How Monique i riding the tech wave to help our customers thrive
Inspiration | Telstra Careers |

How I’m riding the tech wave to help our customers thrive

By Monique Calleja-Kiefer February 27, 2020

I started my career at Telstra eight years ago in one of our contact centres. It was a great way to start my journey here as I got to speak directly to our customers and learnt early on about the importance of empathy as a cornerstone for success in customer service. From this, I was able to understand customers and learn more about their needs from Telstra.

Over the past 8 years I have had the opportunity to work across many areas within Telstra, ranging from Consumer and Small Business, Telstra Business, Enterprise and most recently within Telstra Labs.

Telstra has supported my career and personal development from the beginning, opening up various skill development opportunities that have led to the role I am in today. It’s amazing to say that I’m now an Innovation Service Designer exploring new product and business development opportunities.

I spend my day asking “why” a lot, and lead design sprints that focus on the future needs of our customers. I also test new concepts and building upon these regularly to ensure that the solution or product will add value to our customers and solve real problems that they are facing.

The work I do is fascinating and heavily focused on how new technologies can help improve the lives of our customers, and in some instances even save their lives.

For example, at Telstra Vantage, I showcased a project I led through our innovation Design Sprints. It focused on road worker road safety and how we can help reduce the risks involved for workers when setting up and closing work sites. Together with Transurban, we co-created these semi-autonomous cones that self-position using GPS and our 4G network so workers no longer need to step out into live traffic to set up or remove the traffic cones that protect their working areas.

 Semi-autonomous cones on show at Telstra Vantage
Semi-autonomous cones on show at Telstra Vantage

As a team, we also have access to a lot of different eco-system environments including many start-ups outside of Telstra. The eco-system that we have at the Labs has taught us different ways to tackle complex problems, ideate new concept solutions and has brought many different way of thinking and working to our Design Sprints. Having access to these sorts of environments and focusing on how they do things differently is invaluable and something I really appreciate.

I would describe my team as highly passionate about problem-solving, inquisitive, and very collaborative. We work closely with our customers and that’s where, I believe, our success comes from. We are also very diverse – we’ve got people from different backgrounds who have distinct skillsets.

I think diversity is very important in any team, but even more so in a team that needs to be innovative and create technologies for customers – having different minds, backgrounds and skills can only help challenge the norm and create innovative solutions that solve real customer problems.

If you’re interested in a career in technology, check out the roles that are currently available. Or if you’re a graduate looking to kick-start your career, applications for our Telstra Graduate Program open on March 3.

Telstra Graduate Program 2020
Inspiration | People | Students | Telstra Careers |

Our 2020 graduates take their marks on our new grad program

By Kate Stewart February 14, 2020

Starting a job can be equally nerve-wracking and exciting. For some recent university graduates, this is their reality as they start their careers at Telstra.

We’re excited to recently welcome 178 graduates who will experience our redeveloped 13-month Graduate program. They will be involved in two in-depth rotations to get an understanding of the business, with three learning and experience accelerators to develop specific technology-based capabilities.

These new team members join specialised pathways including software and network engineering, information and cyber security, data analytics and management, product and service design, technology consulting and solutions, as well as finance and human resources.

This intake is a significant boost to our talent pipeline. Our graduates will be spread across the business, supporting the cutting edge work we’re doing in areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), software-defined networking, 5G, cyber security, drone technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Transforming our graduate program has been a huge effort from many people across Telstra and we were thrilled to hear in the past week that the refresh is making its mark with our graduates and their experiences:

We are proud to be recognised in both the engineering and technology space and are committed to boosting the pipeline of talent in these areas within Australia.

Harrison Jones

Among the new starters in the 2020 cohort is Harrison Jones, who was previously part of our CareerTrackers Indigenous internship program, having completed rotations with Telstra Health and Telstra Broadcast Services.

“I really enjoyed being a Telstra intern. The culture, the employees and the grads that I worked alongside seem to shine – which is what I want in my career. I’m very excited to be joining Telstra as part of the 2020 graduate program and seeing all those people I worked with and meeting more in the future.”

Justin Dolman

Justin Dolman echoes these thoughts after 13 months in the program and is excited at the opportunity of travelling to Hong Kong for his final rotation in the International Sales team.

“I have found that my graduate experience at Telstra has been an amazing opportunity for me to explore where I can best apply myself. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to take ownership of projects in Telstra’s Global OTT (Over the Top) team.

“There’s so much available within Telstra, and so much that I have yet to explore. It’s great knowing that even after the grad program I’ll be able to move through the organisation. The graduate program has been an opportunity for me to explore different areas of the business, while showcasing my abilities to different teams. This has allowed me to find where I fit best in the organisation, making sure I’m both challenged and rewarded throughout my career.”

For those interested in applying for the Telstra 2021 Graduate program, applications open 3 March 2020.

Our Telstra Graduate Program can open up doors in your career
Students | Telstra Careers |

My journey from Telstra Graduate to Telstra Labs expert

By Luca Stamatescu December 12, 2019

At Telstra Vantage this year, I had the opportunity to share some of the AI and machine learning projects I’m working on as part of the Telstra Labs team.

It’s a great feeling to be able to say I’m a subject matter expert in emerging technologies, and it’s thanks to my time in the Telstra Graduate Program.

From day one I had my sights set on Telstra because I knew about all the exciting work they’re doing in the emerging tech space. In my own time, I enjoy working on virtual reality and 3D printing prints and racing FPV drones – so tech is something I’m incredibly passionate about.

But as a new grad, it can be hard to know how to translate personal passion into professional development. The Telstra Graduate Program gave me the opportunity to build the real-world skills and experience needed to execute my current role.

What’s it really like being in the Telstra Graduate Program?

Everyone in the Program does three rotations to learn about different areas of the business and be exposed to different learning opportunities.

I started as a technical resource in the accounts team, where I got to interact with customers and learn about our approach to customer experience.

From there, I moved to Telstra Labs (then called the Chief Technology Office) to get hands-on experience working with emerging technologies like AI, AR, VR, 5G and drones.

For my final rotation, I worked with the networks and big data team to get an in-depth look at how we manage data at an enterprise level.

Those three perspectives – the sales and customer perspective, the technology perspective and the ‘at-scale’ enterprise perspective – have collectively driven success in my current role and equipped me with valuable tools for the future. Now I can say I not only have a deep understanding of tech, but also key skills like managing teams, vendors and budgets.

Throughout the Program, the leadership teams were always there to lead me to the right experiences, giving me visibility and the opportunity to excel. In particular, my leader Steve Harley has been one of my strongest advocates and helped set me up for success.

Luca works with the latest technology in his role at Telstra.
I feel privileged that I can work with the latest technology in my role at Telstra.

Where I am today

Since finishing the Graduate Program a year ago, I’ve moved into a full-time role at Telstra Labs as an AI and Machine Learning expert.

Day to day, I look at what will be happening in the space over the next three to five years, and also how we can use the technology to improve our products and analytics capabilities in the short term.

At the moment I’m working on an asset tracking and monitoring project examining how we can utilise machine learning to make sense of all the data coming through our network. Our goal is to have the technology not just provide insights, but also actions for offering a better customer experience.

I’m also working on a project where we’re looking at using drones and AI for search and rescue. We want to answer the question: “What if we popped up a drone sending video over our network and trained an AI model to find people who are lost?”

We’ve tested this over 4G at about 20 metres height with 1080p resolution, and then over 5G at about 80m height with 4K resolution. What we found is that the search and rescue effort is much faster at a higher bandwidth and resolution.

These are just a couple of examples of the exciting challenges I get to tackle on a daily basis – and the foundational experience I gained in the Telstra Graduate Program has been essential in getting me where I am today.

Interested in a career in emerging technology? Learn more about Telstra’s Graduate Program, which opens for applications in March, 2020.

Students | Telstra Careers |

Why I applied for the Telstra Graduate Program

By Nathan Haveaux March 4, 2019

I applied for the Telstra Graduate Program because I wanted to be part of an organisation that would allow me to create and build innovative products and services, and I felt like Telstra would help me do this.

I had also worked in a Telstra retail store for many years, so I know how great the company is, and how well it supports its people.

Since starting in the Program last year, I have loved every experience. I haven’t felt like ‘just a grad’. Everyone has been welcoming, approachable and willing to give their time to teach and help me out.

What’s been really beneficial to my career is that I’ve been able to reach out to numerous leaders within the organisation and say “hey, I like the sound of your role, can you tell me about it over a coffee to see if it’s something I want to do?” There’s a lot of career opportunities available here.

What I’ve learnt so far

In my first rotation I worked with our Enterprise Sales and Service team and learnt what it takes to make a sale and deliver the best service possible to some of our largest customers.

I also played a part in developing a national strategy to drive sales, and worked with a wide variety of customers from different industries (both at Telstra offices and theirs) and got to see firsthand how they operate their business.

In my second rotation, I’ve had the benefit of working with our Internet of Things (IoT) M2M Connectivity team. I’ve been able to learn what we need to do to take something from ideation to a fully-fledged Telstra product that we can replicate and sell to our customers.

Across both of my rotations, I’ve been able to work with different areas of the business, grow my network and engage with people all over the world.

I think one of the best aspects of the Telstra Graduate Program is that I haven’t had that feeling of “why am I doing this?” But I have had the feeling of “why am I doing this?”

Another one of the great aspects of the Program is that I been given the freedom to explore where I want to go for my next rotation and have gained the skills and experiences I need to help shape my future career.

Advice I would give to graduates

Make sure you apply for the Program. Most people don’t realise just how big the organisation is and how it touches so many things in everybody’s daily lives.

There are so many great projects that people are working on here at Telstra, which will transform the way we live and work today and in the future.

I’d say that if you want to help shape the future, if you want to be a disrupter, if you want to get out there and do something real as part of your Graduate Program, then don’t look elsewhere, make sure you apply at Telstra.

So what’s next?

My final rotation will be in the IoT Devices and Technology team where I hope to learn about the different technology and devices Telstra offers and how we launch and support them.

My end goal is to take the knowledge and experiences I have gained from my three rotations, and help to create and launch new products.

Learn about Telstra’s Graduate and Internship Programs.