4 min read

‘We are both iconic brands in Australia. Everyone in Australia thinks they own a piece of us. What we do matters to them and has influence.’ – Shayne Elliott, CEO, ANZ.

This comment resonates with me as it highlights the important role that Telstra and ANZ play in the community.

Recently, Telstra and ANZ joined forces to hold a cross-industry development day for graduates, and I was lucky to be one of them.

The summit gave us the opportunity to network not only internally with Telstra graduates, but also externally with ANZ graduates, in tandem with access and exposure to a myriad of senior leaders.

We were fortunate to hear from ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott and Group Executive, Institutional – Mark Whelan. We also heard from Telstra EnterpriseGroup Executive, Brendon Riley.

It was great to get such senior support from leaders at both companies, affirming not only the importance of the relationship between Telstra and ANZ, but also in graduate development.

Three key themes emerged from the graduate summit were community, culture and digital. It also helped with our understanding of:

  • The roles telecommunication/technology and financial institutions can play in the community in which they operate;
  • The importance and relevance of cultivating a positive corporate culture and its impact on our organisation’s success.
  • The opportunities and risks posed by a changing digital landscape, and how large organisations like Telstra and ANZ can respond.

Here’s what I learnt:


A company’s reputation is always important, but the standard of what customers expect has gone to a whole new level. Mark Whelan,  Group Executive, Institutional ANZ says, ”I’ve seen so much change in the last 3 years, compared to the last 27 years. It’s picking up pace and going to continue this way. It’s inevitable that companies will make mistakes, but it’s how they respond that matters.” He emphasised that companies “need to listen more than they talk.” To complement this insight, Brendon Riley, Group Executive, Telstra Enterprise mentioned that “a common thread that connects us all together is trust – at the end of the day trust is your brand.”


ANZ and Telstra need to change in order to successfully deliver outcomes to customers. This can be seen through the adoption of ANZ’s ‘New Ways of Working’ and Telstra’s ‘FWOW’ (Future Ways of Working). Kath Bray, Agile Transformation Lead ANZ says , it is a new way to work, not another strategy- it’s simply bringing to life the strategy, and aids in operating collectively. Kath says we need to eliminate micro management from the top down, as there is no space for this in the future. She added that disruption to the traditional understanding of career paths will occur, as this cultural shift will erode layers and hierarchy. Furthermore, Ben Burge, Executive Director, Telstra Energy passionately sold the premise of bringing your whole self to work, and questioned why our Monday face was different to our weekend face, and the importance of fully embracing your colleagues for all that they are Monday to Friday.


Alan Huse, Head of Transaction Banking Australia and Pacifc ANZ discussed how the channel experience is evolving, through the likes of concepts such as Apple Pay. Suggesting that the plastic card will become secondary in the future, as paying with a device will be primary. Michelle Bendschneider, Executive Director, Global Products, Telstra Enterprise discussed that many organisations outsourced a lot of capabilities such as IT over the last 15 years, as it wasn’t deemed to be strategic. Businesses are now rebuilding their muscle, to re-architect their businesses for the digital era.

Here’s what graduates thought of the day

“The thing that I got out of today was surrounding partnerships. It was something that all of the speakers talked about. With partnerships, and working together there are lots of things that we individually do really well as businesses, and if we work together we can capitalise on that.” – Andy Dixon, 2017 Telstra Graduate.

“The highlight of the day for me was getting to meet some of the Telstra graduates. It was really good to expand that network, and get a better understanding of what Telstra gets up to.” – Hugh Bailey, 2017 ANZ Graduate.

In addition to gaining an insight on the three key themes, the most common feedback received at the end of the day was regarding how similar our two organisations are, despite operating in different industries.

As graduates, to be exposed to such senior leaders, in an intimate setting- was an enriching experience we feel fortunate to have been a part of.

Learn more about Telstra’s Graduate Program.

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