Sakshi Banerjee shares her top leadership tips
Advice | Telstra Careers |

Four leadership tips I’d give my 20-year-old self

By Sakshi Banerjee March 12, 2020

In 2010, I was a bright-eyed intern with big dreams for the future. Now, a decade later, I’m the Group Performance Principal for the Global IoT Solutions product portfolio at Telstra.

It feels like my journey as a leader has barely begun – but I’ve already learned so much since I was that hopeful summer vacationer. If I could deliver those learnings to myself a decade ago, they might look something like this:

1. Becoming a leader starts with intent

It may sound obvious but to succeed at anything, you have to start by saying, “I’m going to do it.”

Something I’ve noted throughout my career journey is that some women tend to hesitate to take on new opportunities when we don’t quite meet 100 per cent of the criteria. The reality is most of us never will! It’s all about taking a chance anyway and just doing it (Nike has a point!).

You may underestimate your resourcefulness, instincts and experience, but you will figure it out. For those starting out, put your hand up for a project or initiative that falls outside of your comfort zone – it’s a great way to test yourself.

2. Lead by example

This is a piece of advice my most recent boss gave me – and it truly struck a chord. Think hard about the values, behaviors and style you want to represent, as they will be reflected in how your team behaves and interacts.

How you react to good news, bad news, wins and failures, how you celebrate shared achievements with your own team and even how you choose to address or not address gossip: it’s the sum of all these reactions that leaves an impression on your team members.

3. Be yourself

I used to believe that leadership was a cookie-cutter mold I needed to fit into. But over the years, I have seen lots of inspiring leaders own their uniqueness. It wasn’t conforming that made them great leaders – it was their quirks that made them authentic.

The suits, managerial buzzwords and demeanor I thought were so important as a graduate truly fell away once I continued with my career. After all, anyone can wear a blazer, but it takes something special to be a sincere, effective leader.

Sakshi says authenticity is important for all leaders

4. Never stop learning

I prefer not to spruik books or frameworks as I believe people need to formulate their own thinking, but I do recommend The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. As a leader, you’ll need to have uncomfortable and difficult conversations. Ben’s book talks about how to tackle some of these hard conversations, and his writing style is very easy to read.

Reading and self-education in general are especially important for leaders. But don’t worry too much about following frameworks or only reading books that relate to your field. Rather, read about a variety of topics and you’ll find yourself expanding your general knowledge and critical thinking – which is invaluable for all aspects of life.

Want to learn about my role and hear about Telstra’s IoT journey? Watch the video below.

Ready to expand your professional horizons? Check out open roles at Telstra.

Advice | Telstra Careers |

4 insights from the world’s biggest data conference

By Katherine Boiciuc December 12, 2018

Over 17,000 delegates from around the world attended the recent Tableau Conference, and I was thrilled that, alongside my team, I got to help share the Telstra story with them.

We spoke about our data visualisation journey and the innovative work our teams are doing in the analytics space, particularly when it comes to helping our people thrive through the use of data.

It was also great to hear from other global tech companies like Facebook and Expedia, and their presentations really reinforced to me just how important data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are to help solve some of the world’s most complex problems.

So what were the biggest takeaways from the biggest data and analytics conference in the world that could help your career? Here are my top four things:

Share your data journey

Learning from other people’s roadblocks and adoption strategies, allows you to make more meaningful progress across similar hurdles that you might face.

It also gives you a new network of people to reach out to throughout the year, if you need advice and inspiration for one of your projects.

Data equality is important

Data equality is a strategic imperative for any organisation wanting to thrive in the connected world in which we live.

This means everyone has access to the same data regardless of their job title, and can self-serve when they need to, to help solve problems and create new business opportunities.

This requires 100 per cent transparency and a culture that supports everyone having the data basics, which are:

– Visualisation
– A standard data tool set
– Access to a ‘Data Jedi’ to seek advice from

Make valuable connections

You should leverage the power and energy of the data community.

Whether you’re looking to improve your current technical skillset or are trying to improve your company’s approach to data visualisation, architecture, remediation or intelligence, the data community is a great resource to help you think outside the square, collaborate and gather insights.

Data is making a difference to our community

A great example of analytics coming to life and having a positive impact on the community was through the Visualize No Malaria initiative.

Through the use of data analytics, some of the best minds at the conference revealed how they’ve helped to drive a 90 per cent reduction in malaria related deaths in Southern Zambia. Some of the ideas they came up with were mind blowing.

So when I returned back to Australia, we held a similar initiative at Telstra, where the best ‘Data Jedi’s’ within Telstra helped to solve some of our complex problems.

It was a great way for all of our people to learn from others and challenge the status quo to see what is possible through data.

Here at Telstra, we’re taking the best things that are working in the data and analytics world and bringing them into our organisation.

This means a career with us will see you work with the best tools in the business and alongside the best people in their field.

Want to see where a career at Telstra can take you? Head to our careers website to hear from our leaders and learn about our teams.

People | Telstra Careers |

6 career tips from a global tech leader

By Katherine Boiciuc November 26, 2018

I’ve been at Telstra for over 19 years and what a journey it has been so far.

Why have you stayed for so long, I hear you ask? There are three main reasons: the amazing work I get to do as we rapidly bring to life new technology solutions that empower our customers to thrive in a connected world. The ability to work with a phenomenal team who are passionate about what they do. And, most of all, a great sense of community within the business.

Interested in a technology career at Telstra? Search for a job now.

I’ve also got to learn a lot, especially from the cutting edge work I get to do here and the people I get to work with.

So what are the main things I have learnt over my journey that could help your career? Here are my top six things.

Network, network, network

Network like your career depends on it…because it does. Make trusted connections within and outside of your company by attending industry events and using social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with others.

Think big

You are enough, enough of everything you need to be in order to achieve whatever your heart desires…so back yourself and dream big! You won’t be remembered for responding to email quickly. Do the things that really matter, that you want to be remembered for.

Build good relationships

All businesses are people businesses, so make sure you don’t forget the lost art of doing business through trusted relationships.

I wish I didn’t spend so much of my early career sitting behind a computer typing emails. Instead I would suggest meeting people in person or talk to them on the phone. It’s an easier way to communicate and is a more human way of doing business.

Find a good mentor

I think mentoring is valuable to anyone who is looking to progress their careers. I’ve found consciously writing down the names of the people I would like to meet and learn from, is a great way to draw up a mentoring wish list. It’ll also help you to work out what you would like to get out of a mentoring relationship.

When you meet a potential mentor for the first time keep it relaxed because you are not asking someone to the school dance. If the first catch up doesn’t feel right then don’t force the relationship.

Build your personal brand

I think the first thing to remember is your name is your brand, so you should treat it like a valuable commodity.

You also need to keep in the back of your mind that first impressions count, in person and via your online profiles. Trust is easy to lose and hard to rebuild.

Finally, be yourself

I’m a huge advocate for come as you are to work and work in a way that best suits you. For me, this means I come to work in my jeans and sparkly sneakers. I often bring my daughter Sofia to work and I often work flexibly either from home, or a café for different energy and inspiration.

People shine the most when they feel like themselves inside and outside of the office, and I believe others are attracted to working with people like that.

See where a technology career at Telstra can take you

Ross with his mother Denise
People | Telstra Careers |

Here’s some of the best advice our mums ever gave us

By Ross Healy May 11, 2018

This Mother’s Day, we’ll take the opportunity to love and appreciate our mums, grandmothers, and mother figures alike for all they’ve given us.

They’ve imparted wisdom throughout our lives, which has inspired us to create this blog.

We’ve asked some of our people what was some of the best motherly advice they’ve received that they still use to this day. Here’s what they told us: